Tori Amos Unraveled a Tapestry of Deep Cuts at Intimate Theatre at Ace Hotel Shows
It’s not a secret that Tori Amos attracts some of the most die-hard fans. All you need to do to figure that out is talk to them. They’ll dazzle you with Tori trivia that ranges from the mundane to the truly exemplary. It was this manner of fan, excitable and ready to call for only the deepest of cuts, who flocked to The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Dec. 1 for the first of three scintillating dates.
British indie rock trio Scars on 45 kicked things off, and they did so beautifully with acoustic guitars and striking harmonies setting the tone for what was to come. Considering the amount of charm this group wields, it’s a safe bet that they’ll be seeing a lot more of the L.A. faithful in the next few years.
Amos has been shuffling around her opening number lately, but for her first of three nights at the Theatre at Ace Hotel she settled on “Cruel,” a gem from her 1998 “The Choirgirl Hotel” album, before lighting the crowd up with “Little Earthquakes,” the title track from her beloved 1992 self-titled debut.
Clad in surprisingly frank garb compared to her usually over-the-top costumes she sported on past tours, Amos played with an unwavering conviction, sitting between two keyboards and a grand piano, switching off at will and at one point playing two at once. She tackled the solo show with enough gusto to make anyone believe that she doesn’t need a band to bring the house down. She opted to forego her more recognizable singles in favor of those ever-sought-after deep cuts, and there wasn’t a fan in attendance who seemed to mind one bit. The trifecta of “Beulah Land,” “Playboy Mommy” and “Baker Baker” all sent the crowd into a palpable frenzy.
For the next part of the set, Amos did away with the wildfire backdrop and instead performed in front of a faux Fox News logo. Termed the “Fake News Network,” Amos has been using this part of the set to perform a diverse array of covers. On this night, she decided to ring in the season, performing inventive versions of timeless classics “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” Everyone in attendance was getting an early Christmas present, so the addition of some holiday cheer was icing on the cake.
Surprisingly, Amos only played two tracks from her latest “Native Invader” album, instead indulging in the old favorites. She wrapped up her set with another daring trifecta of “Concertina,” “Breakaway” and “Girl,” and the crowd sensed it was time to hurdle toward the stage in a final show of appreciation. They clamored for an encore, and Amos of course obliged, returning for a final one-two punch of “Bang” and “Raspberry Swirl.” The latter cut sent the crowd home happy and exhausted from grooving to the pulsing club beat.
Amos used lyric sheets throughout the show, even joking at one point that menopause made remembering lyrics a bit harder. Still, everything sounded crisp and lifelike, giving those rabid Amos devotees something they’ll be remembering 30 Decembers from now.