Josh kindly sent me this review from the Birmingham News. The review appeared online at the Birmingham News web site on February 24, 2003. The reviewer, Mary Colurso, gave the concert 3 stars out of a possible 4, which equals 'good.' The review did not appear in the paper, just on the website, and initially did not have a star rating. However, Josh emailed Mary and asked her what star rating she would have given it, and she replied that she would give it 3 stars :)
ECCENTRIC TORI AMOS DELIVERS FIRE-AND-ICE VOCALS
*** (out of four)
News staff writer
If a Cornflake Girl isn't careful, her distinctive brand of music can sink, become soggy or get stale.
But that isn't likely to happen to Myra Ellen Amos, known all over the world as Tori. Her imagination is a finely tuned instrument, just like her beautiful Bosendorfer piano.
Amos, 39, has said that her songs poetic and complex pieces that resemble avant-garde arias come to her like necessary visitors.
She writes them in moments of pain, like in times when a woman is recovering from rape or the loss of a pregnancy. She writes them at times of joy, when inspired by nature or contemplating her role as a wife and mother. She writes them when world events seem overwhelming, or when she senses her country is in crisis.
An American crisis point, the aftermath of the Sept. 11 tragedies, prompted Amos' most recent album, "Scarlet's Walk." She presented selections from that disc, along with others in her fiercely fanciful catalog, Saturday night at Birmingham's BJCC Concert Hall.
Performing with bassist Jon Evans and drummer Matt Chamberlain, Amos sang and played for two full hours, starting at 9:15 p.m. A crowded house of fans (many of them so devoted they've earned the nickname "Toriphiles") gave the trio rapt attention throughout the theatrical show and two sets of encores.
Amos gifted her listeners with fire-and-ice vocals as she flipped from her piano to a set of electronic keyboards at her back, straddling a bench placed between them.
Tightly meshed in the music troupe, she was the undisputed center of attention during 24 or 25 songs that included "Cornflake Girl," "iieee," "Merman," "Rattlesnakes," "Space Dog," "Crucify," "Pancake," "Sweet Sangria" and "I Can't See New York."
Amos also covered the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" at the point in show she privately terms "Tori's choice," and put a slow-mo spin on a vignette from "Sweet Home Alabama."
The title of Amos' latest single, "a sorta fairytale," might be used as a thematic statement for this performance, bearing in mind that each sugarplum she tosses is balanced by a poison apple. Not everyone will have a taste for such fare, yet those who follow Amos' work find it succulent, even sublime. She's a committed artist with a singular vision tough to understand at times, but certainly never boring.