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Story and photos by Phil BonyataTori Amos was the perfect choice to be featured as the first pop artist ever to play the newly minted Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago's glittering Millennium Park. Seeing a concert here is quite magical - with the bold design of the pavilion, fantastic acoustics and a shimmering view of the Chicago skyline at night. The classically trained pianist only has her four best friends on stage alongside her - her grand piano and three organs. Opening the show with "Original Sinsuality," the bittersweet lryics about Eve in the Garden of Eden coupled with her fiery note progressions put the first colorful brush strokes on the evening's musical canvas. Amos, the soprano, marked the highs in her vocal range that very few artists are able to attain with such a forceful and fluid delivery.
Her performance was rife with an ethereally beautiful intensity. Amos' haunting voice on "Sleeps With Butterflies," found her sensually massaging the chromatic melodies. Her adept management for dual piano/organ is quite amazing. Her legs were usually spread invitingly open as her long lime green dress lovingly draped them. Her dramatic pauses created a visual compliment to many of her extreme structure changes as well as the nuances of the waning notes - knowing the importance of creating art for all of the senses. Amos' superb command of the piano was demonstrated with the deep richness of "Sugar." Bold, brash and animated Tori became even more extroverted while still culling deeply from within.
Other gems of the two hour plus set were "God," "The Blower's Daughter," by Damien Rice and "The Beekeeper." At one point a rather odd sight occured right after "The Beekeeper" expended it's last note. Nearly a hundred or more fans rushed the stage almost in choreographed unison - this was in the reseved seating area after all and security did nothing to thwart the interlopers advance. They crowded the aisles and stood in front of people who had paid for their seats. Not a big problem as everyone decided to get along and revel in the artistry that is Tori Amos.
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