Also known as, The Last Ben Folds post for a while.
In fuzzy contrast to The Bright Eyes Concert, The Ben Folds Concert was a brilliantly social experience. It began with Godfather’s Pizza, where Holli and I met Britty, Dan, David, Chris, Tyler, Tony, Nathan and Brian Granquist. We were fortunate enough to have had David buy us pizza as we drove from Mankato, where we had gone to mass. First pleasant surprise of the night was that Godfather’s Pizza has fantastic breadsticks.
Then we went on to the concert. Gustavus Adolphus is situated high upon a hill in tiny St. Peter, MN. It sits like a manor lording over the residential serfs that toil for its pleasure. The parking was a fair jog from where the venue entrance was. Britty, Holli and I walked together. We walked past a full bottle of ketchup sitting by the sidewalk. That’s important for the end of the story.
We connected with the rest of the group in the line. The queue was daunting, but fast-moving. Once inside we got patted down. Either these security guards were bad at their jobs, hated Ben Folds, or were going pretty lax. I had, in my pockets, a digital camera, cellphone, iPod touch, keys, change, and a checkbook-sized wallet. I made no effort to hide any of these odd shapes, and he patted me lightly and allowed me entrance. This was the first example of how easy and awesome the security was at the concert.
Before the show, Britty and I made purchases. She bought the “faces” shirt, and I bought the “I <3'd Ben Folds before he sucked" t-shirt and a magnet that read, "I went to a Ben Folds concert and all I could afford was this cheap refrigerator magnet." or something like that. Then I changed into my shirt, and I made Holli keep some stuff of mine in her purse, which she resented, but deep down she loves when I make her feel useful.
The opener, Ari Herstand (thank you, Google), was a good musician, but he had a gimmick. This guy has a fascination with looping looping looping looping (I already used that joke in a comment, sorry). Basically, he played guitar and trumpet, sang, and beat boxed. But, being just one guy, he needed a way to use all his talents simultaneously. Thankfully for him, there’s the foot pedal. When he did it the first time, we were all impressed. Then we were less impressed. Then I started to get annoyed. Then I had this strange daydream where I met Ari after the concert, and he asked me how I liked his show. I responded that the looping thing was neat at first, but then it got old. He got angry and retorted, “THAT’S what I do! I loop! I’m the looping guy!” After that, seeing how I hurt his feelings, I cut him more slack.
During this time, Holli and I decided to move up to the bleachers. It was hot on the floor, and I couldn’t really see. The move was a good one, at least for me. It was a little more difficult to make out what was said on stage, but the photos were much better. Also, it wasn’t as warm, and I didn’t keep getting bumped into by drunk hollege girls.
After an excruciating wait, Ben Folds and his duo came out. Ben is such a geek. Even the way he walked out was kinda nerdy. There was a sea of people on the floor and in the stands. Cameras were everywhere. All these glowing rectangles floated in awe in front of the stage. Camera flashes burst like lightning, briefly illuminating a smiling face or two and the odd “thumbs up”. Ben wasted no time. As soon as he was behind the piano, he began.
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In Between Days (I think… I didn’t recognize it.)
First song on new album – Hiroshima
Free Coffee – with distortion peddle and odd objects on piano strings
Zak and Sara
All U Can Eat
B****es Ain’t S**t
Narcolepsy to Piano Solo and back
Lets Get Physical (goofing around)
Battle of Who Could Care Less
Rockin’ the Suburbs
One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
Not The Same
– – – – – –
If there’s a God he’s laughing at us and our football team?
Philosophy (and Misirlou?)
The concert was brilliant. I’m a little bummed that there weren’t two encores, but it was a good encore for being single. Ben’s a good performer, and he pretty much gets down to business. He has a couple “crown involvement” songs, which help keep things interesting. Also, the story behind Hiroshima is a good one.
Check out my Ben Folds Concert photoset.
Here’s some videos I took while I was at it.
B****es Can’t Hang With The Streets
Not The Same
Oh, the ketchup? When we walked back to the car, it was destroyed. Ketchup was everywhere. Too bad I didn’t get a picture of it.