A review of Tori's August 24, 2003 Boston, MA concert was published by the Boston Herald newspaper on August 25, 2003.
Thanks to Don Burgess for telling me about it. You can read it online at bostonherald.com or below:
Tori Amos, Ben Folds put piano pop on top
By Sarah Rodman
Monday, August 25, 2003
Somewhere today there are two very tired pianos being transported to the next stop on the Tori Amos/Ben Folds Lottapianos tour.
Last night at the FleetBoston Pavilion Amos and Folds did a whole lot more than tinkle their respective sets of ivories.
In their disparate but equally crowd pleasing sets, the pair of pianists pounded, caressed and whispered across the tops of those black and white keys in a celebration of the expressive power of rock's most underrated lead instrument. There wasn't a single rhythm or lead guitar lick played all night and that was just fine with the sold-out crowd.
Headliner Amos played for an impressive two hours and was backed ably as always by silky bassist Jon Evans and impressive, multitasking drummer Matt Chamberlain.
The flame-haired songstress, who turned 40 on Friday, was in good voice and seemingly a good mood as she eased onto her piano bench and into the gauzy atmospherics of opener "A Sorta Fairytale,'' which featured a spectral echo effect on her murmuring vocals.
The menacing, chunky low chords of "Professional Widow'' conjured the image of a Led Zeppelin song as played on piano. The sassy "Father Lucifer'' followed, with Amos straddling her bench and playing an electronic keyboard with one hand and her grand piano with the other.
A huge cheer went up for the thrusting rhythms of "Cornflake Girl.''
Somewhere after the scrappy, jazzy romp of "Wednesday'' and Amos' intimate solo spot - which included a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You'' - Amos' predisposition for writing ethereal, midtempo numbers became an anchor. It caused the set to lapse into what sounded like one lovely sounding but awfully long song that roiled and pitched with Chamberlain's intricate grooves and Amos' rumbling piano.
The ship righted itself with the crisp snap of "Take to the Sky'' and the elegiac cadences of "I Can't See New York.''
Opener Folds, playing solo, took his hourlong slot and thrilled his fans - and won over everybody else - with his winsome melodic gifts, manic playing style and comic banter.
Sporting a bushy pre-fame Elton John shag and glasses, Folds performed older tunes, including the melancholy hit ballad "Brick'' and several excellent new songs from his forthcoming EPs that were both funny and poignant.