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Messages - AudioDile

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Tour Board / Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« on: June 14, 2017, 11:15:36 AM »
Honestly, some of you seem like you pretty much have access to Ben at any concert you go to, I have no idea how to you do it.

I shelled out for it because I knew it would likely be my only chance to talk to and get a photo op with Ben, so even though that was like 20 seconds total, I have zero regrets.  Bucket list item achieved. 

Bottom line: If you want to meet Ben very briefly, hear him answer questions and get to request little pieces of songs he rarely plays during Soundcheck, it's worth it.

Tour Board / Re: Modesto, CA - Oct 22, 2016
« on: June 13, 2017, 04:36:12 PM »
Thanks for the review.... what's with the crocodile??

He looks better in photos than I do, and the look on Ben's face was priceless. ;D

Tour Board / Modesto, CA - Oct 22, 2016
« on: October 25, 2016, 04:33:55 PM »
When I posted my review of the Oakland show in 2009 I lamented that I'd missed out on meeting Ben.  It only took me 7 years to correct that.

I got an email a few months ago that VIP packages were available for a show in Modesto, so the rather large ticket price did not dissuade me from purchasing immediately.  Who knows if I'll ever meet Ben again.

Full disclosure, because it's semi-relevant to this: I am a furry.  You're welcome to ask about that separately if you care, if you don't that's perfectly fine too.

Last Saturday was the concert, and since I knew that I'd get a photo op, I'd decided I would try to get a photo in suit (my character is a toony gator) with Ben. I'd spent most of a week trying to rehearse what I'd say to one of my musical idols, and hadn't really figured it out yet.

About 20 people had apparently purchased the VIP package, and we were let into the roughly 1000 seat theater to sit in the first two rows where Ben and a music teacher moderator were sitting on stage. I sat in the first row, right in front of Ben. He looked a lot like Hugh Laurie in House with his beard.  I cannot believe he's 50.

The Q & A was interesting, and I did get a chance to ask Ben a question about the fact that he collaborates a lot with other musicians, and was that because it was easier to write songs with others, or more because it was more fun and enjoyable to work with people he admired. He said that he viewed most of his work as a collaboration because even when he was doing "solo" work he still had to work with his studio musicians or producers, etc.

The last question of the day came from a woman who stood up and said that she had come a very long way for the event (London, Shanghai, can't remember but it was far) because the event was titled "Ben Folds Master Class" and she thought that meant you'd get to play your work for Ben and get a critique (which is what a master class is, but this was clearly explained to be more of a Q & A session).

Even though time was limited, Ben was very gracious in allowing this woman to play her song on the piano which was already set up on the stage. It was actually really good, and everyone applauded robustly when she finished, and Ben even gave a fairly comprehensive if somewhat confusing assessment.

Apparently, the woman is Kate Torralba, and the song was Pictures, and she's been performing it elsewhere for a while, cause I found this YouTube video of her performing it: - definitely worth checking out!

After the impromptu performance, things were running a bit behind and the meet & greet photo op portion started. I decided to go to the end of the line, since it might take me slightly longer than others to get ready, plus frankly I was hoping to draw as little attention as possible. The woman next to me was very curious about what I had it the bag, and when I told her it was a gator, she had eighty million questions about it, so I constructed a story that was more true than not while steering away from furry. Fortunately, I managed to enlist her to help take a photo with my phone.

Finally it was my turn, and since curious woman seemed a little nervous about how long I was going to take to get my costume on (all 10 whole seconds of that) I abandoned my plan of introducing myself and saying a few words before suiting up and just put my paws on before walking up to Ben and shaking his hand. Ben said, "oh, I thought maybe you had a phobia about shaking hands."

I said something like "Hey Ben, can I get a photo in costume...y'know, in honor of Halloween" or something equally bland while putting the head on quickly. There was a person with a real camera taking pics so they could be posted after the event, which was considerate of them but also probably intended as a time-saving measure.

Before the photo, Ben said something about once losing a race to someone in a costume, but I was too nervous to catch exactly what it was. I heard someone I couldn't see say "are you sure that's just a [Halloween] costume?" but I didn't hear the F word.

I quickly grabbed the black and white photo of Ben they'd given us to have signed and asked Ben to sign it to Croc. He gave me a briefly confused look and started to write "K-" and I said "you know, like a crocodile". Let's just say it was not the neatest of autographs.

And just like that it was done, probably a grand total of a minute and a half. I grabbed my phone from the woman I'd given it to and made my way offstage.

Then it was immediately onto soundcheck, where Ben decided he would take requests and then play about a minute of each. I had wanted to hear Ben play the soundtrack song "Air" forever, but he never did, so I yelled it out and he gamely attempted it. Amusingly he had to fumble through it at first and then midway through the first verse forgot all the lyrics, so he started making them up "..can't re-mem-ber all" It wouldn't be the first time he fumbled with one of his songs, but I found that strangely endearing instead of frustrating. Because of the relatively intimate setting it felt sort of like hanging out with a good friend who is messing around on the piano.

They ushered us out of the theater to finish up soundcheck, and we waited about 30 minutes to re-enter.

The opening act was a nice, attractive guy from Modesto named Aaron Durr. He played his set on an electric keyboard instead of the piano, and his music was funky, soulful pop. I liked all of his songs, "16 Seconds", "Smart Girl" and "Get Up Get Out". It was pretty short set and then Ben came out.

"I make it out to Modesto about once every 12 years," he said. "Just like some of you." This got a big laugh, since Modesto is not exactly conveniently located next to other major cities. He played 2 sets of about 10 songs a piece and frequently gave little stories before songs.

Capable of Anything
Annie Waits
The Last Polka
Selfless, Cold & Composed
Not A Fan

Ben told a story about earlier in his career, when a fan had somehow gotten past security right before one of his shows to inquire about the meaning "Brick". The guy was covered in tattoos and muscular, and said he was not a fan, but his girlfriend was. A short awkward conversation ensued and suddenly he did something and Ben's manager/security grabbed the guy, who apparently had a knife. Since Ben wasn't stabbed, they played the show. Everyone assumed he would play Brick here, but instead he played a song from his most recent album called "Not A Fan".

The Bitch Went Nuts (Fake)

Most of you guys know the story of this track already, but I've never heard an audience laugh so much during a pop song.

Zak & Sara
You Don't Know Me
Uncle Walter

The first set ended and Ben explained that for the second set, they would have pieces of paper outside for fans to write song requests on, which they would then fold into paper airplanes and throw toward the stage. Ben would randomly choose planes from the stage to determine his 2nd half set list.

I wrote "Sports & Wine" and my airplane landed right by the piano, but all the planes Ben chose were way off on the edges of the stage. 

Still Fighting It
The Luckiest
November Rain

Ben apparently did not know the song by Guns-n-Roses, but of course that just made it better. His version consisted mainly of repeating the title in various ways, although he got a laugh when he threw in a joke about how it never rains in November or any other month in California. After the brief song ended, he decided he wasn't quite done with it yet and taught the audience a 3 part harmony which he then played a bit more over.

Not The Same
Draw A Crowd

Ben had to go back to his huge notebook of songs to remember this track. I actually didn't remember it at first but I'm not sure if that was because he wasn't quite playing it right. He joked that his attempt was not good enough to count toward the set list.

One Angry Dwarf & 200 Solemn Faces
What Is Your Room Number

For the last song in the second set, Ben said "This isn't a song, but..." and immediately made up a song with lyrics about how it was the last song and he enjoyed playing to Modesto and the chorus was "the note said.... number.." which got a huge laugh.

Ben thanked the audience, bowed and left. The audience applauded wildly until he came back for a one song encore, Kate. Toward the second half I heard many of the people near me singing along, but the speaker was directly in front of us so you could safely sing as loud as you wanted and people would barely be able to hear it.

Of all the times I've seen Ben, I think this might have been best, I definitely had the best seats, front row left center.  But more than that the set list was great, and his wit was definitely on point.  Ben certainly looks older now, but so am I.  I'm thinking back to it a few days later and parts of it almost doesn't seem real.  I'll never forget it though.  :)

Album Board / Re: General Lonely Avenue Discussion
« on: October 04, 2010, 12:25:16 PM »
Just listened with a fellow Folds fan on a car trip yesterday, and everything after Levi is gold to me.  Don't know why all the hate for Saskia Hamilton, it's the kind of inspired lunacy that used to make people love Ben.  Also Your Dogs is easily one of the catchiest tracks, not sure why anyone would want to skip it.

The lush 70s vibe was totally unexpected but I love it. 

I want to like Picture Window more but the lyrics just feel like they're not quite good enough.  Doesn't match up well against his best poignant songs of the past, but it isn't really his fault of course.  Likewise, LJB is just too jokey and not musically strong enough for me, it's kind of like like Rockin' The Suburbs (song), but I like RTS better. 

I'd say a solid 7.5/8 out of 10.

General Board / Fear Of Pop "In Love" remixes
« on: December 16, 2009, 01:38:57 PM »
I'm not sure what policy is, but I'm trying to get a hold of one of the remixes of Fear of Pop's "In Love" from a 12" promo single.  The Thievery Corporation remix is available on disc, but the other two are rare and extremely hard to come by.  Here's the release:

I'm looking for a copy of In Love (Chukwu Mix - Vocal) which runs 5:37.  If anyone has an mp3 of this, I would be very grateful.  If someone knows where the mp3 can be purchased online, that's fine too.  Or Ben could just re-release the album and put all the remixes as bonus tracks.  Yeah, that'll happen.


Tour Board / Re: 5/17/09 Oakland, CA Fox Theatre
« on: May 18, 2009, 09:54:30 AM »
Fox Theater is a nice venue, sort of like a fancier version of the Warfield in San Francisco.  Apparently it had been closed for a few decades prior to being refurbished and reopened in February.

Just in case someone cares, here are some corrections to guster's posted set list, I was copying it down throughout:

Bitch Went Nutz
Effington (my guess at what the opener would be)
Lovesick Diagnostician
Dr. Yang
Hiroshima (didn't play this last time he was in the Bay)
String breaking improv (I think it was called "Stimulating the Economy"... while singing Ben said "This is a really terrible song")
Sentimental Guy
Alice Childress
Annie Waits
You To Thank
Philosophy (Misirilou/Pyser version)
Still Fighting It
Get Naked (very short piano improv)
Free Coffee (I think he screwed up for a minute during this song, paused and continued)

Solo Folds section:
Fred Jones Part 2 (guess no one sings the bridge harmony with him anymore)

Band returns:
Narcolepsy (with a very extended outro I hadn't heard before)
Losing Lisa (I don't remember hearing this in a while)
You Don't Know Me (with Ben and everyone singing Regina's part at the end)
Army (audience participation section begins)
Not The Same (Ben did an extended "conducting" of the audience voices at the end, sort of remixing it on the fly)
Rockin' The Suburbs (someone came out and played a keytar solo toward the end, that was new to me)

Fair (easy to predict, but I never get tired of this song)

Overall Ben seemed relaxed and in good spirits.  As much as I love seeing Ben (this is probably the 8th or so time for me), it's disappointing to NEVER hear Sports and Wine, Air, The Last Polka, Missing The War, Hiro's Song, Rent A Cop, Fired, etc etc.  Songs like Army, Philosophy and Not The Same are great, don't get me wrong, but it seems like I've heard them at every single concert since they respectively came out.  The "fake" tracks are cool and amusing but honestly once you've laughed about them a few times I feel that they are easily replaced by other better (let's be honest, Ben even said they wrote most of them in half a day, I don't think he'd argue really) songs.  I would think "Brainwascht" or "Kylie From Connecticut" or "Cologne" would have been more welcome, personally.  The one song encore seemed oddly short, as well, but the concert wasn't, so all's fair.

Don't get me wrong, I love Ben, but having heard the same songs live so many times, it'd be cool to hear some things he either hasn't done or hasn't done a long time.  And maybe I'm still kind of bummed that I didn't win the meet and greet fan club passes and seem fated to be one of the 25% of you on here that HAVEN'T met Ben at least once.

Ah well, it was fun times in spite of getting beer spilled on me three times.  Next time instead of ordering a drink I'll just wring my clothes out into a cup. ;)

Tour Board / 5/17 Oakland Fox Theater/Meet & Greet
« on: May 15, 2009, 10:29:49 AM »
Going to the show in Oakland on Sunday, unfortunately it looks like once again I won't be meeting Ben, in spite of the perfect intimate venue to do it. :P  I guess I've waited 12 years, I can wait longer.

Congrats to those who did get picked for the Meet & Greet.  If any of you are reading this and by some bizarre circumstance don't have a second person who's dying to meet Ben to bring with you, I've got a free dinner with your name on it.  Or if eating with total strangers isn't your cup of tea, I can just bring cash.  I'm afraid I'll have to draw the line at sexual favors, though.  I'm saving myself for Ben.  I figure eventually he's gonna figure out that it's just not working out with girls.

Yeah, so that probably killed off any chance I had.  Oh well.  Have fun you guys. :)

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