Click the links to jump to particular sTories, or simply scroll down.  The most recent are at the top.  It's going to take some time to get all of my experiences written down, so forgive me if some sTories are still missing.

StrangeLittleTour Toronto 2001
StrangeLittleTour Boston 2001
StrangeLittleTour Wallingford 2001
5.5 Weeks Tour with Alanis Toronto 1999


Okay all, so it's way way overdue. I apologize. But at least it is finally here: all the details of my first Tori Amos concert, complete with some background on why Tori is so special for me. I took many pics at the meet and greet and got some which are lovely - I was quite happy for my first pics! Below you'll find pics from that day's soundcheck, courtesy of You'll also find a link to my gallery, where any pictures I've scanned that I took at the meet and greet are located.

~November 4, 1999~



As soon as I heard the news of the 5 1/2 Weeks Tour, I felt my heart begin to race. I could barely contain myself. Tori was touring, unexpectedly at that. The buzz on the Dent was ubiquitious; threads sprung up on topics ranging from, "Why is she touring with ALANIS?" to "Why is she touring so soon?" and, as word of To Venus and Back came, "Did she and Mark divorce?" (For the Tori neophyte, all of her new albums spring from some source of pain; we hadn't heard of anything to trigger new writing, so fans feared the worst about one of the cutest couples I've ever seen). I, in the meantime, was couting my lucky stars: Tori was coming to Toronto and although I was flat busted, I had a VISA with a $1000 dollar limit.

May 28, 1999: Lilith Fair tix went on sale. That same morning, tickets for Tori were due on sale for most venues. Toronto was supposed to be on sale. I sat in the campus computer lab, waiting.... I bought Lilith Fair tix, choked on the raised prices. The 5 1/2 Weeks tour site was not working as it was supposed to. I began to panic. Maybe they changed things around for the sale, changed sites. I flipped through the Dent. Everyone else was confused. I phoned Ticketmaster Canada - "What Tori and Alanis show?" After 7 hours of watching every venue except a few (including Toronto) go on sale, I gave up. I worried about Toronto. I NEEDED to see Tori.

May 29, 1999: I checked out again. No luck. I waited til 1 pm then said "Fuck it. I have to go out." As I left that day I had a feeling that the tickets would go on sale and sell out while I was out sometime. I came home at 8pm and went online. I had numerous emails from fellow Dent-ers. "Toronto's on sale!!! Hurry!" They were from 2pm. I began to cry, and started hoping I could get something in the 200's at least. I checked for best available.... held my breath

102, row N, seat 17

I gasped and furiously typed in my info. I was stunned. 14th row! That was still so good! I was shocked.....

I sang Happy Phantom all the way back to my res house. I was going to see Tori!


Finding Tori's music and bringing her genius into my life is a long story but I'll try to sum up. I went to Lilith Fair 1 with two friends. I'd gone to see Jewel, Wild Strawberries, and Meredith Brooks, and to "check out Sarah McLachlan". One of my friends, Jai, would not shut up about how much she loved Sarah McLachlan, one of her two faves. Her other fave singer was Tori Amos, who she affectionately called (for reasons I can't recall) "The Dandelion Queen". I fell in love with Sarah that night and asked Jai what was Sarah's best. I bought two CDs the next day.

Where's Tori in this? Since I loved Sarah so much, I remembered Jai's babbling and said, "Well obviously Jai has good taste so I should check out Tori Amos as well." I found a copy of Boys For Pele in the public library and borrowed it. Hard to believe now, but I didn't like it. It bored me. *listens to your gasps* Considering how much I love her now, it's strange I shrugged and said Nay to Ms Amos. I really liked Caught a Lite Sneeze and Talula but the rest just didn't connect with me. As I tell people now, Tori only connects with you if your soul is "ready" to receive her. I know many survivors who initially tossed aside Little Earthquakes CDs friends had given them, only later to pick them up and love them. At the time, what I needed was Sarah McLachlan's quiet solace. The passionate anger, the "keep fighting" I get from Tori, was beyond my battered soul's ability. Also, Boys For Pele later turned out to be my least fave. No wonder her first impression didn't get me.

Fast forward to September 1998. Muchmusic announced they would play a video that people had written in about, saying it was "Disturbing". I was intrigued, and watched. It was Spark. I was floored by the video; it was so powerful. The song captured my soul. I saw the Choirgirl disc a couple weeks later in a listening booth and started flipping through tracks. A couple weeks later I bought the CD. I was in love. I started looking at Tori websites. I wanted to know more. I wrote off BFP and decided I wanted LE and UtP. I was upset I'd missed the July Plugged concert. So close!

November 8, 1999: My fiance, someone I'd been with for 18 months, broke up with me. I was devastated, suicidal. My depression hit an all-time low. Life had taken so much from me already; I couldn't accept another loss. Choirgirl became my crutch. Northern Lad and Spark were anthems. Within weeks I went on a buying frenzy. LE, UtP, singles, the video collection, Live in NY. I needed Tori. She knew me so well. In a few months, I borrowed BFP from the library again. This time, we made a connection, enough for me to buy it.

Which brings this EWF to the present......


Ask any of my friends. I didn't shut up. Meet and Greet! Tori live! Alanis as a bonus! 14th row! I was so impatient. One problem came up though - living in res had a downside. I had to vacate for two weeks - including the concert date. No one in my family lived in the area anymore; they'd all moved. I hurriedly made arrangements to stay with a friend even though her sister wants me dead (LONG story). Nothing would stop me. Nothing.

I arrived at my friend's house the day before the show. I held my ritual of listening to the CDs of who I would be seeing the night before the show. My letter to Tori was a problem. I'd written it one day in the computer lab but didn't have money to print it and had forgotten my disk. I'd emailed it to myself. It remained there, yet to be printed. My friend Kelly's sister wouldn't get off the internet so I could print it and considering we were threatening to knife each other in the night, I wasn't pushing it. I went to sleep at 3 am that night, worrying about how I'd get down to the venue early enough to have a shot at meeting Tori. I wanted to hand my letter to her and thank her for keeping me alive...... literally.....


I woke up and with my friend's help managed to at last print my letter. We went out so I could buy a camera and other goodies. I took a bus to the mall where I was to catch the bus downtown and got to the subway at 10:50 am. I was running behind as far as I was concerned. I took the subway (which I'm still new at using) and luckily found the right street car to Molson Ampitheatre. It dropped off close by but I had no idea where I was going. I stumbled through the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) grounds and was luckily directed towards the Ampitheatre. I arrived about 12:20 pm. There was only a group of maybe 8 people there. I calmed down. It would be easy to make it up to see Tori and say hi.

I met a number of really nice people while there. I have social anxiety of sorts and always think people are looking at me and laughing inside. Naturally, this makes me afraid to speak up. I somehow calmed down though -- these were TORI FANS. They shared something very special with me. I met a pair of girls who had travelled on bus from Montreal (I think). They looked so tired! I also met a girl who, like me, was seeing Tori for the first time. She'd flown in from Newfoundland. I also met (sp?) Appelonia from the Dent. She had a cool fish for Tori - Delerium's fish.

I was keeping my eyes peeled for Marianne, a girl from the Dent who was as thrilled as I was, and who was graciously bringing my Dent laminate. As we waited, a group of latecomers arrived and began another line to wait in on the other side. When Steve told us to back up, they took it upon themselves to selfishly cut ahead of everyone who'd been there four hours longer. I was furious with their behaviour. I'd been hearing of some "nasty" fans at M&G's but this was ridiculous. I so wanted those from far away to get to meet Tori. Sure I did too. But they were there before ME so they took priority. This was my huge disappointment for the day. What upset me more was that they had shirts on from the 5 1/2 Weeks tour, a strong sign they'd already seen Tori and likely had met her. I was so disappointed in them.

I met other Denters while there (TW, eg). I was worried about Marianne missing the M&G. There was still no sign of her as far as I knew -- she'd said she would wear her laminate so I could find her but I couldn't see her. When the barricades went up and we were finally allowed to move in, I was at a barricade rail (see below)

X**- ME_______X

We then learned to our shock that Tori would only come to the top part of my diagram. The girl from Newfoundland was way behind me. One of the girls from Montreal was upset because she wasn't near a rail at all. I looked to the front row and who would be meeting Tori. Mostly the people who'd arrived much later and cut in. I was disgusted.

We were corraled (sp?) like cattle for at least half an hour. We were waiting for Tori to come back from her visit to Muchmusic. When she finally arrived, all of my disappointments faded. There was the limo! Joel was in it! Fuck it! I could pass up my letter. I was about to see Tori.

Tori came out five minutes later on a golf cart. She was wearing a cute skirt with a black top. Her red hair was curly and gorgeous. I began snapping pictures. I felt I wouldn't get an autograph so I'd left my stuff in my bag (I later regretted this). Part way through, the girl from Montreal was crying so others helped push her towards the front (against Joel's rules). Items were madly passed up and I wished I was able to get out my Choirgirl cover. We made sure the girl from Newfoundland got her notebook signed. All the while I snapped wildly. One of the girls had made a cool puppet; she'd brought the puppet to be signed and a picture of it for Tori to keep. Tori waved for it to be passed up and Joel put it on and danced it about. I laughed so hard. I passed my letter to a "butter" who gave it to Joel for me. I breathed a sigh of relief.

A man in a wheelchair (who obviously couldn't be in the cage) was wheeled up by a friend who asked if Tori could come sign something. She looked to Joel, who gave her the go ahead and she came around right beside me and signed his shirt. Her smile and kind words for him warmed my heart. I have four pictures from that time.

Alas, with a sad look, Tori left us. And we poured out of our cage. I had just witnessed Torimagick. My new found friends felt bad that I'd gotten no autograph. I shrugged. I had pictures and memories. There was next time. I managed to get 18 pictures, 10 of them amazing. My favourite one, with Tori smiling widely at the picture of the puppet, is on my dresser.

We finally found Marianne, who had been there and had managed to be up close. She'd also gotten her Tori Anthology signed. She and her friend looked adorable, and were very nice. Wandering about I met Delerium and Jupiter Girl. I pleaded in my head, "Please Tori read my letter and play Spark". Just that one song.

Marianne, her friend and I went for food and sounds of the soundcheck drifted in the air. We heard Hotel, Northern Lad twice and another song (memory fails me). I was thrilled. Would she really play them? I was broke and short cash and Marianne gave me money for food. I still owe you five bucks BTW if you're reading this! She also offered to buy me a necklace too but I turned her down flat. I'm too proud about those things.

We finally got in and went shopping. I bought a necklace and a program. Marianne bought oodles of stuff. There was a beautiful shirt I wanted and couldn't afford and it tore me up. But I somehow managed restraint. Soon....... the show began.......


I settled into my seat to wait. Marianne had scored second row. I was jealous but thrilled for her. She deserved it. I couldn't complain. I had a great seat, I discovered as I sat down. My breath caught in my throat as the expected opener began off stage:

"God sometimes you just don't come through....."

I screamed with the crowd. There she was! Tori was wearing a red dress, which reminded me of something my mom would like. I wished she'd worn one of the cute aprons I always hear of. Of course, I wished this after the show. She could have been naked for all I cared. She was there and so was I.

Song by song, here's the rundown:

GOD - This song rocked ass. Plain and simple. It was loud and upbeat and everything I could have hoped for. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

SUGAR - I really like this song, but I LOVE it Plugged. Tori was wild and powerful. I think this was definitely one of the best performances of the set. Adding the band gave the song a new life and power.

I I E E E - Throughout the tour I'd been watching the set lists and had noticed that Choirgirl was being left out almost completely. No show had a Choirgirl presence, or one song if any at all. This worried me as Choirgirl is one of my fave CDs, and was of course so important to me. As this one began, I was ecstatic. She's one of my faves on Choirgirl. I later heard something went wrong with the keyboard during this song but I guess I was too caught up in "my first show!!!" to notice. Listening to the boot later, you can hear her improv lyrics to kill time, and she even sings "I need my keyboard checked" :) At the beginning she also did this cute little dance, swaying her hips. She looked so happy to be playing.

CORNFLAKE GIRL - I expected this girl to show and I was not disappointed. Everyone around me was singing along. The "BRRRRRRRR!" thing was so cute!

BLISS - The first Venus girl to join us that night, and amazing live. No one around me knew the song at all - I was the only one. They enjoyed it, judging from their applause. I got teary-eyed.

NORTHERN LAD - As promised to a fan I'd met earlier, Tori played this song. Not only was I happy to hear another one from Choirgirl, this song got me through so much pain. I cried and cried.


CHINA - Totally unexpected. Beautiful live. I wish my girlfriend had been with me because she really likes China.

FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT - The huge surprise of the night. She began talking to us about how the man who wrote this song was one of her favourite writers, and how although he was older he was very sexy. I started pondering right away: a Zeppelin cut? She then mentioned how he was from "your neck of the woods" and I still couldn't figure it out. As she started, she mentioned how he'd "shag you senseless" and I laughed so hard. Finally, as it began, I recognized it and was thrilled. I'd never heard all of Blue Raincoat yet... and I heard it for the first time LIVE. Beautiful, beautiful song.


SUEDE - I had never heard this Venus girl, and loved it. So space-y..... Like another world emerging from Tori's soul. She stood to play this one for much of it.

BLOOD ROSES - Don't attack me, but this song pisses me off on BFP. I love the lyrics but the music really irritates me a lot. But with the band, she won me over. It rocked, it really did.

HOTEL - The third Choirgirl song and I was thrilled. Tori went all out, throwing herself into this one. I later wondered how she reserved strength to belt out the last two of the night. One of my fave performances of the night.

WAITRESS - Expected this one, but it made me sad to hear it because I knew the set was done except for the encore. The album version has nothing on this track live. It went on for almost ten minutes..... This is Tori unbound.

ENCORE: PRECIOUS THINGS - I knew what the encore would be and anticipated it. She sure didn't disappoint. This girl likes to explode on stage. A powerful, breathtaking end to an amazing show.

FYI Alanis played.......

Hand In My Pocket
All I Really Want
Would Not Come
Still (?) - I didn't hear her exactly
Sympathetic Character
That I Would Be Good
You Learn
These R The Thoughts
So Pure
You Oughta Know
Thank U

I was sad in a way that Tori didn't play Spark; then again, I realized that she'd played a lot of Choirgirl - almost as if she knew how much those girls mean to me. And Famous Blue Raincoat was a treat! All in all a kick-ass night that I will NOT forget! And there it is! My first sTORI!

MY MEET AND GREET PICS! Click the link!


These pictures were taken at Toronto - they even put up pics of the band!

Tori!  This is the m&g outfit

I love this one

A bit dark, but still nice. Check the foil on stage

Jon Evans

Caton!  He is so talented

Matt Chamberlain