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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rounding Up The American Doll Posse

So an early anniversary present from my wife, in lieu of a Force FX Mace Windu Lightsaber collectible, was tickets to see Tori Amos when she appeared here in Montreal, at Place Des Arts. While Tori wasn’t doing press interviews this tour, (meaning that I didn’t get to talk with her as I’d hoped to), getting to see her live was nevertheless an unforgettable experience.

Let’s get the bad out of the way, first: While the Wilfrid-Pelletier hall at Place Des Arts is acoustically perfect, the seating is terrible: cramped, uncomfortable, about as ergonomic as a 14th century Middle European church pew. By the end of the show I had a backache, and my right shoulder felt like it was on fire. I’d suggest to Place Des Arts that it’s time to replace seating that I can only presume is original to the 1963 Wilfrid Pelletier arena.

Having said that, on to the concert, itself: Tori has developed quite an elaborate mythology for this album and tour, including five distinct characters (including herself) who each play parts in the musical storytelling on ‘American Doll Posse’. For the Montreal show we were greeted by two of these characters: “Isabel”, who played for the first half of the two-hour set, and Tori, herself for the last hour.

Now, I have to admit I find the whole stage-persona-role-playing thing a tad pretentious and a little distracting at first, once I did get past it I was able to thoroughly enjoy the show. Tori delivers a fantastic live set and it was obvious that she was enjoying herself. The crowd was engaged and enthralled and Tori was devoted to the performance, which is more than I can say for a lot of acts I’ve seen live.

All in all it was a great show, and I would definitely pay to see her live, again, though hopefully at a venue with more comfortable seating.