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Tori Amos - Welcome To Sunny Florida CD (album) cover

WELCOME TO SUNNY FLORIDA

Tori Amos

 

Crossover Prog

2.96 | 9 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here comes the rain...

This full length concert film was shot in September 2003 on the very last night of Tori's "Scarlet's Walk" tour. The sunny Florida title is a little joke about the fact that the amphitheater in West Palm Beach was deluged with rain the day of the show. During the opening chit-chat is an interview where Amos is asked when she's going to get off the road and get back to "real life." Her response was that the road is "her real life" and as her song lyrics later ask "what will I do next week?"

Amos' career is a mixed bag with some very high highs and this show comes during one of her not-so-spectacular eras. Perhaps it had something to do with being the end of a grueling tour, but whatever the reason, the show comes off as a bit tired overall, certainly far less inspired than the Tori of those 90s heights. My main problem is with the arrangements of some of the upbeat tracks. While Chamberlain and Evans are talented old pros, I do not like the drumming parts put to some of the songs. Somehow they turn the songs into middle-of-the-road drab adult contemporary, sucking the life out of them. This is increased a bit by the tired delivery of Tori on certain tracks, she just rides as a passenger on these songs as opposed to driving. Examples of the weaker cuts are Crucify, Cornflake, and Leather. On the flip side, in the second half of the show when she warms up and settles into some of the more intimate and quieter stuff, like "Cooling" or "Your Cloud" as examples, she comes to life. She is more vibrant on the tracks with no backing or minimal backing. "Professional Widow" would be great but astonishingly she is actually censored on her own DVD, which in this day and age is hard for me to comprehend. She closes with a stirring version of "Hey Jupiter" that is glowing with emotion as she realizes she is saying goodbye to those fans until the next tour. Overall it's not a bad show, it just comes across a bit casual, especially after I just watched that Bjork "Vespertine" DVD from the same period. Compared to the fierce ambition and yes, proggy credentials of the Vespertine show, Sunny Florida is casual indeed. I think she should have done the big DVD release of a show from the Choirgirl tour.

The concert is often darkly presented and shot in a very laid-back manner, no frills, pretty much the way I like it. Some viewers might be bored by the lack of stimuli on screen based on some comments I've noticed elsewhere. The DVD includes interviews and a tour book, but the biggest treat is a second CD called "Scarlet's Hidden Treasures." This is basically a 6-track EP of over 30 minutes of material from the period. The style of the songs is similar to the Scarlet's album. There certainly is enough good stuff in this package for three stars, though I have to stop there, as the pure passion and excitement of the Tori Montreux shows is not there. But fans will certainly eat this up and I think in time I'll come to appreciate more this document of the middle Amos period.

During the credits they roll some of the backstage/interview footage and there is a very personal moment captured that is worth the admission price to me. As Tori is in the chair having her hair fixed the interviewer is speaking with her parents. Tori's folks talk about her as a kid and about each other before saying goodbye---as they leave, the camera then turns back to Tori to catch such a look of love on her face for them. A simple but very intimate moment I really appreciated.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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