Tori Amos' latest album, Strange Little Girls, is a collection of covers of well-known songs written by men, including “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” and “Heart of Gold,” to which she has given her unique musical twist. The tour began in the US in the fall and ended in Italy in December.

Daniel Boland, the LD, graduated from Cal Arts in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in theatre, and went straight to work at Light & Sound Design. “They pretty much gave me my start,” he says, “and I worked my way up the ladder. My first real programming gig was with Merle McLain on Luther Vandross. I've programmed Earth, Wind & Fire, worked as a tech on the 1996 Olympics, and I worked with Butch Allen on Hole.” From there he went on to be both lighting designer and director for Tori Amos, A Perfect Circle, and Usher.

For this tour, the design ideas came from the album concept. “Her CD is a female perspective on male-written songs,” the LD says. “The angle I came from was ‘one-point perspective,’ the idea being one performer, but many different angles which all play to this one point. From there we designed the backdrops and set piece.”

Boland worked with Joe Gallagher at Accurate Staging, who built the set; the parachute drops and torn drapes came from Black Sheep Enterprises, and the painted drop was created and supplied by Superior Backing. For lighting, the x.Spots were important because of “the 21 gobo choices — 14 with seven effects. I had to create many different looks. The quality of the optics made it easy to fade in and out between gobos.” As for the conventionals, “Tori was lit with two Source Fours, with Lee 176 [Loving Amber] frontlight, and two PAR cans with a color spill on the back.”

The LD developed most of the looks with Tori. “I'd sit with her and make up the set list to work off whatever she was feeling that day, and create that mood. We have 93 songs programmed — she knows so many songs, and every night she feels like doing something else. Every afternoon I'd be programming new songs — a never-ending challenge but very rewarding.”

TORI AMOS STRANGE LITTLE TOUR

Lighting Designer/Director
Daniel Boland

Crew Chief
Stephen “Root” Baeckeroot

Lighting Tech/x.Spot Tech — US leg
Chris Badger

Lighting Tech/x.Spot Tech — European leg
Glenn Powers

Lighting Supplier
LSD/Fourth Phase

Lighting Equipment

10

High End Systems x.Spots

12

High End Systems Studio Beam PCs

4

ETC Source Four 19º

4

NSP PAR-64s

7

3-cell far cycs

1

Lowel-Light DP with barndoors

2

Wybron color changers

2

Reel EFX DF-50 hazers

2

Flying Pig Systems Wholehog II consoles

1

Wholehog II expansion wing