A few minutes ago I departed the United Kingdom for what is hopefully the last time for a very long while, having only been there a couple hours en route from Copenhagen to St. Louis (via Chicago). Why, you ask, am I so vocal in my dislike for this island? Well, in addition to having currency twice as strong as my own, food half as good as my own, bad dental care, a pretentious accent and a rape of my mother language, the British Airport security system makes its American counterpart seem like a tea party. After arriving in Terminal 4 on my British Airways Airbus A319, I was funneled onto a small bus that drove through a barb-wire enclosed tunnel to Terminal 3 where I waited over an hour in line to clear security—though I had already done so in Copenhagen! I also had to show my passport and boarding card no less than four times each. I have never in my life experienced such a cluster fuck—and I’ve been in many questionable situations. To assume that such a setup augments air travel security even minimally suggests that single-celled organisms are the brains behind all this. If anything, such a disorganized and tense mess would provide increased opportunities for “terrorists”—if you believe in such nonsense—to do their dirty deeds.
In other news, Copenhagen was a strange show in that it had—minus what was only the second bowing of “Cruel” in the past six years—the most standard setlist that Tori Amos could have written but was performed better—ironicallly, minus said “Cruel”—than almost any other show this tour, which IS saying a lot. Despite the setlist monotony about which I’ve whined intermittently for the past three weeks, this tour is hands down the tightest band outing Mrs. Hawley has ever done. It’s not as possessed as 1998 or pissed off as 1999 (on the whole anyway—some parts are), but it makes 2002-3 look like a bad dream, and I would argue a joke. The energy is through the roof, Tori’s singing is perfect, and the three main musicians (T, Matt, and John) function as a single unit. Dan Phelps is pretty OK, too, and I imagine once he learns all the songs the quartet will be unstoppable. So if you’re having any doubts as to whether or not to attend a show this year, don’t doubt. Whether or not you should attend more than one will depend on how much the setlist variance increases in the coming weeks (ed: there should be no problem; never is), but a safe bet is to see multiple shows in the same city/geographical area.
I love arbitrary rankings as some of you all know, so I’m go ahead and rank the shows (1 being the best and the final number being the worst) I saw as well as—for shits and grins—the cities I visited. I’m going to list Copenhagen as my favorite city for now because I loved the ambiance so much, and I think I’d love it even more if I got to spend more than one and two-half days there. Remember, though, that not one show was “bad,” though some were more boring than others. This is the first tour of Tori’s I’ve ever seen where a bad setlist has not ruined a show.
Cities (including 2005 trip)
My lovely sister purchased us a trip to my alma mater (Tampa) for the next few days, after which I’ll be returning to St. Louis for a few weeks to get operated on—don’t worry, it’s not terribly major)—make money rent-free, and prepare for a September return to Austin. During that time, I’ll be sure and post more goodies (under the entries for their respective cities) from my trip that I didn’t get to the first time.
This blog will not be (formally) updated until the ADP tour hits the US sometime in October, so here’s hoping that some crazy following the rest of the tour through Europe can keep videoing things. Speaking of which, I’d like to thank the 50,000 people who’ve viewed my videos and the several thousand who’ve (allegedly) kept reading this blog. This was my first venture into comprehensive multimedia reporting and the support—even if it’s just random IMs or myspace messages—makes me feel very good for having dedicated a bit of my vacation to bring y’all goodies. So thanks!
OK, back to wanting to slit my wr—I mean enjoying my 3029420938 hour flight.