It has been quite some time since either of us waited in line for a general admission show. The last one I remember was Jimmy Page's solo tour at Memorial Hall (another blog for another time). We waited in the rain for over 45 minutes to get into KC's historic Uptown Theater to see Ben Folds. Not bad for a couple of fortysomethings with a two-year-old baby (baby did not attend).
The opening band, AKA "music to dry out by", featured Aussie Missy Higgins. Backed by a solid band, Missy rocked out like Fiona Apple with a guitar and an accent.
Missy's band was a good warm-up and dry-out act ... but this crowd was ready for Ben.
Ben Folds is a quirky Billy Joel for the geeky nerds of this generation. Ben can rock a piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, write melodies like Lennon/McCartney, and kick out smart-ass lyrics like Cake and Weezer.
Click here for a You Tube video of "Song for the Dumped."
The crowd was ready to rock after standing in the deluge, and Ben Folds and his band did not disappoint. Ben's playing style is more like attacking the piano than playing it. He stood up for most songs in an almost fencing stance, rocking back and forth, pounding the keys, all the while singing and playing to the crowd.
The show opened with songs from the new album "Way to Normal." Sometimes you go to a concert, and you just can't wait for the band to get though the "new stuff." Not the case here. The man just cannot write a bad song. And as if to prove it, he and the band wrote fake songs based on each of the titles of the new album and released them on the Internet as a joke. But the problem was, they were really good songs, and fans and the band liked some of them as much as the real ones--so they added several to the set list.
Ben told stories about some of the lyrics, joked with the crowd, and generally fed off the good vibe in the room.
The show featured two encores with lots of hits and the whole show lasted over 2-1/2 hours. This was one of the best shows we've been to in quite a while, and will definely catch Ben the next time he is in KC.
Set list compliments of Back to Rockville Blog - KC Star
Way to Normal
This Song Has No Title
You Don’t Know Me (with Missy Higgins)
Dr. Yang (fake)
The Bitch Went Nuts
Kylie from Connecticut
Free Coffee Town
Zak and Sarah
The Bitch Went Nuts (fake )
Still Fighting It
Rocking the Suburbs
Frown Song (fake)
Not the Same