Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Tori Amos - Live at Montreux 1991/1992 CD (album) cover


Tori Amos


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 9 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm only the second reviewer for this DVD which truly deserves revisiting on this site. Tori Amos' debut album Little Earthquakes came out in 1992 and quickly the talented singer-songwriter rose to fame. Here one gets a close-up view BEFORE THAT, of an almost unknown American artist who had been playing modest gigs in small clubs or hotel lounges of London -- all by herself at a piano, as is also the case in both shows at Montreux Jazz Festival. Indeed it was a blessing that Amos was brought to the attention of the festival organiser Claude Nobs.

In July 1991 Tori Amos was an opening act for The Moody Blues (whose equipment one can see in the background). The audience hardly had any expectations, but it's easily sensed that she made a good impression. Seven songs of her set would be included on Little Earthquakes, many of them to become much loved, such as 'Silent All These Years', 'Crucify' and 'Winter'. My Tori Amos all-time fave list would actually contain quite a lot from the debut. 'Song for Eric' and 'Upside Down' emerged as B side tracks. The piano-only arrangements function brilliantly, and despite the lack of experience for a large audience Tori is fully convincing and charming as a vocalist as well. She was applauded to give an encore, nicely chosen cover 'Thank You' (originating from Led Zeppelin II, 1969). For any fan of Tori Amos the 1991 set is pure delight in its sincere intimacy. The imperfection in the form of forgetting lyrics on 'Happy Phantom' and the way she handles it only adds to the charm.

By the time of the July 1992 Montreux headline gig Little Earthquakes had charted in the UK. As Finnforest points out, the earlier intimacy is slightly covered by a more guarded performance skin. Giving a hard talk to some people in the audience chatting, right in the middle of the first song, may seem harsh, but the overall reception is truly warm. Although I probably enjoy the 1991 performance even more, the 1992 performance is somehow stronger artistically. As if Tori is taking the listener a bit deeper into the shadowy world of her songs.

Her little talks in between the songs are also interesting (a pity there are no subtitles). Before singing a Led Zeppelin medley of 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Thank You' she shares childhood memories as a daughter of a priest. Then comes a powerful a cappella performance of 'Me and a Gun', a provocative song which she didn't risk of singing the previous year, and 'Winter' as a beautiful closing number. For the encore she sang the NIRVANA classic 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', making it to sound like her own.

In the Tori Amos catalogue there are very good concert DVD's such as Welcome to Sunny Florida (2004), which undoubtedly give you more worth the money with a more broad set list and the presence of co-musicians, but no fan of this artist should miss this unique retrospective into the pre-stardom era.

Matti | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this TORI AMOS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.