The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tori in Luxembourg: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Place: den Atelier, Luxembourg
Mood: Ecstatic
Song: Smells Like Teen Spirit * Tori Amos

Tori at the Meet and Greet

September 18. That’s a date to remember. My first Tori show in a year, my first with the band, my first time to Luxembourg, and most importantly, my annual vacation!

Sylvain and I in the agonizing wait

After a rough start with a hectic day at work and a long night flight with kids crying on the plane, I arrived to Luxembourg.

12 years for this!

I thought I’d go to the venue, which was very close to the hotel I was in (thanks Rami!), to exchange my electronic ticket. But the Nazis at den Atelier did not want anyone to go in before 8. Seeing there was no one there, I left.

Tori and Sylvain :-)

My wonderful friend Sylvain made a surprise visit from France and I knew at that moment that it would be a fine day. I went with him to Dranouter to attend that special gig in 2008 and I was so glad he came. Next we went to the venue again and that’s where I met some lovely people: Shirin (ChasingTornados), Rachel (ViolentIndigo), Lenore (lenoreva), Marla, Deborah and Mr. Steven. So we waited all afternoon unsuccessfully hoping Tori would show up. And then just when Sylvain and I decided to grab something to eat, Rachel sends an emergency SMS telling me the meet and greet would happen. So we rush to the venue and there she was! All beautiful!

It was my first time meeting Tori in more than 12 years of listening to her music. I was delighted. Shirin pushes me to the front and Tori comes to me and says “hello, how are you today?” I was like “today”? Did we speak yesterday? So I said I come from Beirut, Lebanon, my name is Rabih and this is my first time meeting you in more than 12 years. She was like OH! Anyway, I asked her a question, and that was about the song Me and You which I told her was gorgeous and wondered if it would ever appear on a compilation or live or anything because the quality that we have is not the best. And she was like “hmm no. That song was just done for the moment. It was special when it was made but I don’t think it will go beyond that.” So good thing she still remembers it but sad that it will not emerge anywhere.

Anyway I got a photo with her and she took the time to talk to everyone there. We were approximately 20. She told someone that they couldn't get the Hammond organ to the venue, and hence, she said the show might be different.

Then she went to sound check and it was a rather lengthy one. She played respectively Caught a Lite Sneeze, Body and Soul, Amber Waves (3 times) so yeah, we heard it four times today, Bells for Her, Hotel, Carbon Lust, Northern Lad (twice), Cars and Guitars (!!!), Juarez and two lines of Beauty and Speed.

A sheet with Carbon was sticked to the piano but later removed

I was praying not to have Cars and Guitars at the show because once at the soundcheck was enough and thank god it was not played!

Me and the beautiful Shirin in the venue

The doors opened at 8 and the opening act started some twenty minutes after that. We were up in the front, just some centimeters from the stage, which was too tiny. We wondered where Tori would be coming from since it all seemed too cluttered with plugs and things. Tori did not come until 9:35 and Shirin and I were wondering if she would cut the set because there’s no way she would perform after 11. And with the Hammond not being there, we knew that Strong Black Vine would not close the set.

So at 9:35, the place goes wild. This being a General Admission show, everyone was shaking at a time or another. I love Give and I think it’s a great song to open the show with. I dig the dark intro and the general feel of it live. Caught a Lite Sneeze was next. Now since I missed the Posse tour, and this was my first show with the band, I wanted Body and Soul and Beauty of Speed so bad. And since Sneeze was second, I knew that my chance to see Speed was almost over since it always comes second. And Body and Soul was performed the night before in Amsterdam. But anyway. I knew she would be playing many singles tonight, this being her first show in Luxembourg. Then she introduces Matt and John and that was the only time she spoke, before launching into Cornflake Girl for which the place went wild and she seemed to have so much fun playing that.

Icicle was fabulous. I was looking forward to see it after hearing so many people raving about it and it did not disappoint. I loved the addition of Matt and John even before the “getting off” part. Matt was doing some cool sounds all through that gave some kind of icicles crashing feel. Take to the Sky / I Feel the Earth Move rocked the house, and then I about lost it with Hotel / Lust / Beauty of Speed played back to back. Venus being my favorite record, I was glad I was getting Lust, even though I thought the bass was a bit overpowering. And Beauty of Speed was just as I imagined it to be.

Then comes this tour’s debut of Amber Waves. Now I’ve been to three Tori shows. I’ve heard this song at all three. Is that luck or does Tori really want me to connect with this song? She forgets some of the words in Glory of the 80’s but continues as if nothing happened. And then she played Flavor, which I thought was odd, considering the fact that she never does 11 songs before the Lizard Lounge. Flavor is among my favorites from the new album and I was delighted to see it. I loved the additions on the other keyboards. They give it such a spacey feel.

The stage being so small, there were no Lizard Lounge signs. The guys left the stage and Tori launched into an emotional combo consisting of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Silent All These Years. I thought Spirit was too mellow first but the two final words were belted and almost shouted. I expected SATY since Leather was performed the night before, and I knew that we would get that or Winter. Then the band returns and I wanted to tell Lenore that Northern Lad would be next (she requested it and it was sound checked) even though I freaked out at the idea of having Cars and Guitars after, Lad and Cars being the combo of this tour. But she played Bells for Her instead, and Lenore thought it was her biggest nightmare. She only wished that this song won’t be played tonight since she has heard it at almost each of the concerts she has attended. I thought it was exquisite and the dark instrumental portion before the final verse was violent and almost threatening.

Marys of the Sea was next and I was glad we got this one over any other Beekeeper song. This was the beginning of a hot streak of upbeat rocky songs. As soon as the prerecorded sounds of Body and Soul started, I went over the moon. It rocked the house. Matt played some cool things in the bridge that I have not heard before. Such an appropriate song for a GA show. With the absence of the Hammond, Fast Horse/Talula were not played and they were replaced by Juarez which was played on all four keyboards, although not all were really audible. I couldn’t believe I was hearing a third song from Venus! This tour’s version of Juarez with the band is the rockiest since ’99 and is much more powerful than the ‘02/’03 and ’07 versions. But I couldn’t but wonder how I could be jamming like every one else to the loud drums when it’s such a harrowing tune!

Precious Things was the main set closer and it was the only song I did not want to listen to prior to this show to get something to be excited about, after reading that she made some changes to it. The Matt and Tori interaction in the middle was awesome. It was like a song within a song. I’m glad she brought some life to it. By now Shirin and I were wondering if we’ll get any encore since it was past 11.

Rocking a Raspberry Swirl

But the lights were still on, and the guys started to play a long sassy intro for Raspberry Swirl before Tori reemerged with a goofy grin. Actually I have never seen her this happy. She was smiling all the time in the encore. I think nothing beats the ’98 version of Swirl but this was much better than the mess of the ’07 version. Tear in Your Hand was next and I thought it would be the final song of the evening. But she played Big Wheel and the poor security guy didn’t understand what’s the deal with the crowd singing ‘Don’t you forget’!

Gimme 8! Gimme 7! Gimme 6! Gimme 5! Gimme 4! Gimme 3! Let's go!

All in all, the concert was very good. I couldn’t be happier with the song selection. I got the three songs I wanted to see the most (Flavor, Beauty of Speed and Body and Soul), three songs from my Venus, and watched Tori from the closest point I could ever dream of! Add to that wonderful people who made this concert an even more memorable experience! Thank you guys!

See you in Prague!


Blogger Lenore said...

I will never forget that evil grin of yours when she started playing Bells for Her ;)

10:43 PM, September 20, 2009  
Blogger roubish said...

I was so sure Northern Lad would be next! Oh. But it wasn't so bad really! ;)

10:45 PM, September 20, 2009  
Blogger viola' said...

waw rabih!!!
:D i enjoyed reading all this! and tori, you and tori how gorgeous!

12:17 AM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger roubish said...

Thanks Nadine :) It was a big moment for sure. We'll have a coffee once I'm back to Leb :) Lots of stuff to talk about! I wonder what Rania would say about this picture!

2:54 AM, September 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so lucky :-)
I´m going to Berlin next week and she will be there while I´m there. Maybe I should go to her concert :-)

Take care and enjoy Europe,


3:00 AM, September 25, 2009  
Blogger viola' said...

i told her awal chefta la rania! 2eltela rabih saw torii :)
yalla enjoy it and yes let's meet when you come back :*

11:44 PM, September 27, 2009  
Anonymous Eden said...

Where the hell are you?!!!!!!
I didnt get any reply to my emails and I have no other way of contacting you!!! Are you ok??

10:04 AM, April 23, 2010  
Anonymous Happy with you Olii said...

I am so happy for you:-)!!!That must have been just BRILLIANT:D!!!!
I am soooo happy for you:-)

7:02 PM, July 20, 2010  

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