In the days leading up to seeing Ben Folds Five at Mountain Park in Holyoke, there were normal expressions of excitement.
“Oh, I love him. I hope he plays some of his old stuff at the concert.”
“No no no, this IS the old band. It’s FIVE. They’re back together.”
Cue greater excitement.
Ben Folds has been recording and performing so regularly that it was easy to confuse the new tour with a solo performance. The original Five (that is, all three) members are back together, and set to release a new album, “The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind,” this Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The chilly September night was a reminder that fall is knocking on the door, and the Mountain Park season was just about over. This review actually comes a few days late – by the time you read this, Darius Rucker has closed out the venue’s music performances until warm weather returns (apologies for the tardiness).
The concert was also the start of the BFF tour, and the first time Ben Folds Five played their new songs live.
Folds described the band’s nervousness in the most eloquent of ways between songs. “I don’t normally wear Depends, but this is a Depends night.” he joked before a new song. “I’m glad you’re all here to share it with me.”
If there was any sort of apprehension on the band’s part, it certainly didn’t show. They performed new songs with the same comfort and gusto as classics like Philosophy and One Angry Dwarf.
Two of the first four songs, in fact, were new. They were, for lack of a better term, Ben Folds-y. That is to say they were upbeat, poppy, slam-your-piano rocking. The front man spent nary a minute sitting behind his piano, mostly crouching in front of the keys like an animal ready to strike.
Folds hasn’t lost his touch for audience interaction or whimsically blunt story telling. At one point he told a story about giving an interview. The journalist began by stating he thought Folds “was an asshole” because of one of the band’s live performances.
“But I’m not an asshole!” Folds said. He then repeated it, this time with more melody. Then again with a few strikes of the piano keys. Before long the band was pulled in, then the whole audience, singing along to the impromptu song’s refrain, “I’m not an asshole.”
“Sorry, what was I saying?” Folds said with a sudden stop to the music. “Oh yeah, I was telling a story…”
In brief, his story was about a time the band didn’t perform “Brick,” but followed their set with a remix of the song across the house sound system. The story was followed, of course, by “Brick.”
After the melancholic song ended, a crowd member screamed “Rock this bitch!” Folds turned to him and responded with laughter, “I just DID rock this bitch, bitch!” before jumping into “Army,” a classic and fan favorite for sing alongs.
After Ben Folds hurled the piano stool and marched off stage, the band returned to play “Song For The Dumped” as an encore.
Fans in the area will have another chance to see Ben Folds Five, though it will be a bit of a drive. They play the House Of Blues in Boston on Oct. 13, and the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on Oct. 9.
- -- ADVERTISEMENT --
- Drake Returning To Hartford This Fall June 17, 2013
- Buffy Sainte-Marie at Infinity, Iron Horse June 13, 2013
- Simply Swing Starts Its Big-Band Summer Tour June 13, 2013
- Ivan & Alyosha At Iron Horse, Café Nine June 13, 2013
- Bronze Radio Return at Union Station June 13, 2013
- Harry Connick Single Benefits Newtown Victim Fund June 10, 2013
- Connie Evingson At Japanalia June 9, 2013
- Selena Gomez A Hit With Young Crowd At Mohegan Sun August 18, 2011
- Gathering Of The Vibes: A Fun, Strange Weekend Trip July 25, 2011
- -- ADVERTISEMENT --
Add Widgets (Secondary Sidebar)
This is your Secondary Sidebar. Edit this content that appears here in the widgets panel by adding or removing widgets in the Secondary Sidebar area.