After a five-year hiatus from touring, Tori Amos closed out her US tour with three unprecedented sold-out nights at the magical Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, CA. Touring in support of her recent album, Ocean to Ocean, Amos also celebrated the 30th anniversary of her highly acclaimed debut album, Little Earthquakes.
Her devout following filled the room with sheer delight. The energy of the packed crowd was joyous and friendly, as people greeted each other with smiles and laughter. It didn’t go unnoticed that this Fairy Godmother wondrously appeared to perform during June, as the LGBTQIA+ community was celebrating Pride Month.
Amos is known for her undying support and love for the community.
It’s been 23 years since I last saw Tori Amos on the 5 1/2 Weeks Tour with Alanis Morissette. As I prepared for the show, my memories drifted back to when I was ironically 23 years old, and saw Tori for the first time at The Greek Theatre in 1996… standing in line, with my curly red hair and fairy charm in my hand to gift her. It feels like I’ve lived two lifetimes since I last experienced her magic.
As the lights dimmed, Tori, with her elegantly flowing red locks and signature glasses, took to the stage in a beautiful pink and floral kimono-like suit to a standing ovation. She flashed her beautiful smile, waived to the crowd and took place on her throne between her beloved Bosendorfer piano and keyboards.
Amos, accompanied by her longtime bass player and drummer, launched into “Juarez” followed
by “Bouncing”. As the screaming crowd remained on their feet, Tori expressed how she had always dreamed of playing the historic Orpheum Theatre while living in LA so many years ago. She then affectionately introduced her phenomenally talented bass player, Jon Evans, who has been devotedly touring with her since 1998. She also presented her exceptionally talented drummer Ash Soan, who was seated behind his incredible percussion command center. During “Honey”, Evans showed off his mad standup bass skills, while Soan highlighted his brilliant percussion skills. Watching Tori perform this many years later, she still takes you through the story of her life. Through her new songs, you can feel her recent life experiences in “Ocean to Ocean”, “Addition of
Light Divided” and “Devil’s Bane”.
Tori took fans on a trip through the past, sharing with the crowd “Past the Mission”, “A Sort of Fairy
Tale” and giving a nod to Little Earthquakes with “Cornflake Girl” and “Me and a Gun”. Jon and Ash
left the stage as Tori took to centerstage on a stool. She delivered the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, beautifully told story of “Me and a Gun”, the only stop on the tour to see the song on the set list. You could hear sobs in the crowd as I held my friend’s hand, tears streaming down our faces.
The lyrics hit differently, 30 years of life experience later.
You could feel the melancholy of the collective audience as I sensed them, too, navigating through their own memories. She then gracefully transitioned back to the piano for the soul-lifting “Never Seen Blue”, bringing the crowd back to their feet once again, wiping tears from their cheeks.
As she approached the two-hour mark, Tori patted her dear Bosendorfer in appreciation before returning to the stage for an encore of “Sugar”. Tori closed out the night in support of her larger-than-life LGBTQIA+ family, adding beautifully to the lyrics of “Take to the Sky” with the crowd on their feet as they danced and sang along at the top of their lungs: “You can say it one more time // GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY // You can say it one more time, what you don’t like // Let me hear it, one more time then // Have a seat while I take to the sky.”