Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ben Folds @Terminal 5, Oct. 1st

Thanks to Wawa and his desire to catch his beloved Chicago Cubs in playoff action, Bestest Boy and I ended up with Wawa's tickets and last minute plans to see the always fun Ben Folds at Terminal 5 -- my first trip to this venue. We got there early enough to stand through the opener, a pleasant and talented but ultimately unremarkable Missy Higgins, her greatest hit to date featured on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. We did think the sound at T5 was actually pretty decent, about 6 or 7 people back from the stage.

By the time Ben Folds hit the stage, the place was packed with an interesting mix of Ben Folds diehards and irritating young'uns who probably comprised the musical theater clique in high school. I swear I never wanted to pop so many kids before in my life! As Wawa remarked the following when I recapped the show for him, we must be at an age where General Admission standing is no longer an attractive option.

Once the music started, Bestest Boy and I were, for the most part, able to forget the annoyances and jump right into the music. Bestest Boy has very little prior exposure to Ben Folds (other than what randomly has come up on my iPod on shuffle), and
I'd seen Folds a few times prior, the best time being 2nd row center at Town Hall. The great thing about Folds' music is that he is so crazy energetic, you needn't know all his songs by heart to have a good time. In fact, I only own Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five. Folds is such a fantastic performer -- he truly seems like he is having a blast shakin' his piano and shakin' his ass. Why he even has a stool, I do not know, for there was not a lot of sitting going on.

With his dorky glasses, rumpled hair and striped rugby shirt, he reminded me of a zany children's program host, or some kind of pied piper, leading us through his lyrically creative music. In fact, much of the set featured alternate versions of songs from his latest release, Way to Normal. He explained that to circumvent the official album being pirated online prior to its release date, he and the band made up fake versions and leaked those, but had so much fun writing them, they figured why not play those too on this tour. Why the hell not?

Thankfully, Folds also played many of the hits that the crowd was hungry for. I got to hear a bunch off of my one cd ;).

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