I attended the M&G today (my first) and had a picture and my bf gave her my Orange Pele book to sign.
As for the show, I am probably very biased as it’s my first show but it was simply fantastic…the sound, the lighting the stage set-up (what I could see of it at least, Tori was just a blur to me as was everyone else on stage so I have no clue what she was wearing….damn my eyesight)
Tori’s voice was on top form, she hit the high notes in Hey Jupiter, Yes Anastasia and Ribbons Undone…probably more but I can’t remember. But yes all in all besides the sight problems a wonderful show…the orchestra was fantastic (I think I noticed one bum note by one of the brass players in Programmable Soda, but maybe it was intentional, it just sounded off to ne and I haven’t heard the previous night’s performances to compare it to) but other than that they were top notch. The orchestra breathed new life into songs that everyone has heard on tour time and time again and it was a refreshing change. Many songs had little instrumental breaks in between lines and verses (can’t think which off the top of my head but if you know the songs well you would notice them) I had to hold back tears during Ribbons Undone, Winter, Golddust & Dutchman. Wonderful, wonderful show. Even my non EWF boyfriend approves!
Looks like I might be the first to post, so I will warn you up front that this isn’t a full review :)
I got to hear a little bit of sound check. I booked the last tour of the day @ Royal Albert Hall specifically for this. And I wasn’t alone. There were 3 other US + 1 Dutch (I think) Tori fans there too. I think we were lucky. I overheard the ticket folks gossiping and it sounded like Tori got pissed when one of the earlier tours went through. Our tour guide was awesome and let us hang out way up in the gallery for a few extra minutes (likely boring for the other 15 folks on the tour). Sound check included the intro to Winter multiple times (think they were still having problems with it, but I am not a musician, so I have no clue what the problem was) Precious Things, Yes Anastasia, heard a few others faintly that I couldn’t identify (I didn’t hear any full songs, just bits & pieces).
Even though no photos were allowed during the tour, they seemed very ok with people taking them before/during/after the show.
Tori – I was a little far away, but I thought she looked a little like Robert Plant with the curly hair. I kept waiting for her to break into Stairway (but I decided that it was best not to shout out my request).
Highlight – Hey Jupiter – This is one of my favorites anyway, but tonight’s was one of the most moving versions ever. I would definitely suggest that you check it out once it hits the youtubes. I am not the biggest fan of all of the orchestral arrangements, but this was a fabulous example of it meshing well. Flavor is another example where I think that it works well.
I share the opinion expressed by many fans in thinking that Programmable Soda is a “throwaway” song, and was disappointed to see it make the album. But she definitely has a lot of fun with it in the live show. And even if you hate it, it is short so you won’t suffer for long.
Many other really good performances in the show, though nothing really “popped” for me as much as Hey Jupiter did. I have only had one listen through the new album so far, so I don’t know whether or not the performances were any different from those on the album.
1) merch – don’t get your hopes up. On the plus side, more money to spend on the next tour. Also, the sales were pretty poorly organized. In the land of the queue, i think the folks were overwhelmed by the sea of people rushing at them, because there was no sense of order that I could see.
2) I was pleased to learn that 2 Tori concert mainstays – “drunk guy who wants to sing louder than Tori” and “person who loses his shit during every song” were visible at tonight’s show. I thought they were limited to just US venues. I could tell that the second guy was going to be trouble right from the start. He showed up drunk and/or high. Before the show started, he was dancing in the aisles to whatever song was playing in his head (because he definitely wasn’t dancing to what they were playing over the speakers).
3)Based on comments in the other show reviews, I am now SO glad that I didn’t change my vacation plans to hit another show. But at the same time, I am definitely glad that I was fortunate enough to catch this unique show. Hopefully they will figure out a way to sell the live performances for the many, many fans who weren’t able to catch a show.
(Please excuse any typos; I cranked this out on my phone, and I might’ve missed a few mistakes)
d t says:
I’m so thrilled I could see this show! Such an honor. I traveled from Asia just to see this! 2nd ever Tori show. Missed the meet and greet – got there around 4 and just milled around. The Albert Hall is an amazing venue and I hope Tori gets to play here again.
The orchestral arrangements were all quite different from the album’s arrangements. Almost all the songs (except for about 6 of them) had an intro played by the orchestra – which were gorgeous. My favorites were Cloud on my Tongue, Snow Cherries, Jackie, Edge of the Moon and Silent.
I think Jackie was for me the best performance of the night – one of the few where I felt Tori and the Metropole really cohered together and delivered a moving performance. The new arrangement of Hey Jupiter is interesting – I hear a lot of Debussy/Ravel in it, but overall I prefer her solo versions. She played only about half of Ribbons Undone – didn’t get to the second chorus. Edge of the Moon was MADE for the orchestra – absolutely brilliant. Gold Dust made everyone go quiet. Star of Wonder was a lot of fun. I adore the song and I was happy when it showed up on the encore.
Overall I found that some of the songs felt rushed. Maybe I was sad everything was going by so quickly! In most of the songs there were pauses in between Tori’s singing for the orchestra to deliver a short musical phrase here and there. So it really felt like a conversation between T and the Orkest.
The lighting was really amazing too on this show. Girl Disappearing (also a standout performance) and Leather are two instances I remember being really bedazzled by what was going on with the lights.
This is my fifth time seeing Tori and definitely the best concert of hers that I’ve ever seen. Maybe it was just me and the guy sitting next to me who shared his tissues, but I feel like everyone in the audience was just consistently gutted and floored, song after song after song. She received the longest standing ovation I’ve ever seen at any concert, ever (people were still standing there clapping, chanting “TORITORI” and stomping their feet even after the lights came on)
Flying Dutchman – Came onstage wearing glasses and an aquamarine outfit that made me think of mermaids. She stopped right after the “and you’ll never do anything” bit, exclaiming “I fucked it up again!” and playfully hit herself on the head. Pretty cute. The audience cheered really loud for her. drums or whatever you call them (percussion) were really loud. A great way to open the show.
Cloud On My Tongue- Pretty string intro. The audience cheered really loud once they realized what it was. The strings during the “circles and circles” bit was really nice. She ended the song with “she and he and we and me,” whispering the last word with a really mischievous smile. When the song ended she introduced the orchestra as “my new friends; I have a lot of them” and the conductor (what a cutie!). Then she said something along the lines of “Tash I know you’re up there in your box seat with your friends” and everybody’s eyes swiveled towards this box seat where all these tiny arms where waving and several pre-teen squeals were erupting. Pretty surreal to think that Tash was sitting like right there?! I wonder what on earth she thinks of all these people who are so passionately committed to her mother and her music. I hope she finds it moving and flattering as opposed to creepy or weird… Anyway, Tori also went on to say “I know that you’ve got your chocolate and your soda and you’re going to give your teachers your best tomorrow. Mothers, isn’t it wonderful when your kids listen?” It was pretty cute.
Baker Baker- Gorgeous.
Marianne- I was surprised by how fast this was.
Snow Cherries From France- Another gorgeous string intro.
“Call My Name” improv- Took her glasses off for this.
Ribbons Undone (solo)- Sang “It is your time Tash” right at the end and blew a little kiss into the audience. So sweet; you could really sense all the love that she has for her daughter.
Hey Jupiter- WOW, this version was incredible. One of the first Tori songs I ever really loved. There was some percussion for this. She sang “found your writing on my wall” really loudly as well as the “i go from day to day” part at the end.
Jackie’s Strength- Really nice to hear. God, I know I’m saying the exact same thing for every song, but it’s really true: even for songs that already have strings on the album, I was shocked to hear how much a full orchestra added to them. It was during this song that I got the sense that all of these songs were basically telling the story of a life: relationships, marriage, childhood friends, daughters, teenage angst… Gah, yet another reason to really appreciate the depth of feeling in Tori’s catalog.
Winter- Fabulous; this was like the third time I’ve heard the song live and was definitely the best.
Yes, Anastasia- YAY, one of my favorites. Started with the “1919” bit. She banged the piano really hard at the end and seemed really pleased and thrilled.
Flavor- The orchestra (especially the horns) were really loud and intense during the chorus. This is definitely one of the more radically transformed songs.
Girl Disappearing- The lights during this were crazy; all these dancing white and blue lights shined on the audience making us look like a constellation. Really made the lyric “so I’m running to a constellation where they can still see you” that much more meaningful.
Silent All These Years- Classic Tori. The way she sang “here” reminded me of how she sang “here” in Baker Baker. I love discovering links between the songs!
Leather- Wow, I NEVER listen to the album version of this song because I HATE it but hearing it live with the orchestra was SO FUN. Tori seemed to be having a blast playing this—it really made me think about how she has been performing for 40+ YEARS… She just seemed like a complete pro while playing this.
Edge Of The Moon- Sang this very passionately, especially the “I’m going back” part. I’m so happy she played this. With this song she basically played from her entire catalog with the exception of “Venus” and “Strange Little Girls.”
Gold Dust- God I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house during this one, and if there was then they need to check if they’re human. Just devastating. Most gorgeous string intro of the night.
Precious Things- Probably the most dramatically transformed song apart from Hey Jupiter. Just epic.
Star Of Wonder- Really awesome with the orchestra. Very Led Zeppelin with groovy drum beats. The audience especially seemed to enjoy this.
Programmable Soda- Loved it. It was awesome to have a short Beatles-esque romp to break up the mood of having one emotionally wrenching song after another. The horns were particularly loud on this one. Tori seemed to be having the BEST time.
Our New Year- Very sad. She sang the last “you’re not there” very loudly and passionately.
Tori was so cute all night, bouncing up and down and just seemed genuinely happy and thrilled to be there. It is quite impressive that her career has reached this point: playing with an orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall?? And knocking it out, at that. So many of the other female 90’s artists I was into in my youth (!) have gone on to do work that is just no longer interesting or captivating, so I think it really speaks a lot that Tori is still doing work that is intriguing, risky and different, especially in an industry that is not supportive to 40+ women.
On a side note, does anybody know who the bald guy was that she brought out onto the stage with her at one point? I think it was either right before the encore or the 1st time she came back during the standing ovation at the end (the 2nd time she came back was with the conductor, who I thought was totally F-I-N-E, by the way).
[The "bald guy" was John Phillip Shenale. +woj]
A lovely show – and Tori was having so much fun! It was really interesting to see how she adapted to playing with the orchestra – she was often counted in by the conductor – and how she had to pace herself to keep time. But that structure meant that this show wasnt as “free” as her normal performances: if this was your first Tori show, do try and see her perform solo at some point!
I had a problem with people sitting in front of me continually taking flash photos – everytime they held up their camera I couldnt see, and they were taking maybe 10, 15 pictures in every song. It seems strange to me that people cant a) enjoy the performance while they are there or b) understand that their behaviour might impact on others. This really ruined the first half for me (until I told them to stop it!) – please dont ruin the concert for others by making them view it through your viewfinder! :)
Watching Tori with the Metropole was such a different experience compared to the solo or band gigs. I’d read in interviews recently that she has to be totally on the ball, and that really came through.
In ‘Flying Dutchman’ (the opening song) she missed her queue before ‘…take a trip on a rocket ship…’ and grabbed her head, yelling, “Fuck! I fucked it up!”, but the Orchestra and Jules Buckley – the incredible 32-year old conductor – laughed along, and they took it from the top again. I was tense for the next 5 songs! It struck me as a strange opener as the narrative weaves all over the place, but that just defines what she’s like. Jumping straight in with both feet.
The structure of the performance meant that Tori was singing, playing the piano, reading sheet music with her glasses on and still trying to interact with the audience. There were some periods when it was obvious that to get through she had to be focusing on the Orchestra, but her talent is ridiculous. Every song, apart from ‘Leather’ and ‘Ribbons Undone’ (which was a solo) had some additions – extended bridges or musical interludes. I’ve got no doubt this was to allow Tori some time to breath. ‘Leather’ marched along and was one of the highlights for me. As it wasn’t changed structurally Tori really let rip and seemed confident. The Orchestra seemed to tear it up as well.
‘Silent All These Years’ seemed really fast, but that’s because we’re used to seeing Tori ham it up a bit on this song. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard a restructured version of it, and it worked really well. ‘Cloud On My Tongue’ was followed by ‘Baker Baker’ which seemed appropriate as I’ve always seen these two songs as joined in some way. ‘Ribbons Undone’ was Tori’s sole solo song, which was clearly directed at her daughter as she sang, “Now is your time, Tash…” and blew her a kiss at the end. Previously she’d warned her about eating too many sweets and playing up at school tomorrow. The whole show I felt was about family, and I’ve often thought the closing song, ‘Our New Year’ was perhaps about her brother.
‘Precious Things’ and ‘Yes, Anastasia’ were both true to the album – fast and filled with the amazing Metropole. I love seeing all those bows flying up and down! Tori hit the high notes on both those songs absolutely perfect. Almost too perfectly, maybe…. And just to mention Jules Buckley again, he was totally in control. There’s no doubt Tori was leaning on him every step of the way, and he was nodding, counting her in, and (in my opinion) repairing at least two small errors in ‘Jackie’s Strength’ which just didn’t quite hold together. It was a fantastic relationship to watch, and they seemed so happy at the end.
At beginning of the second half Tori brought John Philip Shenale out on the stage to take a bow with her. I hope people knew who he was, and I’m glad he was there to hear his music come to life.
‘Gold Dust’ was beautiful, as was ‘Edge Of The Moon’. I can live without ‘Ribbons Undone’ and ‘Girl Disappearing’ but I’ve always felt that. ‘Flavor’ was almost perfect (one missed cue that only affected one word), but my gig highlight – ‘Leather’! I’d loved to have seen ‘China’ too!
Overall a really powerful night. I was so tense! So much concentration. I can’t imagine how exhausting that would have been for Tori. I’m in deep admiration. The marriage of Tori and the Orchestra was overwhelming, and I’m really glad she had Jules Buckley there with her. I hope they’ve soundboarded some of this. Definitely makes you walk away and wonder what you’re doing with your life! Tori singing in specs and silk pajamas…. she looked like a naughty secretary! :-)
The collective sound of her and the orchestra was amazing, really beautiful, and her vocals were bang on. The songs not-on-the-record worked best I think, so ‘Baker Baker’ and ‘Hey Jupiter’ were my highlights; plus this was the first show I have seen her do ‘Gold Dust’ at and I love love loved it.
It felt like she was so restricted having to play with the orchestra – taking her cues from the conductor, keeping in time with the other players… obviously you can see why it needs to be this way but in terms of a performance it felt so controlled and…. well… not like Tori. She definitely loosened up in the second half to be fair, but really I just wanted her to bust out and do some solo stuff! On that note, ‘Ribbons Undone’ ranks pretty near the bottom of the list of songs I want to see her do live, so that was unfortunate… that said, easily the best version I have heard of it. But ‘Purple People’ and ‘here in my head’ the two previous nights?? I feel cheated!! Think a few more solo songs would have helped the night and broken it up a bit.
The encore as well was a bit limp in terms of song selection.. ‘Maybe Cali’ no?
She fucked up the first song as well in the first verse and had to start over which i don;t think anyone mentioned.
All that said, there’s nothing I would rather have been doing than seeing the show and really she can do no wrong in my eyes! Just not my favourite performance by a long way…
Very much enjoyed the show last night … except for the multitude of people needing to record the show and take unlimited pics throughout; thereby obstructing our view for most of the concert. I especially enjoyed the woman tapping her foot next to me and being “at one” with the music … but over all it was a treat of a night and a brilliant show by Tori.
I have a quick question about the merch … there was a tee at the merch stand which was black and had what looked like a dead (?) avatar character on it. The graphic also features in the Gold Dust album, which appears to be a graffiti on a wall somewhere … does anyone know what it actually is?
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