Tori Amos at The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
Tori Amos at The Olympia Theatre – 7th May 2014
There’s a scene in Moulin Rouge where the mysterious “Satine” descends into an adoring wondrous crowd amidst whispers of “There she is.. the sparkling diamond.”
A similar sentiment engulfed the red velvet of The Olympia Theatre when Tori Amos appeared on stage last night. Casting a musical spell upon her devotees, she crafted her melodies into a fine haze of pitch perfect heaven.
Enthusiastic bearded followers whoooing at her entrance muted instantly once she began. A respectful appreciative silence ensued as the first notes of “Parasol” scented the air. From her eighth album “The Beekeeper”, 2005, she releases the live version full throttle.
The second night of her “Unrepentant Geraldines” tour, the album title is inspired by a painting from Irish artist Daniel Maclise, portraying a woman beseeching repentance from the Virgin Mary. Acknowledgement for the locals comes next with “Ireland” a folky flavoured song of the author travelling to Ireland with her friends, staged with shimmering emerald green hues from the faux brick backdrop.
Further down the set list came “Three Babies” by Sinead O’Connor. Intense, gentle, china delicate delivery of O’Connors personal experience of miscarriage. The Olympia stopped breathing. The audience couldn’t quite believe it. Tiny vocal delays echoed through the circles, emphasising the sentiments of grief and isolation. A priceless musical memory.
Lightening the atmosphere, Tori takes on an impish and playful tone. Improvising into her Lizard Lounge, taking requests in her killer heels. The songbird straddles her baby grand piano and keyboard as she serenades a Ricky Lee, the lucky fella whoever he is. Seamlessly blending the new and the old, “Tear In Your Hand” and “China” from her “Little Earthquakes” album satisfy the beardy appetites for the 90’s. The unmistakeable line of ” Excuse me but can I be you for a while ? ” insulating the audience with nostalgia.
“16 Shades Of Blue” from her new album emerges after “Leather”, A glimpse of Amos as she enhances the taste of her alt pop piano, bringing the willing worshippers into her new realm. Centring lyrically around Tori turning fifty, her witty observations are packaged in hook laden melody. The title relates to Cezannes painting of the same name. Tiny blue lights hug the stage as this observation of time, effect and age concludes on the lines “Before you drop another verbal bomb/ can I arm myself with Cezanne’s 16 shades of blue ? ”
Current single “Trouble’s Lament” opens the encore. “Never Seen Blue”, laced with the tragic imagery of abuse follows. Originally released as a b side to “Jackie’s Strength” in 2005, hardcore fans know it all. Closing with “Strange Little Girls” from the concept album in 2001. Piano replacing guitars Tori gives it one last blast. She leaves with graceful bows to a standing ovation. The spell dissipates into the air as she disappears.
“Unrepentant Geraldines” is released on May 12th on Mercury Classics.
Review by Ciara Sheahan
Photos by David Doyle