Tori in Baltimore

Last night we went to see Tori at the Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. To avoid traffic, we planned on leaving around 3PM to avoid traffic. We didn’t get going ‘til 3:30, and there was a fair amount of traffic on the inner loop of the Beltway. We skipped most of it by getting off at River Road and going through Bethesda before getting back on at 97. I had Jill drive up, but it was getting to her by the time we got to downtown Baltimore.

I went on Yahoo’s yellow pages earlier in the day and had found out that the two closest restaurants were McCormick & Schmick’s and Ruth’s Chris Steak House next door at Pier 5. We got there around 5 and parked; it was about 5:10 when we made it down to Pier 5. I had made reservations for 5:30, so we had a little time to kill. Good thing, because as soon as we walked on the pier, we could hear Tori doing her soundcheck. She did parts of “Crucify” (on the organ), “Marianne”, and “The Beekeeper”. We sat on the pier and listened, and she finished at 5:30 on the dot, just in time.

Neither of us had been to any of the Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses before, but it was fabulous (and pricey of course). No appetizers, as we knew how much food we’d be getting. Jill had a filet and I had a ribeye, and we both had the side of lump crabmeat, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce. We also shared more asparagus, served with hollaindaise sauce (gotta have some veggies). Jill had a martini and I had an Amstel Light. It was very tasty, but not quite enough for her – she had a banana custard tart for dessert (plus coffee). I decided to have my dessert in liquid form – a strawberry cheesecake martini. Good thing I didn’t have to drive for several hours.

Jill wanted to put her foot up, so asked the waiter for something. He brought a booster seat, which worked fine. Later, ha asked her how it was working. She thought he was asking about the martini, so she told him “it’s working great!” He figured out what she meant, and said he was happy to help both the inside and the outside.

After dinner, we sat on a bench on Pier 5, and checked out the scenery and chatted and people watched. Jill wanted to put her foot up again, so we decided not to go in for the first opening act. She read a book, and I surfed some web content I’d downloaded. We went in halfway through the second opener, the Ditty Bops, who were pretty decent. Jill got some drinks while I got a program (for no reason, I’d forgotten I’d gotten one in April).

Tori went on around 9. I just had a feeling I was going to like this show more than the last one. She opened and closed the set with the same songs as in April (“Original Sinsuality” and “The Beekeeper”, but every other song was different. And a great selection; after the first song, the next three were “Crucify”, “A Sorta Fairytale”, and “Caught A Lite Sneeze”. Even better, she played “Cool On Your Island” from “Y Kant Tori Read” (her first out of print CD and not anything like her style after that). I remember at the record store I used to have we had a promotional CD single of that song with Phil Collins’ “A Groovy Kind Of Love”. Kinda wish I’d held on to that. A great show in a nice venue (although the chairs are cramped), made up for my disappointment in her last show here.

Funny thing is Jill thought the show in April was better. Two things (besides the improved setlist) helped me. First, she’s played almost 45 shows on the tour now, which gave me a good idea as to how the song mix would work. Second, now I’m playing setlist stats bingo, where I’m looking for songs she’s done that I haven’t seen (so now I have a Tori stats page). It’s interesting, she’s almost like a jam band in that each show can come out 180 degrees different than the one before. Makes it worth your while to see her whenever you can, and I’m glad we made the trip. Of course we didn’t get home until midnight, and I stayed up another hour and half, puttering around and playing with a cranky dog.