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Tori Amos At The Chicago Theatre: A Quiet, Intimate Evening

By Carrie McGath in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 7, 2014 6:00PM

Photo courtesy Tori Amos

Tori Amos' fanbase is one of dedicated devotion and admiration, a fact that was apparent as she walked onstage at the Chicago Theatre Tuesday night for the Unrepentent Geraldines tour. Her tenderness and appreciation for her audience shined through when she greeted the crowd with gratitude, her hands to her heart. It was a mostly quiet show with Amos singing soft songs like "Bells for Her," and switching to a rowdy rendition of the provocative "Blood Roses."

"Parasol" and "Hey Jupiter" book-ended the show, while all the songs in between were executed with the equally powerful and emotive expressiveness that has become Amos' trademark. The audience was appreciative of Amos' deep, resonant performance as she went between a Bosendorfer and a keyboard, straddling her piano bench. The Lizard Lounge portion of the show, situated right in the middle of her 90-minute set, exuded a lounge-like feel as she covered songs requested by fans. In Chicago, her covers of Kansas' "Dust in the Wind" and Toto's "Africa," among others, illustrated her breadth of artistry, and recast these tracks sound like angelic love songs.

With a lot of focus recently on Amos entering her 50s (partly because she openly discusses her embrace of her midlife), her voice is still velvet, her lyrics still raw, her way around a piano still visually and audibly captivating. She made sweeping loops around the carousel of her repertoire, playing songs old and some new, and received a particularly resounding response when she played the classic "Cornflake Girl."

Amos has said she often sees her songs as living beings in a sense, and when she performs it is apparent she is not only still having fun playing music, but doing so as a beautifully-edged enigma: badass meets fairy princess.