Tori Amos delivers thrills and chills at The Paramount


Piano maestro Tori Amos first Bay Area appearance in five years was a jubilant and emotional affair for many of those in attendance Friday night, reconnecting the artist with many of her fans that have seen her dozens of times over the years.


Performing at the stately Paramount Theatre in Oakland following the October release of Ocean to Ocean, her 16th studio album, Amos has cultivated a loyal and devoted following of supporters since releasing her first solo debut Little Earthquakes in 1992, some having travelled thousands of miles to see every show on her current 34 date North American tour.

Supported by bassist Jon Evans and drummer Ash Soan, the 58 year old North Carolina native leads a diverse life, splitting her time between homes in Florida and England with her husband of 24 years when she’s not on the road touring. For an artist that has toured in the past both supported by full bands and at times completely alone on the stage, it was a nice touch with Soan’s booming drums often accentuating the crescendos of some of Amos’ more bouncy tunes.


Appearing in a colorful layered silk pants outfit, Amos kicked off her 110 minute set with a Bösendorfer piano on one side and a bank of keyboards on the other, swiveling back and forth and alternating between them throughout the evening while often playing them simultaneously.

Opening with “Juarez” from 1999’s To Venus and Back followed by “Bouncing Off Clouds”, the always stylish Amos delivered tracks culled from eight of her albums over the course of the 18-song concert highlighted by solo presentations of “Girl Disappearing” and “Leather” during the middle of the show.

Somewhat surprisingly only three tracks were played off her exceptional new album, but the diverse selection of tracks had something for everyone, whether they were longtime fans or attending their first Amos show.


After a brilliant version of “God” from 1994’s Under The Pink late in the show brought the house to it’s feet for the remainder of the night, Amos showcased her mezzo-soprano voice yet again with a chilling version of “Bliss” highlighted by an interlude featuring Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” before closing out her regular set with the waltz-paced and always lively “Cornflake Girl.”

With the crowd in front of the stage swelling as Soan and Evans returned to the stage, Amos reappeared for a final encore leading off with “Space Dog” before returning to her roots one final time with “Precious Things” from Little Earthquakes.”

Amos’ Ocean to Ocean tour is entering its final week, with shows in San Diego tonight and Phoenix Sunday before concluding with three performances at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles June 15-17.

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