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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Concert: Tori Amos

A long time Tori Amos fan, since her debut single on cassette "Silent All These Years", we have seen her so many times live I cannot even count. That said, there is something to be said to Ms. Amos and her catalog of work now at fifty.

On the Unrepentant Geraldines Tour, she was once again alone - just her and her Bosendorfer. With a great focus on water songs - perhaps in the transient nature of our time and age, the acceptance and growth for which every one experiences - her set list could not have been better. Opening with "Parasol" to ending with the classic "Hey Jupiter", with highlights "Snow Cherries From France", "Tear In Your Hand" and "Take to the Sky" - a wonderful, thumping rendition which left the audience begging for more.

I will say a note about the venue The Winspear Opera House. I had never been there. Wow! Its gorgeous with incredible acoustics! And I really cannot recommend it enough if you have an opportunity to attend a concert there, you should.

That said, the crowd was for the most part quite passive even for a Tori show. A lot of the younger crowd didn't even seem to know some of her older work which with Tori especially is really a staple in her being. You had to know her anger in the 90's, her heartache through Choirgirl Hotel, her journey with Scarlet's Walk to truly appreciate the serene siren (and much at peace) she is today.

I remember (I am old) the days of the piano banging, gyrating, screaming "These Precious things let them bleed...." and watching her morph into the graceful butterfly she has become is rather reassuring. But in saying that I must say, the first half of the concert was a rather tame, subdued, older Tori and that is completely to be expected. What I found problematic with it though was the rudeness which ran rampant through the crowd. When you go to a Tori show, if you aren't up dancing and screaming, you are sitting there quietly, hands in your lap, reflecting. Not shouting to your best friend about some bullshit. Not letting your children run around. Not getting up to start a fight causing even more disruption. But showing some respect, some measure of appropriate behavior for which this woman has fought and more than earned your respect. Otherwise, why bother going?

And that was the question which still today lingers on. Why were all of those people there? Because a good handful around us were not there to take in the drug for which Tori feeds us. This leads me to wanting to scream, "People just fucking behave! Get out! Or behave!" One or the other, but do not make me - a longtime member of this church of Tori sit through your bullshit - it was sacrilege.

Tori was beautiful. Her daughter is as well.
The show was splendor, pure bliss.
Again, these people. These crowds. Just as bad as Pink. Different though, far more disruptive.
Probably needed the "hands-in-the-lap" crowd from Pink at Tori and vice versa.

k <3

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Concert: J+B OTR

With as much press as the Beyonce and Jay Z "On the Run" tour has received going into it there was a lot of expectations. We heard rumors of a 40+ set list, multiple costume changes, and a show to leave you in awe. And they delivered point for point in this heavily choreographed show to end all shows. The concert was to begin at 8. There was no warm-up act and they did not take the stage until 9:10 and didn't stop until about 11:45. The film which played on between their songs was a crisp, refreshing tie into their lives, their music.

With my longtime love of Beyonce (with Destiny's Child and solo career), I have adored her rump shaking, lyrical prose journey from "Say My Name" to "Flawless". For me, nothing gets me working it out - physically or emotionally than a good beat - J-Lo, Shakira, Nicki Minaj and Queen B. With the brilliant work from her last album, hearing her with Jay Z led me to his "Magna Carta...Holy Grail" album.  I'll be the first to admit - this little white girl has never been to see a black rapper such as Jay Z. I am a recent fan of his work, I will not lie. But I am no stranger to rap, I have loved Eminem since he began, Drake, and you will even find Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye by my Katy Perry and JT. However, to have seen him on such a grand and magnificent scale such as this show put him far and ahead of the average concert. It was a spiritual, cathartic experience which left me in tears.

But the crowd - and we cannot discuss this concert without discussing the crowd which was just as impressive as the show. A diverse bunch, probably one of the most diverse I have ever seen, full of acceptance and respect. From gay couples to mixed couples to May-December romances, there was love abound everywhere you looked. Aside from all of that - and forgive my caps here - THIS WAS THE BEST BEHAVED, BEST SMELLING AUDIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD THE PLEASURE TO BE AROUND. People danced, sang, cried, chanted on at all the appropriate times. And if you were there that warm night in July, thank you for being you. For being present and keeping it all very real.

Love & Light,
k <3