“He had all these things there… Sandman comics… things like that…” Tori Amos, coincidentally playing in San Diego during Comic Con week, reminiscing about her brother (who was in attendance) back in the day, and the inspiration for her song, “Flying Dutchman”, which was third up on her phenomenal setlist at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay. This was my second show seeing the “Unrepentant Geraldines Tour” (having seen the show in Oakland on Monday night at the Paramount Theatre). As with that show, Tori is ever full of surprises, and the two shows were completely different on many levels. The most obvious being the venues, with the indoor, ornate, classy and historical Paramount Theatre having a certain sophistication, while the outdoor Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is more relaxed, with the unmistakable coastal air and open feeling sitting out under the stars. With the setlists from the respective shows sharing only three songs (opening with “Parasol”, closing with “Cornflake Girl” and having “16 Shades of Blue” in their encores), it was two very different shows in terms of the music as well. The show in San Diego was at least to some degree a celebration of “Under the Pink”, as it was highly represented in the song choice. I loved both shows, but I’d have to say – for me – my love for Oakland’s was on more of an intellectual level, while San Diego’s was because she played more of the songs I truly love (and if I had to pick any one song for her to play, it would be “Bliss”, and she totally killed it on stage at Humprey’s. One of those rare artists that has the ability to completely change up her show night to night, this is definitely one of the best tours of 2014.
Last night Seal put on an incredible performance at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay in San Diego. Stunning voice, amazing performance, he really filled the smaller, intimate, outdoor venue with life. Beautiful songs (both his own and a few covers of classic material) and real, true emotion on full display. Seal is an artist that sings from the heart, and I can’t imagine him being any other way, especially after having had the privilege of spending a good amount of time with him and a small group later, after the concert. He is really singular in the field of music, and if he could not sing, after spending around 40 minutes hearing him open up to us about his thoughts and feelings on a few different subjects – talking with strangers as though they were old, close friends – if he could not sing, I would still remain a huge fan of Seal the man. He is undoubtedly a person to look up to, who lives life with a great deal of introspection, honesty, and modesty. Overall, the night was an unforgettable experience, and I feel so, so fortunate to have been a part of it.