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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Tori Amos Hypnotizes Boston

The song was released many years ago but 3,700 fans sat mesmerized as Tori Amos sat alone under a spotlight between her Bosendorfer piano and multiple keyboards and sang “Me and a Gun,” her personal account of being raped years back. No one in the audience moved while Amos’ voice ranged from strong and powerful to almost a whisper at some points. Amos’ ability to hypnotize the audience was not only with this electrifying song but also throughout the night. All of Amos’ tunes were met with applauds as she entered the first few lines of every song and turned the audience into unblinking, amazed listeners who knew every word to every song, even the covered ones.

Touring to support her latest album, Strange Little Girls, Amos visited The Wang Center last Monday night telling her fans, “This is one of my favorite places.” Strange Little Girls is a compilation of songs written by men that Amos covers. Her show began with a tattered black curtain masking the stage while Amos covered Eminem’s ” ’97 Bonnie & Clyde.” The haunting spoken-word was backed by Amos’ signature piano sound.

Amos bantered very little between songs and generally went from one passionate ending to a powerful, yet ethereal beginning of a new song. Playing to her following, she incorporated many old songs into this tour like “Icicle,” “Horses,” and “Little Earthquakes.” Amos also sang an audience favorite “Leather” which proved to be one of her more successful tunes of the night.

Amos’ concerts are not like many we see in Boston. She approaches them like a theater production and usually performs them in actual theaters. The stage was backed by a white curtain that absorbed the lighting that differed for every song. Amos, dressed in a white pantsuit with tails, and her keyboards were neatly placed in front of a four-piece set of geometrically shaped flats. Although she didn’t say much, her stage presence was incredible, even when she tours without her band, as she did this time around. Watching her play piano was entertaining in itself as she can be full of angst, sorrow, joy or humor while rarely staying sedentary on her piano bench.

Amos finished out the show with two encores. She did an impressive cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” and ended her first encore with an apropos choice “Please Come to Boston.” After receiving a standing ovation twice, Amos graced the stage one final time that evening to sing “Honey,” “Marianne,” and “Pandora’s Aquarium” all which proved how much range and power Amos has over her voice, as well as her piano.

The opening act, Rufus Wainwright, was good, but not as good as he could be. His albums reveal a confident young musician and Wainwright didn’t quite manage the stage in quite the self-assured manner one might expect. In a somewhat coffeehouse type setup, Wainwright sang and played guitar from a stool, only taking a few songs out to play keyboard.