Concert review: Tori Amos at the Murat, Aug. 7 

Tori Amos slinked on stage Friday night at the Murat Theater wearing a florescent orange and blue gown, gold leggings and stiletto heels. Opening the show with her back to the audience, she swayed her hips to "Give," the first track off the new album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin.

"This place is special to me," Amos later told the audience of the Murat Theatre Friday night. "I had my first date with my husband 15 years ago in Indianapolis. Nobody knows we were courting. We ended up sleeping beside each other with our clothes on, and we've been together ever since."

Straddling a piano bench gave her the ability to switch between instruments, simultaneously playing her grand Bösendorfer, a midi keyboard, and two other keyboards behind her. Along for the two-hour ride were longtime collaborators Matt Chamberlain on drums and Jon Evans on bass.

Emotive and otherworldly, Amos inflamed the audience with hits from her 1992 debut, Little Earthquakes, bringing fans to their feet on "Cornflake Girl" and "Crucify." She also introduced the minimalistic "Sterling," which evoked a fairytale visual of the songstress in front of an Emerald City-like backdrop. "Welcome to England" and "Fast Horse" also made themselves known, while later, Amos threw in "Gold Dust" off 2002's Scarlet's Walk, "Tear in Your Hand" and "Ireland," a track she had not yet showcased on this tour. Her solo performance on these made Amos seem fragile and small, lulling fans back to their seats.

Though, none so much as "Precious Things" animated the musician, as she thrust into her piano with wisps of long red hair falling carelessly over her face. A sinister version of "Strong Black Vine" followed, with Amos snarling her tongue as she sang "push that evil from you." And in humble fashion, she bowed and bent her hands in prayerful "thank you" before the Murat filled with shouts demanding an encore.

Resurrecting "Raspberry Swirl" off From the Choirgirl Hotel brought Amos back out, dancing, followed by enthusiastic clapping and call-and-response antics during "Big Wheel," after which she blew kisses to her fans and waved goodbye.

Though reserved and soft-spoken during press interviews, Amos seemed to relive moments of her life on the stage, showing how gracefully she has aged musically in the past two decades, evolving into one of the most captivating songwriters of this generation.

Opening for Amos was London's One Eskimo, a four-piece indie rock band comprised of Kristian Leontiou, whose voice resembled a mix of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins; Jamie Sefton on fretless acoustic bass and trumpet; Adam Falkner on drums (including wood block and brushes); and Pete Rinaldi on acoustic guitar. When Leontiou sang "let me face the hurricanes," he moved a woman in the audience so much that she admitted the song "made her hair stand up"--(not bad for a new band). Though only a 20-minute performance, One Eskimo played "Hometime," "Kandi" and "Amazing," among other songs from their upcoming, self-titled debut release out this September, which will be set to an animated series, "The Adventures of One Eskimo."


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