May 28, 2007 Rome

Monday 15 August 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

May 28, 2007
Rome, Italy
Teatro Sistina

Setlist

Act I (Santa)

Body & Soul
My Posse Can Do
Programmable Soda
Secret Spell
Dragon
You Can Bring Your Dog

Interlude Professional Widow remix

Act II (Tori)

Big Wheel
Crucify
Liquid Diamonds
Cornflake Girl
Bells for Her
Siren

T & Bö (Solo time)

“we all have secrets” improv
Silent All These Years
Cooling

Band Returns

Goodbye Pisces
God
Code Red

First Encore

Precious Things
General Joy

Second Encore

Hoochie Woman
Hey Jupiter

Rome was the city chosen by Tori to launch the American Doll Posse World Tour, which comes as no surprise for an album directly addressing how patriarchal order has created an inner division in individuals and women in particular. "I chose Rome as the beginning date because I want to invite all the Vatican to the concert, including the Pope," said a witty Tori to Kataweb in April 2007. "This is a community, a communion among women to which all are invited."

And she wasn’t joking: she really did send a personal invitation to the Pope! The message was reproduced on Undented two days before the show:

"A MESSAGE FOR HIS HOLINESS POPE BENIDICT XVI

As a Daughter of the Christian Church I invite you, The Father of The Vatican to partake in Musical Communion as we commence The American Doll Posse World Tour in Rome.

Because it’s you, a small entourage would be welcome.

As Always,

I am
Tori Amos"

Of course, Benidict XVI, who often blamed the naughty influence of modern icons and rock stars in particular, didn’t show up and we don’t know if the Vatican ever replied to the invitation.

However, the influence of the place was pretty strong in the setlist that night. Santa, personnified after Venus/Aphrodite, the Love Goddess, was the first "doll" to come out and greet the audience. Of course, she symbolizes sensuality but there’s an even deeper link between this Goddess and Italy as Italian Renaissance artist Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus in 1485. Santa opened her set with the more than appropriate "Body and Soul" before taking on the powers that be of patriarchy with "My Posse Can Do." The rest of her set was very much about women coming to terms with their sensuality and sexuality and be pride of themselves.

Tori’s set was very much oriented on religion, guilt and dividness within one being in a broader way (having a passionate side and a more "reserved" one) with songs such as "Crucify" of course but also "Bells for Her," "Siren," "Silent All These Years," "Cooling," "God" and "Hoochie Woman." She also sang for the first and last time of the tour "Goodbye Pisces," which was a perfect fit for the place since the word pisces (aside his zodiac meaning) refers to the early Christians (meaning ’Jesus fish’) as well as an architectural motif (vesica pisces) used in Roman churches in particular. Nowadays, it is used to show membership to the Christian Church but the symbol held different meanings and interpretations before St. Augustine extracted the word from the acrostic prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl.

Indeed, the early Christians used to draw this symbol (almond shaped though it became round shaped later) in the dust, carrying on the practice of the ancient Pythagoreans who made the shape an important part of their teachings because of its unique properties. In those earlier times, it was associated with… the Goddess Venus and represented female genitalia! No wonder Tori chose to sing this Beekeeper song in Rome, even more when you know the Christ is often depicted inside the vesica in the ancient Roman churches… which is thought to represent him inside Mary’s womb, symbolizing the coming together of heaven and earth inside his body since he’s part man and part god. The vesica pisces often stands on the church portal, thus symbolizing a portal between the two realms. You can learn more about it in this excellent article on symboldictionary.net (which was my main source of information for this article).

Recordings

Is there an official recording of this show ? No.
Is there a bootleg of this show ? Yes, you can find an audio as well as a complete video bootleg of the show.