Monday, June 4, 2007

On a Tori High



All day yesterday I was up on a Tori cloud, and I'm just about coming down today, although I'm still not fully recovered from the intense experience on Saturday night... It's true what Kyliemac said: no matter where you are in the performance hall, Tori's feeling resonates and her passion reaches out to you and sucks you in, in spite of yourself... I do wish that our seats had been a bit closer (you always want things to be better, right?!) but it really didn't have an effect on the musical experience itself. I just would have loved to have been able to feel like I could reach out and touch her, or at least watch her fingers fly over those keys, up close and personal. It's absolutely amazing what she can do... And her energy -- only one real "break" early on in the concert, and then a few short breaks near the end (before her first and second encore), but otherwise she performed for more than two hours straight, and it was non-stop magic! There is no other word for it.

So as I gradually come down from my cloud, I've been surfing the Net and reading pieces on her new album release, as well as watching interviews and performances on YouTube. It's funny how a concert like that can make you thirsty for more information, for more of the experience. I totally agree that American Doll Posse really packs a punch and is a huge contrast to her last album, The Beekeeper. I wouldn't say I was necessarily disappointed with that album, but it didn't really stay with me the way this one already seems to have done. I've been listening to the Posse for two weeks straight now, and I'm not yet tired of it! On the contrary, more and more of the songs are growing on me. I've even established my favorite "character" (Clyde) among the five personalities she created to represent each song. At first I thought I might find her inclusion of so many songs on one album a bit overdone, as Télérama claimed (although overall they still give the album a positive review), but now I believe I disagree: each one has its value and each and every one has its own particular feel and place on the album.

I wanted to post the video above from YouTube because I thought it was fascinating to see the behind-the-scenes work on the costumes and set-up for the album cover art. I got a kick out of this one...: it's an interview on the UK program Loose Women, from April 19th, which is fairly entertaining, and followed by a performance of two songs.



I'm glad Tori touched upon almost all of her albums during the concert, although it was surprising that she didn't perform any pieces from Scarlet's Walk. I imagine it all must depend on her mood and the location, as well as what strikes her fancy at the time. Of course, there may be many more things that come into play when deciding on a set list, but I think she did an excellent job of keeping us on the edge of our seats, and I waited with baited breath from one song to the next to hear what she would put out there. And of course, being the complete nerd that I am, I couldn't stop myself from keeping the rhythm right there in my seat. Why oh why don't the French get more into concerts, by the way? I have to admit I haven't been to live concerts that often here in Paris (I did mention that I was a bit of a homebody, didn't I?!), but I would have thought people would be up on their feet, singing and dancing along -- alas, this was not the case... Perhaps because the songs are in English? If someone can enlighten me...

Tori really must have been in a Pele mood, as Lauren and Kyliemac both pointed out, because she ended up performing four songs from that album, as well as an interlude "playing" of Professional Widow while she was taking her break. It was great to hear some of her lesser-known pieces as well, including Siren -- I love that song, but couldn't place where I had heard it before... Of course, Lauren saved the day for me once again by letting me know it was from the Great Expectations soundtrack. Now I seriously want to get my hands on that! (Anyone want to loan me a copy? Pretty-please?!)

I also finally pulled out my copy of Piece by Piece, the joint autobiography Tori wrote with Ann Powers two years ago, which I picked up back then but still haven't gotten around to reading. I believe now may be the time...

P.S. ~ I just wanted to add an extra little note here at the end to thank all the gals for a great evening out; the concert was unforgettable, and I'm so glad we were able to work out the details and make it happen! Long live Tori-mania...

10 comments:

Lee Ann said...

FULLY agree with you about the French not getting into concerts. It's so weird! Yet, one time when I went to go see Tori in the States (maybe ten years ago, wow) people were seated as well. So it's hard to say. The same deal with a Tracy Chapman concert. Some artists are just not the kind you dance to, you know? I think I could put Tori in that crowd.

I'm jealous you got to see her, and I also have liked the new album more than her other recent stuff. So yay!

Mil said...

I saw Tori about 10 years ago in London at the Royal Albert Hall and maybe it was the venue, but there wasn't much dancing going on there either (and the English really know how to enjoy a gig). I think Lee Ann is probably right - maybe she's someone you just don't dance to.
I'm really jealous you got to see here - there are simply no options for decent live music here.
I also know what you mean about feeling thirsty for more information when you've been to a gig - you just want to immerse yourself in the music & everything about the artist. I get that sometimes without even going to a gig.
I'd love to know what you think of Piece by Piece too. I love music biographies/autobiographies & I think Tori's would be quite interesting.

ColourMeCrazy said...

Sounds like you had a really great night out. I have to admit, I'm not really familiar with Tori's music - after your review - I might check it out. As for the French and concerts - hmmm.. I've been to a few and it takes a while for them to get into it but I find after about an hour, they do tend to get up and move. It might also depend on the crowd - I've been to a Cali concert and things were wild!

jchevais said...

It was a good night out with the girls. Nice to actually meet up with some of the others on the Paris interweb.

I haven't written a post about this evening myself because I'm still not sure about it. What I mean is that I hadn't done my homework (listened to any of her latest albums) so I sort of felt like I was in the dark during the entire set. Also, with Tori being backlit and a terrible stagelight blaring in my eyes, I spent a lot of time with a weird alienated feeling. But I tapped my fingers nonetheless. I'm looking forward to listening to her albums because even the songs that I absolutely love off of that one album I have, sounded weird to me. A bit off. I'm sure that her studio worked albums will do the trick for me.

The French do rock out at concerts. When I went to that NIN concert in February, even us geezers with seats (not in the mosh pit) were rocking around, and little by little we were standing.

But it could also have to do with the venue. At the Palais des Congrès, I sort of got the feeling that I was in an austere orchestral hall... so no... rocking out didn't seem to be an option.

little fugitive said...

It was fun to read about the concert, sounds like a wonderful night for you late Bloomer. And the fact that you came together to a Tori concert through your blogs is so interesting.

I'll be seeing the Who at Bercy tomorrow, yes I know they are senior citizens but by all accounts still rock fiercely - I hope the Paris crowd can do the same!

Aralena said...

Loved the concert and love your post on the afterglow! Tori is therapy. Our seats weren't terrific either, but I agree that the sound and emotion resonating from T. and Bö were (almost) enough. Next time I'm bring binoculars.

I've yet to see a concert in France where people go off much, but the guy sitting next to me could barely keep from simulating the drumming and pumping his fists to Tori - so maybe there's hope!

The Late Bloomer said...

OK, so maybe Tori's not exactly the kind of music you dance to, I can see that... But still, she does make you wanna move, non? I don't know, I had a hard time restraining my body parts, but maybe that's just me!

Mil, once I get into the book, I'll let you know how it is... It's definitely been on my list of "to-be-read" titles for quite some time now, but somehow that list seems to get longer rather than shorter! I've got to restrain myself from buying any more books...

Jenn, I'm really sorry that that light was so pesky; I was trying to ignore it, but you're right it was a bit of a nuisance and at times definitely detracted from the experience. I was trying to really soak everything up, but it definitely wasn't "perfect", if I'm completely honest with myself. I had a great night, but it could always have been better! I think I just love her music and her style so much it's hard for me to say anything negative! But after reading some of the reviews of the performance in Paris itself, it appears that she wasn't entirely the same as she has been at other venues, not as warm or as engaging. Which is definitely something I noticed too, the fact that she didn't interact with the crowd much at all or even say good night at the end... But I chalked it up to the fact that she's in France and it isn't an English-speaking country. But still...

Little Fugitive, you really know your music, and you sound like a gifted artist yourself, so I'm sure you would know what the good concerts are. Hope you enjoed the Who!

Aralena, so glad you made it to the concert too -- I wish I had known you were there, would have loved to bump into you too! Will you be at the picnic on Saturday?

DestinationMetz said...

Are you into Cat Power at all? She's a beautiful songwriter, I think you might like her.

If you want to see some funny French dancing you should meet my fiance and his friends- they are into punk and post punk and go ballistic dancing at gigs. I myself am completley shy and never dance, I wish I could! But I don't think they are very typical of normal Frenchies, hehe, they seem very influenced by English stuff.

Scribbit said...

Sounds like you had a great time.

Maybe I ought to check her out on itunes at least! :)

frog with a blog said...

Hey you foxy lady! A message to Ace's readers who haven't met her live yet. She is HOT! and fun! I almost changed sexual orientation when I met her. Seriously.
Well, just to say that it was lovely to meet you on Saturday dear.