Concert Thoughts: Ben Folds at Wolf Trap

Ben Folds Five

Last summer, I came late to the party. I remember the Ben Folds Five from my college radio days, but I wasn’t ever really attached to them. That all changed last summer when I saw him with Guster and Rufus Wainwright at Wolf Trap and then I was sold. His piano skills are absolutely astounding, flying all over the keyboard, in perfect sync with the music, never too fast, never too slow, always leading the charge. Sure, Michel Camilo might be the jazz master, but I think even he could learn something from the power piano that Folds plays.

More review (and a short video) below the cut.

Due to a great dinner at Belga Café on Capitol Hill (more on that in a separate entry), we missed Ben Lee’s opening act, arriving just in time for…Ben Folds?! In what world does Rufus Wainwright headline this show? Wainwright ought to be the opening act, then Lee, then Folds, but it was not to be. But, unable to change the order, Folds played a great set, featuring some of his new stuff (“Landed”, “Late”, “Jesusland”), and some of his semi-recent stuff (“All U Can Eat”, “Songs of Love”), with some of his amazing live stuff. He ended with “Not The Same,” absolutely enthralling the crowd, but the highlight of the show was the B-side to his “Landed” single, a cover of Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” Wolf Trap is a part of the National Park System, and as such, in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all shows at Wolf Trap are performed with a sign language interpreter. Tonight was no exception. A young blonde woman signed the entire concert, even when things got a little bit ribald. Below is a portion of the video from the concert, probably not safe for work. But hey, seeing someone sign “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks, lick on these nuts and suck the dick” has to be worth getting fired over, yeah?

Great show. Wish there’d been a bit more from Ben, but that wasn’t up to me. If you’ve never been out to Wolf Trap, it’s a great place to see a show. If you love lawn seating, there’s plenty of that, but there’s also the ground level seating (arena-style) and my favorite, the Loge, which is a good bit above the ground, giving you a great bird’s eye view of the whole event. Nestled into the Virginia country-side, and easily accessible by both car and public transit (Metro runs special buses to the Filene Center on concert night), it’s a great place to sit outside and see an incredible show.

2 Comments so far

  1. WFY (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 8:56 am

    I have taken the bus to Wolf Trap twice. The driver on the ride home puts on a real show, so in addition to it being much easier than getting out by car, it is entertaining.

  2. Tiff (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 10:28 am

    I love love love the Loge. Even the little short people like me can see…

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