The Ben Folds Concert

The marquee
It was about 4 different kinds of amazing.
The will call left something to be desired, however. I ordered one ticket on the Thursday before the concert. The guy couldn’t find it in the envelopes in the box. I spelled out my last name, gave him my ID, and it still took 10 nerve wracking minutes to get the ticket to me. The whole time I’m thinking: “Oh crap, they lost my order. I just paid $6 for parking and I won’t be able to see the concert!!”
I was visibly worried; one of the guys in the ticket office kept giving me a “don’t worry” look as I fidgeted with my purse and waited for the ticket to come up. Finally, the guy had to print one for me. Awesome. I go in.

I’m in upper-upper-upper balcony D. One level lower than the absolute cheapest seats. If I lean forward, I can actually see the piano pretty well. People come and sit in front of me. I can still see between their heads. The guy on the far left chews his stick of gum like it’s the size of a golf ball. The girl on the right keeps whispering to the guy in the center of the triad. Then a bunch of their friends walk in late. Pleasantries were exchanged in the middle of a song. Nice. Perhaps I’m too used to the symphony performances, where you sneak in between movements or pieces and hope no one notices.

Ben at the Piano
The concert itself was awesome! Although the orchestration was lacking in a few spots, it was good! I am a bit biased, it should be noted. I played the violin for 12 years. Some of the parts that either Ben played or went to the winds would have sounded infinitely better done by the string section.

Ben Folds at the Mic
Before “Not The Same”, he divided the crowd into three to sing the slide. Michael Krajewski (pops conductor for HSO) handed him the baton. Ben looked at it with a puzzled look and started conducting badly. It looked more like he was fencing with the baton.
Then, during the song, he got up and conducted the crowd with his hands. It was fantastic.

During another song, he played a 2-minute “cadenza”. Just wailing on the piano. He explained that classical musicians spend time making hard music sound easy, while rock musicians spend time making easy music sound hard. It was great, and hundreds of times better than anything I can turn out on the piano.

His encore was “The Luckiest”, my absolute favorite Ben Folds song. It was a great way to end the concert.

Leaving the parking garage wasn’t too bad. As I was walking to my car, someone was playing Bitches Ain’t Shit (iTunes link) loudly from their car. That’s a song that would be fantastic with a symphony. Maybe he didn’t want the reputation of playing the most offensive song in Jones Hall’s history. (That honor should rather go to Mahler… oh snap!)

In the following days, Charles Ward from the Houston Chronicle wrote a review of the concert. It seemed to be mostly positive, but then the last sentence left me confused. It was something along the lines of “If Folds wishes to improve his technique, he needs to go to pianist boot camp.”
Uhm… that’s true of all pianists, and he even admitted to being a bad pianist. Yeah, what?


November 5, 2006. Uncategorized.


  1. dmw007 replied:

    Glad to hear that you had a good time seeing Ben Folds KT! 🙂

  2. sabortijuana replied:

    Just wish I had better seats/ 🙂

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