Yes, we braved rush hour traffic on I-40 on a Friday afternoon to make our way to Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary to see Ben Folds. We hadn't seen him perform live before and he's one of our favorites, so we got tickets for the lawn and trooped over. He said it was great to be back home in NC and that he'd spent the day in Chapel Hill, walking around, visiting his old house.I'm rocking the suburbs
I take the checks and face the facts
That some producer with computers
Fixes all my shitty tracks
We were genuinely surprised at how many high school/college kids were there. Ben Folds is pretty much my age, but I think because he peppers his lyrics with the more-than-occasional swear word, the teens find this quite delightful. Or maybe they're into a 40-something year old dude who rocks the keyboard. Hard to say. They were into it, though, no doubt.
Folds was absolutely full tilt tonight and the crowd was way, way high energy. Much different than when we saw Elvis Costello play at Koka Booth last year with the North Carolina Symphony (which was very good actually but kind of low-key).
If you've ever seen Ben Folds perform, you know he really jumps and moves while he pounds out his tunes on the piano, seldom sitting down or sitting still. He goes so hard that occasionally he has to quickly push his glasses back onto his nose as he nearly plays them off his head. And he seems to love it all so much and is so into it himself, that he will quickly glance out to the audience as if to check to see if they are loving it as much as he. We are, Ben. Sham on!
This is just from memory, but he played Kate, One Angry Dwarf, Army, Landed, Still Fighting It, Underground, Rockin' the Suburbs, fantastic rendition of Not the Same, Zak and Sara, Gone, Bastard, Annie Waits, Narcolepsy (the keys were smokin' on that one), and to the delight of the teenagers, Bitches Ain't Shit (a tongue-in-cheek white boy rendition of Dr. Dre's song). I would've loved to have heard Mess, Selfless Cold & Composed, and Smoke, but I was happy with the show as it was. Mess has that great line "I don't believe in God, so I can't be saved . . . "
Cool thing about Koka Booth Amphitheater is that you can buy a bottle of wine to share over the evening, lounge on the lawn, and get just about any kind of food you can think of inside the amphitheater. We enjoyed a chilled bottle of French rose' and had some pizza, and later we got some Lumpy's ice cream. My ice cream flavor was "hippy mix" which was vanilla with cinnamon and trail mix with pockets of bright colors swirled in. It was good--but frozen solid raisins are hard on the teeth. Yowza.
I have to hand it to the Amphitheater folks, they know how to get you parked, get you in, get you fed, let you enjoy the show, and get you back out. A well run outfit, all in all.