OcTORI-Fest ´98 Index
2 weeks Tori in the U.S.A....my Review...
I also posted this review the best Tori-Page on the Web:
Mikewhy´s "A Dent In The Tori Amos Net Universe".
Hi there !
This is a little attempt to describe my experiences during 2 weeks in the U.S.A. - following Tori on her Plugged '98 - Tour. I'm not the first one who's done this..maybe you know the great review from Eric with a 'c "The American Experience" that you can read [on the Dent]. Originally I would've been one of those German Toriphiles who went to the States in June/August '98 but as live goes..first I had to solve some personal problems.. Anyway..
At the end I finally took a flight to New York and saw Tori on the 7 Concerts in Binghampton, Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Amherst, Burlington, Lowell and Durham near the end of her tour. Rurik, Melanie and Jenny from Germany were already in the States since the 06th respectively 07th November and I was happy to see them again.
Everything I had in my mind about the States was like: How difficult is it to get the Tickets ? What people will I meet ? Is it possible to come in the 1st or 2nd row during the Concerts ? How easy is it to meet Tori in the U.S.A. respectively what difference is between the Meet'n'Greets in Europe and the States ? And much more..
So I was anxious to see the first concert in Binghampton and how everything would work..
It was just ingenius.. I always got my tickets even when the show was sold out as in Poughkeepsie. And really.. I met some wonderful Toriphiles during these 2 weeks. Thank you all for making my time in the U.S.A. one of the best times in my life. Toriphiles like Richard, Linda, Laura, William, Matt P., Jeremy, Gina, Emi, Tony, Jessin, Paul, Matt D., Nicole, the Canadians in Burlington and so many others... you made my days..
What definitely impressed me was the driving - just following Tori through nearly the whole East of the States. Rurik, Melanie, Jenny and I rented a lovely Pontiac 8-seat Van for about 11 days and this was one of the best ideas we could have. Driving..just driving..seeing the sky turning from day into night from red into black. Watching the rivers and seas near the streets. Hearing Tori's Music in full loudness on the speakers (and Natalie, Jeff, Peter, Loreena...). Seeing wonderful houses..we felt like in the TV-Series "North and South". If I only could find some money..I would buy one of these ingenius looking houses. Driving....seeing the nature in full colour...and searching for every *sorry* god-forsaken town to see Tori. Finding some wonderful CD-Shops and a *grin* FABULOUS Chocolate-Shop (..you know what I mean Rurik, Mel and Jenny...) making the owners happy people..and myself a poor person.. Wondering why it takes so long 'til the next stop on the Interstate to rest a while (ok..I mean..I come from Germany and it was a strange feeling for me cause in my country there are much more exits to rest and maybe something nearby the Interstates..but yes..it's another country..and definitely longer streets..haha..). Finding places like the "Black Swan Inn" - more to this later.. - and sleeping in a House in Corning (thank you Matt P.) ...several Motels..in the car...and before the last concert in Durham in a indescribable house from 1724 with a nice cat and ingenius king-size beds...
All that together - TORI and the band in concert - the great American/Urugay/Canadian Toriphiles - us four crazy germans - these lovely places like "Butcher King, Mack Donot, Wendywant's it" and and and.. they made this two weeks memorable !
For me one of the main problems seemed to be if I come in the 1st or 2nd row again during the General Admission Concerts (and if possible to the front of the stage in the other venues like Poughkeepsie). In Europe respectively in Germany it was never a huge thing to get there but you know..it's the States..maybe it's different..
But - no - it wasn't that difficult to get there. I was once again the lucky guy and nearly every time I saw Tori from the 1st row, mostly directly in the middle. You can call me crazy but getting front row is something I'm addicted to... Anyway...it was great to see how (especially in Burlington) Rurik, Mel, Jenny and I were able to make the show a little more "swirling" as it yet was. In Burlington all of us German Toriphiles were in front row and we were out of our mind - just "swirling-swirling-swirling.." - it worked..we infected definitely the first 2nd rows with our ecstasy and joy. This was truly Rock'n'Roll !!!
And for the M&G's - I must confess I was kind of shocked... wow...it's
really not easy to meet Tori in the U.S.... You had to go out before the
1st encore to have a good chance for the 1st or 2nd row at the After-Show-M&G.
I did that in Rochester and got front row (together with Jessin, William
and some others). I gave Tori a little card from our first German
Tori-Con and she said something like: "um...hmm..I know this one..this
one..oh yes and this one" and pointed with her finger on the photo I fixed
on the front of the card (sorry that I don't have a picture of the card
- it was a personal gift for Tori from all us German EWF's who were at
the OcTori-Fest with our signatures and some words for Tori). I was so
excited that she remembered so many of us... great.. Together with the
card I gave Tori the Lyrics to "Boys in the Trees" from Carly Simon and
asked her if she finds some time to play it... She was like "..umm..oooh...hmmm...yeaah...hmmm..."
- this means she had a very cute smile on her face saying this..I had
some hope.. At the end "SHE" didn't came to her..but this really didn't
matter. I was so damn happy to see Tori again, see the Band !
See how much fun they all had - Steve, Jon, Matt - they were just amazing. And in some way I always saw Jon and Steve (and Tori too..) smiling when they watched us crazy Germans from the stage going wild during "Raspberry Swirl" or the "Waitress"...
And as live goes in Lowell I got my beautiful "Black Swan" instead of "Boys.." and truly..it was magical.
Tori played it really to my surprise... It was kind of funny cause during we waited before the stage for the concert to begin I gave a little brochure of the "Black Swan Inn" to Tori's Bodyguard Steve Sanchez together with a letter of me. The Brochure was really just for Tori's Interest and not meant to play the song ! So it was to my astonishment that she played "HER" this day. I was blewn away... Tori is such a wonderful person - you can't describe it - she's just one of the most lovely and warmhearted persons on the world.
Nothing more - nothing less.
My final show of Tori was coming...Durham...and I inhaled every moment of the show. Every shade of light - every nuance - every note. I was lucky (thank you Tony for lettin me in your place) and got in the 3rd row at the After-Show-M&G. As Tori was there I just wanted to say her farewell until the next tour and reached out my hand shouting "Tori, Tori". Suddenly Tori just looked me directly in the face and said something like "Michael, so this is your last show today ?" - I was flabbergasted..she knew my by the name.. - I just said yes and that maybe Mel and Jenny would see some more shows of her (Rurik's last Show was in Lowell). She just kept on talking to me like a good friend (..this stays secret..sorry..) and as she finally left I was nearly the happiest person in the whole world. Even now it's too much for my brain to take it - I mean..it's such an honour for me that she spoke to me in that way and the things she told me. It was the perfect end for my Tori-Tour in the States !!!
After Durham I went together with Tony, Jessin, Dor, Emi and Gina to Dover(NH) but at the end I landed in a double-bedded room together with all of them sleeping on the floor in my warm sleeping bag after drinking the rest of my Guinness (the lovely Pontiac Van was given to Matt P. during the day in Durham - Matt P. drove back to Corning with Mel and Jenny (they stayed a little longer) to give back the car). Perfect ! Haha.. After some sleep the fabulous Gina (with Emi) drove me to New York and the next day I leaved the United States of America in the evening at 05.50 p.m. - back to Germany.
What will stay in my mind forever is besides the brilliant concerts of TORI and Steve and Jon and Matt (..yeah..and a little bit the "Unbelievable Truth"-Guys..cool Drummer..) the absolutely wonderful Toriphiles I met during my time in the States. It was a great time hanging around with all of you - talkin' about Tori and much more...
THANK YOU ALL !!! THANK YOU TORI !!! THANK YOU STEVE, JON, MATT, JOEL "Agent Orange" and STEVE SANCHEZ !!!
Danke Melanie, Jenny und Rurik - es waren zum Teil stressige aber echt geniale 2 Wochen mit euch dreien !!! See you all on the next Tour !!!
Bye and take care.
Michael "Passion" Heiker
Definition of "swirling":
Wild shaking of the head - mostly in a circling direction and simultaneous rotating your arms or only your hands in circling direction - this means: headbanging until you lie on the floor and gasp for breath !!! If you are interested in improving your skills in "swirling" contact me under my e-mail :
I would enjoy to lead you in the world of the "swirling People"....oh...and of course...you should know the meaning of the song "Raspberry Swirl Girl".....*grin* (back to the review of my US-Tori-Trip
OcTORI-Fest ´98 Index