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Live From Artists Den [Import]

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Artists Den Records
  • Release Date: Sept. 14 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa451cba0) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4516120) out of 5 stars An essential DVD, for those who love Tori and for those who have yet to make her acquaintance. Oct. 11 2010
By Barry M. Lamont - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: This item is IDENTICAL to "Tori Amos: Live from the Artists Den", but of course computers are idiots, and can not tell when a single item has been entered in two slightly different fashions. This is a copy of my review for the "other" DVD.


For almost two decades, I would occasionally hear a song by Tori Amos on the radio, or on TV, and say to myself, "Wow! That's an interesting song. I ought to check her out." Then, of course, I never got around to it. When PBS finally handed her to me on a silver platter, by televising this concert (most of it) on their Live From the Artists Den series, I made a point of recording and watching the show. Then watching it again. And again. Then going on line to get the lyrics, which are crucial but occasionally hard to understand, because Tori sometimes alters the sound of words for musical effect. Then finally taking the plunge, buying all 11 studio albums and about a dozen CD singles, followed by four DVD sets and four books. Rarely if ever has a singer/songwriter had such a profound impact on me.

If you are not familiar with Tori Amos, this solo concert offers an excellent entry into her world. There are twelve songs from seven of her albums, covering her entire career, including two which were not part of the PBS telecast, as well as an extended interview and a souvenir booklet. It is regrettable that the DVD is neither subtitled nor captioned, so I recommend getting the lyrics on line; neither of Tori's two websites has a complete list, but there are many other helpful sites, for instance AZLyrics. The song selection does favor the gentler, more introspective side of her output, and there is a more angry, raw, confrontational side to her which is not conveyed in this concert; on the other hand, that does make this DVD less likely to put people off. Don't worry if you don't "get" all the songs; she tends to describe, not the specific events in her life which created a song, but the images those events evoke for her, the things those events remind her of. It's like listening to the Oracle at Delphi: you won't understand every word, but you will know, with certainty, that every word is true.

For Tori aficionados, this concert is essential for a different reason. In her studio albums and on many of her live recordings, she performs with backup instruments; this makes the rhythms and dynamics relatively inflexible, in order for everyone to stay together. In this solo concert, however - just her, accompanying herself on Bosendorfer piano and on synthesizer, sometimes both at once - she has much greater control over phrasing and mood, and the songs become more sensuous, more haunting. I actually like these "black and white" versions of the songs much better than the album versions, for the same reason that I like Ansel Adams' B&W photographs - BECAUSE of the lack of instrumental color, not in spite of it; I think this presentation brings out things in the music and the lyrics which are obscured in the (more commercial) album versions. It would actually be very interesting to hear how this kind of performance affected some of her edgier songs; there may be facets to them which we have never heard.

Tori Amos is one of the most personal, creative poet/songwriters around. I always wondered what I would find if I explored her music. Now, thanks to this concert, I know.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4514ee8) out of 5 stars An Intimate Glimpse July 19 2011
By Rooster - Published on
Format: DVD
This live DVD provides an intimate glimpse into the music of Tori and into the heart of Tori herself. A small audience, a beautiful setting and an introspective Tori, all combine to form a magical jewel.
Some of the reviews have criticized the slow pace of the songs and the more subdued vocals. Tori is an artist who transcends musical styles. Some only want to hear the powerful angry Tori they remember from the earlier years. Tori and her music have grown up and matured through the years. She's not going to be the same performer in her late 40's as she was in her 20's. Tori believes that her songs are separate entities that have their own spirit and their own will. She performed them the way they wanted to be performed that evening. That may sound odd to some. If it does, you are probably not a hardcore Tori fan. Those who really love Tori's music, appreciate all the incarnations of her songs. That's why it's not uncommon to meet a Tori fan who's seen her in concert 15, 20, 50, or more times. The same songs can sound and feel totally different, depending on how Tori performs them.
There is beauty in subtlety.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Melody - Published on
Format: DVD
Tori is a fireball of a live performer. I have seen her live in concert nearly a dozen times and was floor by every performance I had seen of hers. This set, this performance, is nothing like I have seen, even when seeing her solo. This is not a not a taste of her performing prowess at all! Her voice was strained from a massive world tour, and it shows. The performances of Virginia, Wednesday and Toast are very, very good, though. I just wished she had recorded something live from the 2010/11 tours, because those would more accurately show how talented she really is. This dvd is a safe performance, albeit, probably the nature of the Artist Den series, but it's not an accurate depiction of what a great live act Tori is.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4514840) out of 5 stars Surprised Nov. 14 2011
By the apple bleeds - Published on
Format: DVD
I was prepared to dislike this. She only played one song I actually like. The rest are okay or on my list of least favorite. However, to my surprise, this presentation highlighted these girls really well. I haven't seen the whole performance but songs I did here were performed beautifully and in a way that touched me like the studio recordings couldn't. Now I "understand" the songs a little more and can even appreciate the original recordings of these songs more. I can't wait to see the rest of this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa45050f0) out of 5 stars I think I have never heard a better version and then I hear the next song Aug. 27 2014
By Karen Martin - Published on
Format: DVD
Transcendent. If you are not prepared to go to thnew places Tori's 'girls' have taken her, you may want to bypass this one. However if you get excited by the idea of Tori with one (and two) pianos BUY IT NOW! Half or more of these songs, I think I have never heard a better version and then I hear the next song. Hauntingly beautful and uniquely Tori.

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