I am amazed at the loyal crowds that come out to Ben Folds' shows. It was near capacity at Stubb's last night, and Folds delighted fans with songs spanning his two decade career - but this time it was just one man and a Steinway. It's a rare talent to hold an audience in a solo show, but Folds is definitely a pro. It's mostly about his songs, great lyrics, catchy hooks, smart... and the fans sang along to every tune, often in three-part harmony. Communal gatherings like this make live music so special - just one of the those beautiful nights at Stubb's!
Highlights included an improv song about stealing clocks and Austin and then a couple from an upcoming album that Folds wrote with author Nick Hornby, see Levi Johnston's Blues below. I'm not sure that Folds writing could get any more brilliant, but a Hornby collaboration is just taking things to a new level. He also did this funny thing where a guy brought a drum out to the piano, which Folds starting playing, moved over to the side of the stage, while the crew brought out the rest of a drum kit, piece by piece, until he had enough for a drum solo. He did this twice... Check out the video of Kate below for the 2nd time this happened.
And, in addition to Kate, I loved hearing My Philosophy and Underground, oldies reminding me of first seeing Ben Folds 5 back in the '90s.
Afterward, I headed just down the street to Encore to the EP Release of Quiet Company. I reviewed the CD for TX Music (see Issue 30). On a local level, they are charming fans in their own right, lots of energy and a good deal of participation. Always a fun show. On the bill were also The Rocketboys, Stereo is a Lie and Black & White Years.
Hiroshima (BBB Benny Hit His Head)
Levi Johnston's Blues
Quiet Company - It's Better To Spend Money Like There's No Tomorrow Than Spend Tonight Like There's No Money
Quiet Company - On Modern Men