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Atlanta Journal-Constitution (US)
August 28, 2003


Singer-pianist brings her 'metaphorical fire' to show at Chastain

by Jamie Gumbrecht

IF TORI AMOS AND BEN FOLDS were to have a duel on this summer's "Lottapianos" tour, it's hard to say who would win.

Folds is known for raucous melodies, a quirky demeanor and a hand-span larger than E.T.'s, suitable for hitting notes in ways most players can only dream of.

BUT AMOS SETS FIRES well, not real ones, that is, lest anyone point out that she played Center Stage in the 1990s, leaving the Midtown venue just hours before it burned.

In a recent call from Chicago, Amos said every night of the summer's tour reflects a new element, including fire.

She calls it a "metaphorical fire," a new fairy tale at every show, based on what's in the news, what's going on in her life, what's going on in the city.

Celebrating her Native American heritage, Amos says it's a reflection of her history, when people would gather around a blaze to share stories and information. "At a certain point, it's just to be a part of a tradition, a privilege," Amos says.

Her latest release, "Scarlet's Walk," follows an Everywoman as she travels around the United States, meeting other women, understanding the land and the history.

And on this tour, Amos is accompanied by her 2-year-old, Natashya (along with Folds' 4-year-old twins). "Natashya contributes to the story and doesn't even know it," Amos said. "The things she picks up on and sees, sometimes I just miss seeing. It's all through a child's eyes." Of course, that doesn't mean Amos' childlike spark is gone.

"I played the night [Center Stage] burned, kind of a Drew Barrymore Firestarter moment," she says. "I guess I'm lucky enough to have danced with the devil, had a wonderful time, glorious evenings and a cup of tea now and then."

* THE 411: $28.50-$43.50. 7 p.m. Monday. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive. N.W., Atlanta. 404-249-6400,

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