BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.

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BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« on: September 24, 2008, 07:58:34 PM »
I am writing this on my cell-phone's email program on the way back from ben's show in dc.  It was the first night of the wtn fall tour, and boy was it..different.  As a fan of the new material, i enjoyed the show immensely, which included the addition of 2 percussionists as well as a video projection of goofy images and a killer light show. However, i am not sure who this particular show was intended for, because he played the entire new album, plus the entire fake leak, and then left the stage!  He came back to play zak and sara, landed, losing lisa, and philosophy...but then played the fake version of the frowne song feeble anthem or whatever...and then the show was over!  I loved it all, but i could tell that people were a bit pissed that they didnt recognize anything he played, and i heard countless people apologizing to ben newbies on the way out.  Was he just entertaining himself?  Ben barely spoke at all, nor did he really explain what he was doing in a way that outsiders could understand.  It's one thing to create a fake album, but quite another to showcase it in its entirety to people who payed to see his show.  Perhaps this was just a special gig for opening night?  Dunno, but here's what the set looked like, to the best of my memory (not totally in order but mostly):

Way to normal
Brainwaschdt
Brainwashed
Dr yang
Lovesick diagnostician
Free coffee
Free coffee town
You dont know me
Before cologne
Cologne
Hiroshima
Errant dog
The frown song
The bitch went nuts
Kylie from connecticut
Effington
Bitch went nutz

Encore:
Zak and sara
Landed
Losing lisa
Philosophy
The frowne song (feeble anthem)

More to come later when I'm not "texting with my thumbs" - so i can offer proper punctuation and more detailed thoughts...

Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 08:19:55 PM »
First off, this show was outstanding but short (imo) due to a largely young crowd more interested in old tunes than Ben Folds (a ridiculous number of calls for RTB.  Sorry to hate.)  That being said, there were eight of us standing up in back, nosebleed, the entire show loving every minute of it.  It's the first seated venue i've seen folds at though, so who knows.  Effington was outstanding, and the crowd ate up the astronaut portion of cologne.  I was skeptical of the leak at first, but honestly, live, it felt very fun.  I took a BF virgin friend of mine, and had I not told her they were, and I stress the quotes here, "fake" songs, she'd have never questioned their integrity.

According to Jared, about 90% of the stuff was first time live (including, as you can see, all the leaks i think).  I bummed an american spirit off him after the gig, and he was kind enough to chat with a friend of mine in san francisco via cell.  Stand up guy, apparently his parents are from Honduras?  I felt bad for intruding slightly on a conversation with some obviously closer friends of his.    We spoke about some friends of mine from San Pedro (apparently Jared spent more time in Tegucigalpa, the capital); and I waited to meet Mr. Folds for the first time since I saw him at my first live show 8 years ago.

He invalidated my North Carolina driver's license and called me out for not being an organ donor.  These things happen.

This show was a birthday present from a friend of mine, and probably one of my best gifts to date.  Long time transcription stealer, not much of a poster.  Cheers.
Your head'll collapse, if there's nothing in it and you'll ask yourself... -Black Francis

Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 08:28:10 PM »
Just got back from the show - definitely the oddest show I've seen so far, but I kinda liked it.

I've been to about a dozen of his concerts (solo, band, orchestra,etc) so I appreciated seeing new video/lighting effects, the 2 extra band members playing different side instruments, and of course the brand new music (both real and fake songs). You could tell they were really enjoying themselves up there.

I would classify the new music as both purposefully obnoxious, but also musically inventive. Some songs I could definitely pass over, but others combined various musical sounds and beats in a really cool way and that was the part of the show I enjoyed the most.

I heard multiple times people from the crowd shouting (loudly) "Play something we know!" That was interesting and wondered if Ben heard it and what he thought....guess he needed to debut the new music sometime and the transition is always tricky. Being that he played ONLY new stuff for the first 75% of the show, the transition wasn't smooth tonight. You either loved it or hated that approach...but I do know once he came back for an encore starting with Zak and Sara, it was like a breath of fresh air for the crowd.

All in all, a unique Ben Folds concert experience...both for the crowd and for the band as they were trying out a bunch of new performances for the first time. I'm more of a fan of his older stuff and ultimately I wish he did more 50/50 tonight of old/new, but still I did appreciate being in the audience for the first tour stop and hearing a bunch of new music from the genius musical mind that Ben Folds has.
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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 08:40:26 PM »
I have to admit I thought I'd be the only suburbs member there.  Josh Burdett, the big, incredibly friendly bouncer with lots of piercings, informed me that Apocalypta (sp? as if.) is performing at 930 on Sunday.  They're supposed to be outstanding.
Your head'll collapse, if there's nothing in it and you'll ask yourself... -Black Francis

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Offline TheGreatBenfolio

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 08:50:07 PM »
Well..... this wasn't the reunion show people, what did you expect with a new album out and all?

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Offline SexTypeNeil

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 09:05:26 PM »
I'm seeing Ben at UConn on Saturday and and I saw him at UConn the last time he played here, which happened to be the day before SFS hit shelves.  He only played two or three songs from SFS, and a lot of BFF.  With the new album only leaked and not actually out, he should give the fans some time to learn all of the new stuff (even though i already have).  I would love this, but when i pay money to see Ben i want to see more than the new album.
Seconds pass slowly, and years go flyin by

Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2008, 09:17:49 PM »
Fair point: but if I had been at one of the first shows for which he played Mess, OAD, Army, Magic, or Luckiest, i'd have rested easy and not been pissed I didn't hear Underground.  Just some perspective.  I remember hating suburbs when it debuted.  What a tragedy of a solo album.  Until 3 weeks after I bought it.  Now Zak and Sara, Losing Lisa and Not the Same are staples.  Enjoy the unique show you get.
Your head'll collapse, if there's nothing in it and you'll ask yourself... -Black Francis

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Offline You Dont Know Zach

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2008, 10:20:29 PM »
With the new album only leaked and not actually out, he should give the fans some time to learn all of the new stuff (even though i already have). 

Well the most die hard fans already know the material by heart, I know I do.
dont overplay, keep it simple and in the pocket, support the song, and you will be asked to play more than you have time to. - Chuck Folds

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Offline SexTypeNeil

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2008, 10:34:26 PM »
With the new album only leaked and not actually out, he should give the fans some time to learn all of the new stuff (even though i already have). 

Well the most die hard fans already know the material by heart, I know I do.

the problem is though that, even though there are a handful of die-hards at his fall shows, a chunk of them are at universities.  I know a lot of people here aren't so die hard.

Regardless though, i'm so stoked for saturday!
Seconds pass slowly, and years go flyin by

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Offline Brian Golley

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2008, 11:46:36 PM »
I'm really impressed with Ben playing entirely new material for his main set, it takes a lot of balls and I think shows a lot of integrity.

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Offline greggraham

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2008, 01:27:19 AM »
thats so frickin good! although, according to my itunes them 23 songs only make 1 hour 20 of music - sure he dragged it out a bit though.

so was there keytar etc. etc.?

Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 06:16:50 AM »
No, that was the only problem.  He didn't drag it out at all, and barely spoke.  So the set was done in something like 45 or 50 minutes.  Came out for the 5 song encore and then the show was over.  But it was unique and awesome!

When he came out for the encore, he said "Thanks for putting up with all my new shit.  That took a lot of...discipline."

Self-indulgent?  Perhaps.  For the die-hards?  Possibly, but there are some die-hards out there who don't like the new material.  So, I'm still wondering who the show was really for.  I felt like he was playing for me, because it's exactly the show I wanted to see!  Yet, I looked around to many confused faces of people that just didn't get it. 

At any rate, this was a really great way to introduce all the new material: he just sort of vomited it all on stage for an hour.  He will have a lot of work to do as he starts to redesign his setlist and mix in the old and new material, because I can't imagine that he'll continue to play shows like last night.  But since he did, my only complaint was that the OVERALL show was too short.  Seems like he could have come out for a complete second set of his concert staples for the rest of his fans that haven't spent the past few weeks learning every aspect of the new tunes like we have.  But he's Ben, and he'll do what he wants in the end.  I'm not complaining because I LOVED the show...I just want to see him continue to make a living by making music, and I would hate to see people turn on him for becoming too self-indulgent at this point in his career.  I think some of his best work is yet to come.

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Offline melissa

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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2008, 06:19:10 AM »
hearing this review makes me giddy.  
i can't wait to hear that damn "feak" leak.  
not to mention the return of Kylie to the set list.  
mmm... *drools*


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Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2008, 06:47:18 AM »
Did I mention that Ben stands up and walks around the stage for the Frowne Song (Feeble Anthem), while the upside-down smileys float all over the screen.  Priceless!

Re: BEN PREMIERES WAY TO NORMAL IN D.C.
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2008, 06:50:25 AM »
I absolutely love the new album.  But I would've been pretty pissed to witness this set.