Monday, March 03, 2008

ben folds: rockin' the suburbs and my socks off

Sometimes I think that I could live off the euphoria of live music and never need another ounce of sustenance ever for all the rest of my days. The way you can feel the bass pulsating through your body, radiating in your chest and fingertips... the halting glances of your friends and other fans that you can catch through the spin of the strobe and colored lights... the delicious way that an entire auditorium clapping in unison can make you feel so empowered. Even the way you're only slightly embarrassed to cry at the sad songs in front of your friends because you know they just have to be feeling it, too. Especially the way you keep yelling even though your throat is numb with pain and you keep clapping even though your hands are on fire... all to make sure it's known how badly you want another set. How when the lights go up after the first encore and you're sure there's no more, it's like sifting through the mounds of torn wrapping paper on Christmas morning as a six-year-old and realizing there's nothing left to open.

Ben Folds was, needless to say, absolutely incredible - the rocking-est show I've been to in a while. A few times throughout the show, I caught myself sort of reflecting on the situation before it had passed. It felt so strange to know that I'd been dying to be here for so many years, and then there I was. I'd never be able to say that I've never seen Ben Folds before again. And then he'd play a chord that would jar me out of it, and I'd be back in the moment, right where I wanted to be. Sort of reminded me of that line in "Bastard": "They get nostaligc about the last ten years before the last ten years have passed."

He played just about everything that I'd wanted to hear, with the exception of "Emaline" and "Song for the Dumped." I would have loved to hear "Best Imitation of Myself" and "Philosophy," too. I kept waiting for "Brick," but it never came. I'm so surprised he didn't play that one, since it's arguably his most famous song... but I'm not too broken up about it. It would have just made me cry, anyway, and my mascara was already running down my face from "Still Fighting It." It would have been cool to hear "Gracie" and "One Down," too - and "Give Judy My Notice" because it reminds me of when Steve and I shared an office.

We (Purdue University) were the first stop on the BF college tour, and I think it was pretty evident from their energy that they were pumped to be touring again. Ben's stories and jokes were told with the sort of enthusiasm that shows he hasn't grown tired of them yet, and he recorded us to use on some tracks on the new CD! I've never been to a concert where they told you ahead of time that you'd be used on the tracks. They played quite a bit of new stuff, and the CD sounds like it's going to be an awesome one. A couple of the tracks reminded me of Whatever and Ever Amen - which, if they released another CD like that one, would be like Christmas, my birthday, and the Fourth of July all in one hard-to-open plastic case.

The drummer and bass player left the stage for a while, and Ben did some really beautiful piano stuff, including "The Luckiest"... which made me wish I had someone special there with me (or in my life at all) to share it with. Didn't help that the people we met in front of us were all couple-y throughout the whole song.

Some highlights:

  • Annie Waits (my favorite BF song)
  • Still Fighting It (my second favorite and, incidentally, the one that makes me cry everytime I hear it - so much so that I can't listen to it very often - and made me cry even harder live)
  • Not the Same (so much fun when he divides the crowd up for the three-part harmony!)
  • Narcolepsy (one of my favorites, but I was NOT expecting him to rock out like he did! What an awesome surprise.)
  • Army
  • Bitches Ain't Shit (of course!)
  • JesusLand
  • Bastard
  • Kate (looove this song - I was so happy when they busted it out!)
  • Rockin' the Suburbs
  • One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces (one my faves from Whatever and Ever Amen)
I was hoping for a few more tracks from Whatever and Ever Amen, but knowing what I know now, I wouldn't trade in any of the songs they played for anything different. It was just the pick-me-up that I've been needing lately - I'm starting to feel a little bit more like myself.

On a sidenote, HUGE thank you to my brother, who stood out in the cold for several hours to get us kickass tickets (at student price, nonetheless!). While we weren't close enough to see him sweat, we could easily make out Ben's facial expressions and see his individual toes moving when he took off his shoes to play the keyboard with his feet. (I told you it rocked!!) You're the best, brother! Incidentally, that night my wonderful bro and his crazy roommates introduced me to Beer Pong (no clue how I made it through four years of college without ever having played), and our sibling team ROCKED THE HOUSE (suburbs).


Melanie said...

oh yes yes yes! Ben is so wonderful live. I am glad you had such a great experience.

Scott Booker said...

So....did you have fun? LOL

Glad you had a GREAT time...and like I said in the last blog...I will check him out and see what I have been missing.

And obviously...I have been missing Beer Pong! LOL

Tim said...

Hah. I love how you built me up as such a hero. Try waiting inside warm and cozy Elliott hall with Jay Strode for like 90 minutes listening to music :)

But yes, the concert for sure Rocked the Suburbs and our team did rock until I got too belligerent and took a nap on the floor.

becky said...

Mel - Thanks! I finally got to write my own post about it instead of begging you to write one for me to read :)

Scott - You definitely should check out some Ben if you like piano rock! And Beer Pong if you like beer!

Tim - I thought you waited outside! I guess I must have made that part up. But you can still be the hero because you got me a student-price ticket, and that alone is worth Hero status.

LOL it's okay that you took a nap. TJ, Jason, and I just made fun of you while you were down for the count... which was possibly more fun than you being awake and spilling gin and tonic all over everyone all night. :)

Anonymous said...

A) congrats on the beer pong. Me and Walsh(ch) would still whip your ass.

B) How long do you think it'll be until kids start lining up in the cold to hear the 151? Yeah....never.

C) holla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Word Verification: zdjyp (Zach Day jacked yo pants!)

KC said...

"How when the lights go up after the first encore and you're sure there's no more, it's like sifting through the mounds of torn wrapping paper on Christmas morning as a six-year-old and realizing there's nothing left to open."

Perfect, just perfect.