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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 50
Dramatic and poignant, Tori Amos stills the Paramount
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Dramatic and poignant, Tori Amos stills the Paramount

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Tori Amos
December 14
Paramount Theatre


Completely in her element, Tori Amos silenced a nearly full Paramount Theatre on Wednesday night with a performance that was arguably the best yet she's given in Seattle.

As the house lights dimmed, the crowd immediately went from loud cheers to a hush as a four-piece string section played the opening bars of 'Shattering Sea,' from Amos' newest album, Night of Hunters. The loud cheers erupted again as the diva made her entrance, bowing at the foot of the stage to fans - some who had waited 20 years to see her live, others who've made a habit of seeing her each and every time she performs here.

Amos went right to work. A lush cover of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Scarborough Fair' was surprisingly the second song on the set list, followed by a great rendition of 'Suede' from 1999's To Venus and Back. Dressed in light blue stretch pants and an even lighter blue top that draped over the front side, Amos looked elegant and radiant, much like the music she'd play on this night.

'Winter' was flat-out gorgeous, and the string quartet added a layer of dramatic effect (as it did throughout the concert). Something else that heightened the intensity of the performance was the lighting - case in point: 'Icicle,' in which a series of pure white strobes were all pointed towards the theater ceiling, or during another surprise entry, 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' where the curtain backdrops transcended beautifully into twinkling green stars.

'Caught a Sneeze' was one of the show's highlights, performed solo as the string section took a break. As she's known to do, Amos played traditional piano and electric keyboards simultaneously while straddled on a bench, like she did on a sweeping version of 'Past the Mission.' She closed out the main set with two fan favorites: 'Spring Haze' and 'Cruel.'

A four-song encore - five if you count the string quartet playing an original piece by themselves - included fine renditions of 'Edge of the Moon,' 'Father Lucifer,' and an oldie but goodie, 'Precious Things' from Little Earthquakes. Shaking hands with fans who rushed to the foot of the stage just before the encore, Amos barely interacted with the crowd and instead focused on the music - believe me, no one was disappointed.

Gay men attended the concert in significant numbers, but young women and an impressive amount of straight couples also came to experience Amos in concert. Throughout the show, people shouted 'I love you, Tori!' or 'We love you!' or simply 'THANK YOU!' At one point, two fans tried to out-clap each other before the start of the next song.

You have to exist somehow in Amos' world to truly get her. Those of us who already do got more than we expected at her Paramount appearance.

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BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
Albums and singles

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BEST OF MUSIC: Hottest artists of 2011
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BEST OF MUSIC 2011: LIVE PERFORMANCES by Albert Rodriguez and Jessica Price
SGN A&E Writers


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BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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Dramatic and poignant, Tori Amos stills the Paramount
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