An article about Tori Amos and Ben Folds appears in the August 29, 2003 edition of The Fayetteville Observer in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
You can read the article online at fayettevillenc.com or below:
Power pianists playing at Walnut Creek
By Jim Washington
It's not easy launching a tour with not one but two 600-pound instruments.
But Tori Amos and Ben Folds aren't always easy artists.
The two ivory-pounders have teamed up for the "Lottapianos tour,'' which lands at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh on Saturday, Aug. 30.
It's the only tour stop in the players' native North Carolina.
Think of it as a younger, more hip version of the Billy Joel and Elton John "Face to Face'' tour, except they won't perform together.
Folds will play an hourlong solo opening set, and Amos will perform with a band including old friends Jon Evans on bass and Matt Chamberlain on drums.
The artists share an affinity for the baby grand piano, a tendency to write personal lyrics and a Tarheel heritage.
Amos wrings a lot of pain from her Bosendorfer, singing aching ballads and soaring anthems based on her most intimate thoughts.
Folds may mine the same psychological fields, but he's more likely to wrap the products in a bow of humor and singalong power pop.
Tori Amos was born Myra Ellen Amos in 1963 in Newton. She was raised in Maryland by her mother and father, a Methodist preacher.
The family moved to Maryland, where the young Tori played in Washington, D.C., clubs and studied at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory.
Following a foray into pop metal, Amos looked into herself and released "Little Earthquakes'' in 1992.
Her bare-bones style and soul-baring lyrics drew comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush while creating a legion of adoring fans.
Amos' career continued upward with "Under the Pink,'' which featured the college radio hits "God'' and "Cornflake Girl.''
The singer and songwriter has continued to follow her own path, releasing an album of cover songs, a half-live, half-new double disc, dabbling in electronic sounds and most recently putting out "Scarlet's Walk,'' a CD based on a road trip across America.
Born in Winston-Salem, Ben Folds tested the musical waters by playing bass in a local band, becoming session drummer in Nashville and spending time in New York and Miami before coming back to Carolina.
In Chapel Hill, he, along with Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge, he broke out of the fold by forming a piano, bass and drums trio dubbed the Ben Folds Five.
The band played fun and funny songs about girls, breaking up, losing friends and other college angst.
After three critically embraced albums and a huge hit with "Brick,'' the Five went their separate ways. Folds' first solo album, "Rockin' the Suburbs,'' came out in 2001.
In an interesting move the singer, currently recording another album set to come out early next year, will release several EPs during the recording process. The first, "Speed Graphic,'' is available at www.benfolds.com .
Staff writer Jim Washington can be reached at email@example.com or 323-4848, extension 384.
When: Saturday, Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Raleigh
Tickets: $40, available through Ticketmaster at 223-2900
Information: (919) 831-6400