Tori Amos began her professional pop career in the unfortunately named bad hard-rock band Y Kant Tori Read; she’d become pretty twisted in a life spent swaying ambivalently between child musical prodigy and naughty street girl. She reemerged in 1992 with a lush and interestingly appointed album, Little Earthquakes. On its best tracks–my favorite was the roaring single “Crucify”–her wound-up ballads found a middle ground between new age and rock ‘n’ roll. She’s efficiently tapped into the niche left by Kate Bush; if you’re one of those who loved Bush’s first album, The Kick Inside, and have become disaffected by her subsequent pop and dance-music crossovers, you’ll love Amos, whose keening falsetto often sounds like Bush’s and who still comfortably inhabits a dark, awesomely arranged and produced romantic landscape of thundering piano, clashing dynamics, and lots of synth. (Tori Amos records sound great at high volume.) If you pay only cursory attention to what she’s saying, you think she’s wailing about fairy tale-ish knights and ogres; listen closer and you’ll find she’s got grittier things in mind: romantic alienation, sex sex sex, being “in the wrong band,” and screaming bloody murder. Thursday, March 24, 7.30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449 or 559-1212.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Cindy Palmano.