So two concerts this past week: Duran Duran last night, and Tori on Wednesday.
This was the first time I’ve ever seen Tori solo, so that’s why I wanted really good seats. We got there around 8:05, only to find they didn’t open the doors until 8, and the line to get in was around the block. By the time we got in, we only saw a song and a half from Matt Nathanson (a shame, because we really like him).
Then it was another 30 minutes for Tori to come on (odd, because Matt played in front of the curtain so there was nothing to break down and set up between acts). There were parts of Tori’s show I liked a lot: her cover of “Like A Prayer”, “Take To The Sky”, “China”, “The Power Of Orange Knickers”, and the premiere of “Snow Cherries From France” (setlist and reviews here). The show was very good, but it wasn’t great for me, which didn’t become clear until last night.
Last night I went solo to Duran Duran. Now I hadn’t seen them before, while I’d seen Tori 5 times previously, but I came out of their show wired like I hadn’t at Tori’s. Part of it was my right ear was bothering me at Tori’s but I think it was mostly a hit free show. By that I mean she played 3 songs of her greatest hits CD, and only one of them (“Jackie’s Strength) was a single – the other two were new to that CD. Duran Duran played every possible song I wanted to hear (“The Reflex” was non-negotiable), while there were so many I’d like to have seen Tori done that she didn’t (“Cornflake Girl”, “Past The Mission”, “Silent All These Years”, “Caught A Lite Sneeze”, “A Sorta Fairytale”, “1000 Oceans”, “Happy Phantom”, “Hey Jupiter”, “Sleeps With Butterflies”, “Winter”, “Taxi Ride”, etc).
Sure, she has no obligation to play songs and will be successful playing whatever she wants, but I like what Sarah McLachlan said in this article: “I have the songs that I love to play and I have the songs I would be happy to never do again. I have to be honest to myself but also take into consideration what the fans are going to want to hear.” And the bottom line is I didn’t hear at the Tori show many of the songs I wanted to hear, while at the Duran Duran show I did, so it felt like a superior one. I still enjoyed both shows (and I’ll go to see her again when she has the band later this year), but I felt let down a bit. Maybe I have too high expectations for her shows.