Tori Amos has yet to duplicate the mainstream success she found with the singles “God” and “Cornflake Girl” off 1994’s Under the Pink, but she maintains a devoted cult following nonetheless.
The concert DVD Welcome to Sunny Florida kicks off with interviews of obsessed fans, some of whom have seen her perform dozens, even hundreds, of times. Whatever it is—her complex feminism, her combination of fragility and strength, her majestic compositions—Amos has carved out a niche of her own. It’s more than a little interesting to note her continued success as so many beneficiaries of the alt-rock explosion of the early and mid ’90s are now working in record stores or vegan restaurants.
Welcome to Sunny Florida is shot documentary style, avoiding fancy camerawork for a more stripped-down approach that’s well-suited to Amos’ three-person live presentation. While drummer Matt Chamberlain and bassist Jon Evans are plenty impressive, and Amos’ songs certainly lend themselves to a more cinematic treatment, the focus here is rightfully on the singer, straddling a bench between her grand piano and keyboards. As if to drive home this documentary feel, the DVD captures Amos in several typically unseen concert moments, like when she takes a swig of bottled water, only to spit it out on the stage. Sadly, there’s nothing revelatory about the performance itself.