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Read a review of Tori's 2003 Canandaigua/Rochester, NY concert from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
August 18, 2003

Updated Tue, Aug 19, 2003 - 4:17pm ET

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The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper posted a review of Tori's August 17, 2003 concert in Canandaigua/Rochester, NY in their August 18, 2003 edition.

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Many thanks to Woj for bringing this to my attention. You can read this press concert review online at or below:

Amos, Folds offer piano aplenty

By Jeff Spevak
Staff Music Critic

Tori Amos is the Grateful Dead for the Angry Young Woman Screaming To Get Out Of Everyone's Body. Her fans follow like pilot fish snapping up chum in the wake of a shark. A check of ticket sales by promoters of Sunday night's show at Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center revealed purchases made in 20 New York counties and 22 states.

But it's not so much a school these days following Amos as it is a Scooby-Doo lunch box. Unable to compete with the corporate weight of the ClearChannel Entertainment-controlled Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the crowd was a slim 3,000 for the only real pop show of the season at the once-busy venue (Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge doesn't qualify). If Ben Folds hadn.t drawn his own cadre of enthusiasts, Amos could have taken the crowd on a tour of the wine country in her bus.

Of course, they make up for that with the ethereal intensity of New Age warlocks. Rather than settling down, Amos appears to be uncovering new belts of intoxicating stratospheric gasses with each passing year. All feathered up in a pink Nora Desmond eveningwear shawl, Amos even has a spunky side: Describing how she.d encountered Kiss and Aerosmith in her hotel lobby, Amos offered a close approximation of Gene Simmons. tongue.

Alongside just a bass player and drummer, Amos accompanied her swooping voice with a delicate piano style. Her main keyboard inspiration appears to be rain falling on George Winston. With both electric piano and grand piano at her fingertips, her playing dominated the night, even swiveling between the two on songs such as "Sweet Sangria".

Folds performed unadorned: Just his stool, a bench and no band in sight. But with the sun setting over Canandaigua Lake, the lawn dotted with people on blankets and just that grand piano, Folds. music was like cocktail hour for an audience of Young Twenties who recently landed their first real jobs as he opened with "Best Imitation of Myself."

Folds is an interesting character of a pianist, his thunderous chords on Liz Phair's "Chopsticks" melting away to the more-traditional version of "Chopsticks". He's often been compared to Elton John, since both appear to write pop music, but John never slammed his forearm down on the keyboard to produce a multi-octave crescendo. That's something that Folds often did with his former rock trio, the Ben Folds Five, but was no less amusing in the solo format.

Alternating between standing and sitting at the piano throughout the hourlong set, he delivered a solemn "Brick," a familiar hit spotlighting a teenage abortion, and arranged an audience-participation harmony on "Not the Same".

Folds seemed a little nervous, with wandering dialogues between songs. Despite the personal nature of some of his songs, Folds said he never actually had a mullet as described in "Army". It's the style of a guy making his first-time appearance at a comedy open mike. "If you've ever wondered what it's like to be one of those comedians in a tie standing against a brick backdrop," Folds confessed, "it's lonely."

But it's not difficult to be charmed by a guy who notes that a recent publishing contract required him to write 4.6 songs, then plays one with a chorus of "3.6 to go."

Posted by: Mikewhy

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