The first time I saw Ben Folds (with Ben Folds Five) was nearly a decade ago when he opened up for The Counting Crows at UC Berkeley’s open-air Greek Theatre. I had no idea who he was, but I was taken in by his energy, story telling and piano skills. The release of Rockin’ the Suburbs sealed the deal, and I’ve been an avid fan ever sense.
Since that time, I saw him open for Tori Amos at the San Diego State University open-air amphitheatre, and then a couple of years later again when he headlined at San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall (Rufus Wainwright opened). I will always remember the latter concert for his cover of Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” That song never fails to crack me up. It even inspired a choir group to sing it a capella.
Each concert has been better than the last, so when I saw that he was coming to the Warfield in San Francisco, I made sure I was online with Ticketmaster the moment tickets went on sale. And, given that I hate Ticketmaster, that’s saying something.
The concert was last Thursday, and Ben Folds has yet to disappoint. I love that he takes the time to talk to the audience and give background on songs. During one of these moments, he talked about how prior to the official release of “Way to Normal” he leaked an entire fake album as a joke. Recorded in one night in Dublin, Ben Folds created 9 original songs that turned out to have the same song titles as the official album, but completely different lyrics and melodies. He played both versions of several songs during the concert, and you’d never know that one was put together in a night.
The bottom line – if you ever have a chance to see Ben Folds live, make sure you do. You won’t be disappointed.