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Tori Amos Made Rugged Viking Boys Cry

“There’s something about Tori’s wholehearted truthfulness that makes her so accessible to us, and that leads her straight in to our hearts“ the music reporter and fan writes in his review of Tori Amos’ show from Bergen Music Festival.

tori painting

Tori Amos needs no introduction. She presents her self so vividly through powerful songs that are both intimate and pictorial, and she has done so for almost 30 years. She has always made the inaccessible accessible through her music, and she has never fallen silent for taboos – but has rather spoken openly about issues such as sexuality and religion, abuse and abortion when others have kept quiet.

 As one of the world’s most respected, influential and successful contemporary composers Tori Amos has earned an admirably devoted fan base over the years. She has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide, and has devoted fans in all ages and areas of life as more and more people discover her music every year.

During Bergen Music Festival Tori Amos was honoured with 75 minutes of spotlight somewhere between Aurora and Kygo. This was seemingly made out to be Kygo’s evening. The somewhat overrated Norwegian starburst, I dare say, mainly known for his sonic recycling of other artist’s intellectual property.

– I’ve always wanted to be an honorary Viking

Having opened the show with a beautifully performed “Silent All These Years”, a not so insignificant 90’s hit from her solo debut “Little Earthquakes”, Tori Amos introduced one of the best live version of “Bouncing off Clouds” I personally have ever heard, in a soundscape that reminded me somewhat of “Scarlet’s Walk” from 2002. Tori figuratively bounced off clouds with some of the slightly improvised sections of her performance.


Dedicated “Roosterspur Bridge” to the Norwegian boys

 – I’ve always wanted to be an honorary Viking, Tori admitted to the crowd. – This is for all the Viking boys. I wrote this for my sweetheart, she said modestly while reaching for her notes. – I’m so old that I forgot all my lyrics, she said to an audience laughing with joy and excitement. There’s something about Tori’s wholehearted truthfulness that makes her so accessible to us, and that leads her straight in to our hearts. – Look, it happens, but menopause can be hot too!

Following the classic “Girl” Tori had to apply a little more lip gloss before she started hammering on the side of her Bösendorfer while playing a thundering version of the B-side “Take To the Sky” – occasionally paved by ”Datura” from the 1999 album “To Venus and Back”. Her dressed down rendition of “I Can’t See New York” made rugged Viking boys cry.

 tori bgf

Played one of her favourite songs for the fans

– This is one of my favourite songs from on of my favourite bands, the redhead proclaimed. – Yeah, I like a band! She played us a partially triphop-diffused cover of Depeche Mode’s “In Your Room” before killing off a former colleague in “The Waitress” from the album “Under the Pink” which was released in 1994. A bloodthirsty Viking choir occasionally augmented the chorus with “I believe in peace, bitch”. It was a mercy killing.

“Mother Revolution” from the 2004 album “The Beekeeper” hasn’t been played live in Norway since it ended her show at the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo almost exactly ten years ago. The emotional “Hey Jupiter” undeniably lifted the audience to an otherworldly plane before we found foothold again under the beautiful and more earthbound “Wedding Day” from Amos’ latest studio album “Unrepentant Geraldines” that came out last year.

Weighty, hypnotic grooves pulled us through a sexy mash-up of “Cruel”, “Sweet Sangria” and “Unrepentant Geraldines” topped with a stripped-down “Tear In Your Hand”, and finally the crunchy super hit “Cornflake Girl” provided a perfect finish.

The festival format offers an entirely unique set of artist constraints. The playing time is always rigorously pre-defined which can make the concert experience feel slightly curtailed and less impulsive than during a regular tour. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Tori Amos had little time for occasional small talk and requests, I personally didn’t experience any lack of connection between her and the audience. As always, after a Tori Amos show, I’m left with the impression that she sang all the songs just for me.

Written by Kim Rio

tori amos bergenfest

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