Uptonian Thoughts

Ben Folds

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Ben Folds played last night in the Burruss Hall auditorium on campus. I have known about and listened to Ben Folds for quite some time (when he was still with his Five), but I’m not too familiar with a lot of his music right now.

Folds is an extremely talented musician, and that may be an understatement. His song-writing skills elicit notions that maybe, just maybe, the mass-produced pop music of today’s scene leave a lot to be desired. His music is upbeat, even poppy, but it’s intelligent, humorous, and witty.

The evening was opened by a musician named Eef Barzelay, and while he made the crowd laugh with his pointed songs, something about his sound seemed to be off. Maybe it was his overly harsh acoustic guitar tone, or maybe the loudness of his microphone, but something was definitely unusual about his set.

The Ben Folds show was great, with the obligatory Bitches Ain’t Shit cover, and a rendition of The Postal Service’s Such Great Heights. At one point in the show, Folds slowed it down for a few songs. After making it clear that he wanted to get through the song Gracie with no “hootin’ and hollerin’”, Folds must have started the song over five or six times, but we all eventually got through it.

Folds’ backing band was amazingly talented. To be able to generate that sort of sound with three musicians and no guitar is incredible. Folds’ new synth (complete with obligatory Final Countdown riffage) added a new element to the show.

It was a great show overall, and I left as a bigger fan of Ben Folds than as I entered.