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Meeting Tori Amos - The Unrepentant Gereldines Tour 2014

Updated on August 24, 2014
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Background

Tori Amos is a world-renowned artist of unprecedented talent and an impressive array of music releases throughout her impressively long career. Educated at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University at age five, and holds the record for the youngest person to have ever been admitted. Expelled from the institute at age 11 for an interest in rock music and an unwillingness to sight read music, Tori's true musical calling began - taking off in spades in the early '90s. Her musical achievements are unquestionable, and her command of the piano, harpsichord and keyboard is legendary, and her concerts involve her playing more than one instrument and singing simultaneously. She has claimed many rewards throughout her career both for her classical talent and for popular music. Tori Amos encompasses and defines a genre of music all on her own, and she consistently pushes the boundaries to achieve more and more impressive feats.

A
Ruth Eckard Hall, Clearwater, fl:
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL 33759, USA

get directions

The Venue

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The Concert

Like any Tori Amos concert tour, it makes no difference if you've been a fan all of your life or if you just discovered Tori in the previous months - the performance is one that you will never forget. Tori is a consummate performer, and she entertains the crowd in ways that go above and beyond most typical concert performances. Not only does she simultaneously play a piano, harpsichord and/or keyboard while singing, she uniquely engages with her audience throughout the performance itself. It doesn't matter if you have all of the lyrics to each song memorized or if you're hearing them for the first time - it's a performance that's well worth the wait.

Her performances have a life of their own, with most of the audience waiting with bated breath for whichever song she decides to perform next. She is engaging, and watching her play her piano and keyboard is simply mesmerizing. Her set lists are notoriously variable, and with over 20 albums under her belt, you never know which songs are going to pop up and appear at her performance. She often remarks that a certain song just wants to come out, and she allows creativity rather than rigidity define the songs that she chooses to perform at any locale. Every performance is different, from the mood to the audience to the set list that seems to magically materialize out of thin air. Our performance was made even more special by the fact that the day of the concert was also Tori's 51st birthday - and the celebration was palpable. As she returned for her encore, she was greeted by a surprise cake, birthday hats for everyone in the front row, and balloons descending from the ceiling. She was gracious and appreciative, applauding the audience and accompanying her own happy birthday song on the piano.

Most of the audience was remarkably well-behaved throughout the concert, making it a marked difference from many concerts in the "alternative rock" genre that Tori has been squeezed into. The only moment of chaos was at the performance of the last "official" song, when the stage was rushed. It was a sense of belonging - that all of her adoring fans wanted to simply be close to her throughout her encore performance (which consequently jostled my wife and I out of our front-row seats in the process) Her moving music, all with an overarching theme of gratitude and appreciation) took my breath away, and it was mind-blowing to see such pure talent wind its way around stage so magnificently.

Tori's Duet with Her Daughter, Tash

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Tori Amos: Discography

  1. Little Earthquakes - 1991
  2. Under the Pink - 1994
  3. Boys for Pele - 1996
  4. From the Choirgirl Hotel - 1998
  5. To Venus and Back - 1999
  6. Strange Little Girls - 2001
  7. Scarlet's Walk - 2002
  8. Tales of a Librarian - 2003
  9. Scarlet's Hidden Treasures - 2004
  10. The Beekeeper - 2005
  11. Exclusive Season - 2005
  12. The Original Bootlegs - 2005
  13. The Piano - The Collection - 2006
  14. American Doll Posse - 2007
  15. Legs and Boots - 2007
  16. Live at Montreux - 2008
  17. Abnormally Attracted to Sin - 2009
  18. Midwinter Graces - 2009
  19. From Russia With Love - 2010
  20. Night of Hunters - 2011
  21. Gold Dust - 2012
  22. Unrepentant Geraldines - 2014

Clearwater Set List

  1. Parasol
  2. Almost Rosey
  3. Leather
  4. Liquid Diamonds
  5. Fearlessness
  6. Silent All These Years
  7. Martha's Foolish Ginger
  8. Siren
  9. Selkie
  10. Thank You (cover)
  11. Thank U (cover)
  12. Bliss
  13. Seaside
  14. Take to the Sky
  15. Sweet the Sting
  16. Springtime of His Voodoo
  17. Cornflake Girl
  18. Trouble's Lament (encore)
  19. Mr Zebra (encore)
  20. Sixteen Shades of Blue (encore)
  21. Raspberry Swirl (encore)
  22. Pretty Good Year (encore)

Meeting the Artist

Admittedly, I felt a sense of trepidation about meeting Tori Amos face to face, and it wasn't purely because of her fame. My wife and I have both been huge fans for a very long time, and it's something special to get to meet, engage with and speak to a hero that you've held for such a long period of time. I didn't know what she'd be like off-stage in a nearly one-on-one setting, and I had no idea what to expect when we were informed that we had won the contest. Our package came with front-row seats, and an aftershow meet and greet, and it was hard to grasp the reality of what we had won until we were there and it was happening. We waited in the lobby of the venue once the concert had concluded, and everything seemed incredibly surreal. When Tori's assistant came to get us, we waited outside of the green room while a few other people who had purchased VIP packages had their pictures taken with her by a special photographer. Finally it was our turn.

We were brought into the room and Tori Amos smiled at us, asked our names and shook our hands. Unlike the others, the assistant took our pictures with her with our phones so that we wouldn't have to wait to have them developed, and Tori offered to sign our program and a piece of her sheet music that we had brought from home. Since the other group hadn't been able to ask for autographs, having the artist herself offer to sign things from us was incredibly surreal as well. After the pictures were taken, the memorabilia were signed and we spoke for several minutes, Tori gave each of us a hug and told us that it was a pleasure to see us, and we were shuffled outside to stumble back to our car in a state of surreal bliss.

Although the pictures and the signatures are real and happened right in front of me, it's still hard to realize that this actually happened. My wife has been a fan of Tori's for over 20 years, and I discovered her around the age of 18. She's one of my top two favorite artists of all time, and her musicality is legendary. To be able to see her face to face, speak to her and have the experience of engaging with her is a memory that will be treasured forever, and I will never forget it.

She wasn't the least bit stand-offish or high and mighty like you may imagine from a star of this magnitude. She was gracious, appreciative, patient and incredibly down to earth. Meeting her wasn't simply an experience - it was a dream come true, and my wife and I both recognize how incredibly lucky we are.

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