Thursday, October 09, 2014

Laid Bare

There is something about this year for music, as almost all the music I have seen has been stripped-down bare concerts that I dreamt of in my forlorn youth when I listened to musicians. Mark Lanegan was a good example, just Mark and the guitar. Nick and the piano. Maybe it’s not just the music; maybe it is just a year to deconstruct and be torn down. I see it everywhere, experience it in all the major experiences. Like Tori.

Of course Tori.

The shame and hilarity of my Tori Amos concert is that I completely forgot a had a Tori Amos concert to go to until literally the day of the Tori Amos concert when I realized I had two tickets and no dates. I asked around in the office but no one wanted to come, so eventually decided I’d rescue some poor Tori fan off the street if I had to.

I went, got some food, and headed over to the theater, where a cute redhead stood next to me and started to smoke.

We started to talk and I asked her where she was from (somewhere in Iowa). She wanted to see Tori, but her boyfriend had ditched at the last minute leaving her, like me with an extra ticket.

“Where are your seats?” I asked.

“Nose bleeds. I mean, I’ll have a better view of mars, but it’s Tori, so it’s worth it.”

“Want to upgrade?”

She looked at me. I had borrowed a pen from her a minute earlier. I showed her what I had written on the ticket.

Free to a good Tori fan.

“Are you shitting me?”




“Can I give you anything?”

“You can buy me a drink.”

And so it was settled that my date would be a cute redhead who would buy me a drink. That worked out. My tickets were so close to Tori I could practically feel her hands running over me instead of the piano. What was more, though, was the concert, because the tour for Unrepentant Geraldines had very little music from Unrepentant Geralidnes. Apparently in the midst of her midlife crisis, she wanted to prove to her daughter and everyone else that she still had it. So for the tour she packed only a Bosendorfer and her fabulous self. For each city she played a different set, and for each city she specially selected covers for the famed lizard lounge of the 97 Choir Girls tour. It was Tori the way Tori was meant to be viewed: bare and raw, just her and the piano.

Like Nick.

Like Mark.

All of the legends that I love, that are warm to my heart, have spent the year baring themselves nd their souls to audiences that care to listen.

Perhaps it is a sign, maybe the beginning of a movement.

The power of it, this naked performance, though, has had an impact, even if I remain unsure exactly how I am seeing this manifested day to day. I’ve also come to feel laid bare in my performance, but in being so exposed feel more like myself than I have in a year.

Perhaps that is the message.

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