Tori Amos never changes.  And that’s awesome.

She brought her Native Invader tour to the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine’s campus on October 24, 2017, much to the delight of the Tori fans packed into the small venue.  I think she should have played a bigger venue, but hey, that’s just me.   She certainly has the ability to always draw and entice an audience.  This show was no exception.

Scars 45 opened, a lovely trio from the United Kingdom.  We were mentioned as the biggest audience they had ever played too, which I loved, thinking personally of how cool of an accomplishment that must be.  I really enjoyed their music.  It had that shy, yet beautiful feel to it, something that very much reminded me of Europe.  I’ll be watching for them in the future, as I feel they certainly have one ahead of them.

I was initially a little wary of seeing Tori on this tour.  To be honest, I dropped off of listening to her intently after “A Sorta Fairytale” (which I adored, by the way).  So I was concerned that if I saw her, I’d know maybe two songs.  That certainly was not the case.  She’s not one to play her new album and bow out, that’s for sure.  Only two songs from the new album were played and she filled the rest of the evening with her past work.  The same as always, she happily bounded to the stage, her long red hair hanging loosely behind her, to play her harpsicord and enormous Bösendorfer, often at the same time. The sound of that Bösendorfer is incredible and she plays it flawlessly.  The woman can command a solo show in ways that entire bands can’t even do.

She opened the show with “iiee” (welcome back to 1998).  The remainder of her set pretty much spanned her career, as much as it could in the allotted time.  She rolled into “Space Dog”, then jumped ahead years into a personal favorite of mine, “Amber Waves”.  “Twinkle” and others followed, only to have the crowd up on their feet for a rousing version of “Crucify”.  She then took the time to play some covers.  “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac and then “Purple Rain” for the Minnesotans.  I love her rendition of that song.  For the Tori fans, we’ve been hearing it for years on the thousands of bootlegs out there if we hadn’t had the chance to hear it live yet.  It wasn’t her last tribute to Prince for the evening, incorporating bits of “When Doves Cry” into “Way Down” later in the night.

This is the first time I have seen Tori Amos live when she hasn’t played, “Me and a Gun”.  I didn’t realize that until after the show and I’m curious as to why she doesn’t play it anymore.  It always seemed to me like it was a type of therapy for her.  The version of “Winter” was incredibly emotional, nearly causing her to break down at the end of it, so I’m feeling like she always has one song in her set that is very sensitive on her end.  The evening closed out with “A Sorta Fairytale”, a happy note to leave on. I love that song.

Review by Tracy Hansen – Photos by Kyle Hansen