Ben Folds Five Palladium Ballroom Sunday, September 23
For a band that hasn't toured together in over a decade, Ben Folds Five certainly didn't play like one last night. In the span of nearly two hours, the trio had plenty of random moments, flubbed notes, impromptu songs, and even a bathroom break for bassist Robert Sledge. So, for those who had seen the Five before, this was exactly how the band left off all those years ago.
All four of the band's albums were well represented, including early song favorites such as "Jackson Cannery," "Philosophy" and "Battle of Who Could Care Less." They even did "Landed," from Folds' second solo album. The new material from this year's The Sound of the Life of the Mind sounded good but, as expected, people went nuts for the most familiar. And that included "Brick."
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Opener Kate Miller-Heidke received genuine affection from the audience, which was mostly couples. The Australian singer, aided by a guitarist, belted out folk songs with operatic wails, and even covered Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady."
Personal bias: Ben Folds Five's music is extremely dear to my heart, and has been since 1997, but I had never seen Ben play live, with or without the Five. That changed earlier this year when I saw him with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Hall, which was killer. This show was much different, but no less stellar.
Set list "Missing the War" "Michael Praytor, Five Years Later" "Jackson Cannery" "Selfless, Cold and Composed" "Erase Me" "Alice Childress" "Sky High" Impromptu song, "Can I Order a Shit?" "Battle of Who Could Care Less" "Mess" "Magic" "Draw a Crowd" Impromptu song about Robert Sledge's bathroom break "Landed" "Do It Anyway" "Brick" "Philosophy" "Kate" "Army" "Song for the Dumped"
Encore "Underground" "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces"