“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.
“So this is one of your requests… I’ll see if we got this right.” Tori Amos in the “Lizard Lounge” section of her performance at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland last night, wherein on this “Unrepentant Geraldines Tour” she does a few covers suggested by fans. With Monday night’s show, the first was a kind of dark rendition of the Calvin Harris and Rihanna electro-house hit song, “We Found Love”. What? Tori Amos doing “We Found Love”? Yeah, I know the song well, but it took my thought process a few seconds to catch up with the familiar lyrics played out in such a different manner. As I settled into that incredible collision of techno pop and, well, however you might categorize what it is that Tori does, when she does her thing… I started imagining what might be the most amazing cover to hear from her following that. Immediately, I thought of “Tiny Dancer” (it has a special connection with my fiancé and I, and she was seated next to me in the orchestra pit for her first Tori concert)… So after finishing “We Found Love” on her electric keyboard, Tori spun around and found her way to the deeper keys on her Bösendorfer piano and started into the classic Elton John tune. I’ve seen, I would guess, thousands of artists live in concert – that was the first time I’d felt that maybe one read my mind. Very surreal moment, and maybe the coolest moment for me at any Tori Amos concert (and I’ve been to my fair share). She was certainly full of surprises last night, as a fan might see simply from taking a look at the set list, which had songs from her latest, Unrepentant Geraldines, going all the way back to her failed synthpop band, Y Kant Tori Read. With the new album and this current tour, Tori has certainly hit her stride both in the studio and on the road, and she’s always been one of those rare artists that is a master at both.
Legendary singer-songwriter Tori Amos has announced her U.S. dates for 2014’s world tour supporting the May 13th release of her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines. She will cross the United States throughout July and August. Fans can gain access to a special pre-sale of all dates and venues by pre-ordering the new album (in CD, CD/DVD, and vinyl formats) on a special site. [Read more…]
Day 9 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland… it was the final one for the incredible series of a wide-ranging line-up of artist from a variety of music genres that drew thousands upon thousands to the resort area in the Swiss Alps. The themes for the final night, which drew one of the largest and most energetic crowds, was rap music and, well, a marijuana culture. I would have to rate the night near the top as far as high performance and crowd enthusiasm go, regardless of how one might feel about either of those things, as the artists collectively put out more energy than probably any other night’s show – they were each really amazing in their own ways, and gave fans what they wanted as well as probably cultivated some new ones for themselves. Really impressive stuff.
Day 8 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland… as the event approached its final two days Friday night, those in attendance seemed to have a desire to keep the party going, as Mika drew the largest crowd to date, not only filling the vast airline hanger-like space of The Moon, but overfilling the standing room only space in front of the stage. The popular British singer-songwriter drew such a crowd people were spilling out, standing watching from the hallway space in-between The Moon and The Tube, and was far and away the largest crowd pulled in thus far for the 9-day festival. The more pop-oriented line-up also included rising star Nadine Carina, local pop/folk singer Célien Schneider, and the ever versatile and classy Nelly Furtado, who put in one of my favorite shows of the past week.
Day 7 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland… Definitely one of the strongest nights for performances, if not the strongest overall, with a really unique and stellar line-up including The Heavy, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Alice Cooper. The theme tonight was rock and roll (though in a variety of different packages), and it was really like a triple headliner. I also had the unique opportunity to meet with and interview two of the four bands that took to the stage at The Moon at Caprices.
Day 6 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland was unfortunately one of disappointment for all involved, as headliner The Killers were not able to make to to play their set due to weather conditions. I was really looking forward to seeing them again after their epic show in their hometown of Las Vegas that closed out 2012. The rest of the line up for the evening was present, and this included many, many acts, of which I viewed four in whole or part, including the headliner by default The Spinto Band, 2ManyDJs, SebastiAn, and March. It was a high energy night for both rock and DJ/electronic music.
Day 5 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland… wow, what a night. I’ve loved Portishead since their first album, but never had an opportunity to see them live until last night. They completely and utterly exceeded all of my expectations – brilliant performance, every aspect of it. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I also saw Baxter Dury, who opened for them on The Moon stage, and they made me a fan. Late into the night, I also got to see Model 500 featuring Juan Atkins, one of the originators of techno music. Caprices has put together such a stellar line-up of entertainment, and experiencing the entire show, day by day, with it’s wide ranging collection of artists, provides a different atmosphere for music each night, and I would count last night as one of the highlights.
Day 4 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland was somewhat about expectations and culture… my own expectations about performances proved incorrect (good and bad) and I’m beginning to get a better sense of how culture in Switzerland intersects musical tastes and preferences. Björk’s fans filled The Moon stage – which is massive – as much as any other artist here at Caprices thus far, and while she was one of the artists I most looked forward to seeing, I guess I just didn’t quite get her music and her set overall. The Weeknd followed, and while they didn’t retain the Björk fans, in my mind at least The Weekend saved the weekday (with Day 4 falling on a Monday), as I thought they were fantastic. But I guess that’s the thing about music – nothing is quite as subjective and to each person’s own taste… as music.
Day 3 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland showcased entirely different styles of music from Day 1 and Day 2, and drew a different crowd as well. This shows just how dynamic the overall line up is for this festival, to the point where in many cases there is nearly no crossover at all. Personally, Tori Amos has been the highlight for me thus far, and may remain so for the balance of the 9-day concert event, as she is one of my all-time favorite music artists. Also of headliner stature, Roger Hodgson – The Legendary Voice of Supertramp – performed as well, and I count his “The Logical Song” as one of my all-time favorites, and it was really a special moment for me to finally see and hear it performed live. Also performing was Noa, who I was not previously familiar with, but for being first on the bill for The Moon at Caprices, she filled out the capacity of the vast indoor special purpose space quite well. Each of the three artists actually seemed to turn out their own fan base, as I noticed the crowd shifted from set to set. All in all it was an awesome night, and that is one of the best performances I’ve seen Tori Amos put on (and I’ve seen her a number of times).