Why Tori Amos' 'Sophie's Choice' Tour Is Pure Magic

By Chris Azzopardi

Tori Amos has so many babies - you know, those precious things, her songs, that she's seen change and grow throughout the years. Taking the stage on Wednesday night, Aug. 6, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Amos acknowledged how passionate her ardent following has been about requests on this trek, the "Unrepentant Geraldines" tour, and how upset that following can get should those song pleas go unperformed (just so you know, she thinks your anger is "sexy").

With that said, it was all very "Sophie's Choice" during her one-woman show, and not necessarily because Amos could be considered the Meryl Streep of music, effortlessly slipping into whatever role her art demands (and taking you with her). Tough decisions had to be made that night. By the time the enigmatic songstress graciously took a bow, giving air hugs to the crowd and smiling like the happiest of mothers do, it was clear, based on the set list alone, she made the right ones.

For nearly two hours, she made that stage her bitch. Her voice still flawless and tingle-inducing, Toriphiles were tangled in her prowess; there was no escaping the way she owned every moment.

Straddling a bench between her trademark Bosendorfer and a small keyboard, Amos was rapturous, sensual, ageless and hypnotic as she delivered a career retrospective that spanned 30 years of MTV classics, from-the-vault rarities and, in particular, one surprising and appropriate cover. When she flawlessly faded her own "Upside Down" into Diana Ross' Motown staple of the same name during The Lizard Lounge, the covers portion of the show (the Talking Heads' "And She Was" followed), she was an unabashed fox writhing her way into a sexual delirium.

Stripped of its pop purity, Amos, flirting with the dizzying couplets and punctuating them with pleasurable yelps, gave new carnal meaning to "boy, you turn me inside out."

Amos wasn't just the MILF she proclaimed to be on her 2007 release "American Doll Posse," though. Just ask the girls around me who were flooding the theater floor during "Little Earthquakes," "Liquid Diamonds" (appropriately so) and the first song of the encore, "Silent All These Years," a timeless proclamation of self, about a woman finding her own voice.

Tori Amos found hers years ago, and if this electrifying performance - the best I've seen her - was any indication, it's stronger than ever.


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