August 21, 2005: San Diego

  • 14 Replies
  • 4741 Views
*

Offline the_in_betweens

  • ****
  • 362
  • Gender: Male
  • often misunderstood.. .
August 21, 2005: San Diego
« on: August 22, 2005, 01:39:11 AM »
Greetings all, familiar old faces and newbii (meaning those who joined in the last three years or so)...

I saw Ben tonight, and was blown away. I was more blown away when I realized that it was the tenth time I've seen him (with or without the five). I suppose that since I've been a bit out of the Ben loop lately I may have forgotten the totality of the magic that is Live Ben. But to be blown away, the tenth time I've seen someone, is something that I doubt will ever happen with another artist.

Here's an attempt at the set list:

[solo]
Boxing
Eddie Walker
The Ascent of Stan

[with band]
All You Can Eat
Bastard
Gone
Jesusland
You to Thank
Careless Whisper [with Rufus Wainwright]
Landed
Bitches Ain't Shit
Narcolepsy
Philosophy (with Miserlou and bass and drums)
Zak and Sara
Not the Same

[Encore]
One Angry Dwarf


----

Summary: I'll shyly admit to feeling lukewarm about Songs for Silverman. While it  clearly ratchets Ben's songwriting and production skill up to another level, I did find myself missing the boyish, tongue-in-cheek energy and irony that Ben's always had. The album struck me as mature, but subdued. So while I was psyched to see Ben, I wasn't expecting the same level of performance I've seen in the past.

I'll never make that mistake again. I was wrong on three accounts: 1) While Silverman may be subdued, Ben is not. Careless Whisper and Bitches ain't Shit permanently branded that message into my brain. 2) I had forgotten Ben's ability to make my less favored album songs sound incredible live. I first learned this on June 3, 1999, when Narcolepsy gave me a wake-up call (cue bad-joke drums). Fitting that he busted that one out tonight, after Bastard and You to Thank made me rethink my ambivalence toward Silverman. 3) As phenomenal a performer as Ben's always been, more or less every time I've seen him, he's added new twists and improved his skill. Not the Same's three-part sing-along harmony squared itself and became a nine-part composition. And while I can see that he mixes up his set list from show to show, the flow and transitions between songs were razor sharp. Boxing was probably the last song I would have ever expected him to open with (oh yeah, and he made it rock). From there it was a crescendo throughout.

That reminds me, I was also unsure how the Reserved Seating at Copley Symphony Hall would play out. Ok, sitting down for most of the set was a new thing, but I was still doing the happy dance in my chair the whole time (Being in the center of row E didn't hurt). And when Philosophy started, one brave woman ran down the aisle and started dancing in front of the stage. Halfway through the song, another succumbed to the same inclination. Then a slow trickle ensued, which turned into a small flood--maybe 150ish people, myself included, ecstatically dancing in the glow of Ben's aura. Remarkably, security had the sense to see that this was not some violent mob that had to be stopped. It was, in fact, a cadre of very happy, very respectful fans who wouldn't have trampled a fly.

It was also a fantastic climax to a fantastic performance.

At this point I'm fairly confident that somewhere around my 76th birthday I'll be dragging my grandchildren out to see Ben play. If anything, I'm more likely to fail on my end of the bargain than he is (I should get to work). Can't wait to see what he comes up with in 2048.


~TIB, "Back in my day, that's what they used to call me..."
"There is no doggie heaven!...or...to put it another way...there is." --Homer

*

Offline general_apathy (Chloe)

  • *
  • 3628
  • Gender: Female
  • now here it is, your moment of zen
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2005, 08:04:55 PM »
sounds like it was a good show!
My new philosophy is that a crappy tape deck somewhere plays a greatest hits collection of strange and tender moments, lost, stranded, and forgotten. I'll meet you there.

*

Offline Jobo

  • ***
  • 133
  • This is my personal text.
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2005, 08:12:00 PM »
Nice review, too.
Alice, the world is full
Of ugly things that you can't change
Pretend it's not that way
It's my idea of faith.

*

Offline Ben_Folds_Fan

  • *****
  • 1285
  • Gender: Male
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 09:41:05 AM »
TIB
How are you doing? Glad to see you still going to Ben shows and enjoying them. If I could only get him back to Texas....or get myself back to Cali at the same time he's there (ala July 2001 at the Belly Up).

Had any salsa lately?   ;)

*

Offline the_in_betweens

  • ****
  • 362
  • Gender: Male
  • often misunderstood.. .
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 11:14:29 PM »
Hey BFFan! And ILIS, and all the other familiar faces...

I'm doing just fine. Still single, still in San Diego, still finding plenty of interesting twists and turns in the road of life to keep me on my toes. The only really significant life change since most of you last heard from me is that in February I left my job of ten years to join a startup. So now I work from home, and have a lot of fun when I'm not banging my head against a wall (and sometimes when I am).

And, like so many of us oldies, have shifted my Ben fandom into a slow-burning flame rather than an all-consuming obsession. Though Sunday I was reminded of why trekking to LA to catch another show even though I would see him in San Diego seemed like such a no-brainer a couple years ago. Wish I had this time.


Had any salsa lately?

So...I remember enough to remember that you never forget anything. Beyond that, I've forgotten what you're referring to. 'Fraid you're going to have to remind me and embarrass me all over again. Luckily, I don't blush quite as easily as JBJ.  ;D


TIB
"There is no doggie heaven!...or...to put it another way...there is." --Homer

*

Offline Jane_Be_Jane

  • *****
  • 1475
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm better that way...
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 07:52:02 AM »
Even I remember this one--your karma story, TIB.  'Member?

*

Offline Ben_Folds_Fan

  • *****
  • 1285
  • Gender: Male
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2005, 09:37:00 AM »

Had any salsa lately?

So...I remember enough to remember that you never forget anything. Beyond that, I've forgotten what you're referring to. 'Fraid you're going to have to remind me and embarrass me all over again. Luckily, I don't blush quite as easily as JBJ.  ;D


TIB

Not an embarassing story at all. It's the GREAT story about karma that you posted on your thread titled "When You Wish Upon a Star" that is long lost to a server crash.

*

Offline Ben_Folds_Fan

  • *****
  • 1285
  • Gender: Male
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2005, 02:02:25 PM »

*

Offline Jane_Be_Jane

  • *****
  • 1475
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm better that way...
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2005, 03:32:31 PM »
 ;D

Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2005, 05:05:08 PM »
I saw Ben in San Diego on Sunday night the 21st, and thought he was awesome.  It was my first time ever seeing him live, and I couldn't believe the energy he possessed throughout the concert.  However, I have two criticism, which kind of go hand in hand.  First of all, Ben's portion of the concert was WAY too short.  He clearly outpreformed both Ben Lee (with whom I was pleasantly surprised) as well as Rufus Wainwright.  Why can Ben not play an entire concert on his own?

Second of all, if Ben must have a touring partener, there MUST be a better choice than Rufus Wainwright.  Rufus was atrocious - he was pitchy and straining pretty much the entire concert.  He was also incredibly unprofessional - forgetting the words to his songs three times, including the words to Hallelujah, which I KNOW he plays at every concert.  It was so bad that the group I was with actually walked out just as Rufus began singing "Between My Legs."  Overall the concert was enjoyable, but I would have much rather seen even 20 more minutes of Ben than had to have sit through Rufus.

*

DrAlexHaleIII

Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2005, 05:18:57 AM »
Erm... Ben often forgets the words to his own songs. Not just rarities like "Video"; stuff like "Rockin' the suburbs". They're only human.

Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2005, 08:10:36 PM »
OK, well I'm sorry but Rufus Wainwright giggling like a little girl after he forgot the lyrics for the ump-teenth time just seemed a little unprofessional for me.  But seriously, how can anyone like Rufus Wainwright??  He was one of the WORST performers I have ever seen.  Unbelievably, four people sitting directly behind me LEFT the concert after Rufus' portion; apparently they couldn't be bothered to stay to listen to the best musician of our time.

*

Offline Jobo

  • ***
  • 133
  • This is my personal text.
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2005, 08:58:51 PM »
So far, I don't think Ben has forgotten the words at any of the shows I've been to.

Rufus forgot some words at my show, too, in Hallelujah.  I think he needs to go over that song again.
Alice, the world is full
Of ugly things that you can't change
Pretend it's not that way
It's my idea of faith.

*

DrAlexHaleIII

Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2005, 01:49:31 AM »
I like Rufus, but I didn't use to. His voice is very unique (probably why you say he was pitchy and straining). I can, however, understand you not liking him.

*

Offline the_in_betweens

  • ****
  • 362
  • Gender: Male
  • often misunderstood.. .
Re: August 21, 2005: San Diego
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2005, 12:05:55 AM »
Maybe this will jog the memory:

http://www.thesuburbs.org.uk/Board/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=904

Ohh, that salsa story...

Funny, I just recomposed that story in an email from my vague memory of it. I'll have to dig it up and post it.


TIB

ps. Ok, so it takes me a while to reply sometimes...sorry...hope all the old-timers haven't gone to bed just yet...
"There is no doggie heaven!...or...to put it another way...there is." --Homer