Tori Amos - Gold Dust Orchestral Tour 2012
03/10/12 - Royal Albert Hall, Londra

By Alessandra Leoni
The moment that I realized that I was going to London, to attend a unique concert, surely the best of this year, was when the plane landed in London Gatwick. The second moment I realized that I was going to see Tori Amos with the Metropole Orkest was when I had the glorious Royal Albert Hall in front of me, majestically glowing in the night. Words are definitely failing me in the attempt to describe such a place, one of the best concert halls in the whole world: I could feel in the air that was going to be a special and memorable night.

2012 is definitely a special year for Tori Amos: "Gold Dust", the collection of 20 years of songs re-arranged by her longtime collaborator John Philip Shenale and recorded with an orchestra, has been just released and the short tour - that unfortunately hasn't any gig planned in Italy - has just kicked off and I couldn't miss the chance to see her performance with an orchestra and hear her songs with some fresh and different arrangements.

The Royal Albert Hall was full, when the lights are all pointed on the Dutch Orchestra, her conductor and on Tori's Bösendorfer, and Tori herself, who walks onstage after everybody else. I think is pretty boring to talk about the setlist of the concert track by track, but I can't but tell you the beginning of this performance as Tori brilliantly fucks up "Flying Dutchman" forcing the orchestra to begin once again. What's really cool and funny is that Tori laughs at her mistake, without giving in to the pressure that such an event might make her feel. She is ready to begin once again, taking us by the hand and leading us into a magical musical trip, where each song is a story, a story told by Tori's voice and the illustrations are drew and painted by her piano and the orchestra. And that's the purpose of having the orchestra at her side: to add more colors to her songs, which have a new charm, and each song has a small orchestral introduction, which lead the listeners to guess which song was going to be played. "Under The Pink" was represented by the majestic "Yes, Anastasia", the melancholic "Baker Baker" and the intense "Cloud On My Tongue", where as from "Little Earthquakes" the evergreen "Winter", "Precious Things" and "Silent All These Years" are taken. The latter has an incredible and intense bridge on "Baby don't look up / the sky is falling", definitely one the best songs of the evening. "Hey Jupiter" was the song that had a completely different arrangement, compared to the studio version, so that was the surprise for the concert. A very touching moment was when Tori performed "Snow Cherries From France" - dedicated to her husband - and "Ribbons Undone" - dedicated to her 12-year-old daughter Tash, who was attending the concert together with some friends of hers. You could see her happy to perform and to be on stage, surrounded by her beloved ones and her loyal fans. The more recent songs were quite interesting to hear, and "Programmable Soda" was for sure a funny divertissement and "Girl Disappearing" was even more dramatic with the support of the entire orchestra. Not to mention "Star Of Wonder", taken from Tori's seasonal album "Midwinter Graces", that has an exquisite Arabic music arrangement, that made not only Tori dance while playing, but also the audience in the concert hall.

The concert ended with "Our New Year" - always taken from "Midwinter Graces" - and Tori left the stage jubilant, with her funny and awkward way to walk on her heels, waving hands and thanking the Metropole Orkest - and John Philip Shenale, whom we had the chance to meet right after the concert for a quick and lovely talk - for the amazing work. For sure, I don't have enough words to thank Tori Amos for this magical and unique show I'll remember for years to come.

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