Ben Folds Five dazzles fans at Kleinhans - VIDEOS
blog by S.J. Velasquez • October 08, 2012 @ 10:19am
Ben Folds joked from the Kleinhans stage that he’d returned to the home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with a much smaller band than last time he’d played the prestigious venue.
At Folds’ last Buffalo appearance, he played with the 88-piece orchestra. This time, he shared the stage with Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, the two other original members of Ben Folds Five, known especially for ‘90s anthem “Brick.”
The reunited band kicked off the set with “Michael Praytor Five Years Later,” and continued to mix old and new songs throughout the entire show.
At first, Folds didn’t take the reigns as many of his fans who’ve seen him tour sans “Five” have grown accustomed to happening. Bass guitarist Sledge really owned it, moving enthusiastically around his corner of the stage for the opening song.
A few songs in, Folds took over the crowd’s attention with his playful banter and infectious stage presence. He went back and forth with the audience, members of which were audible from just about any point in the seats because the venue’s impeccable acoustics.
“I learned about long underwear here,” Folds joked. “And how to pronounce ‘ass,’” he said with an emphasis on the hard, nasally “a.”
From somewhere in the audience, a fan shouted something along the lines of “I love your ass!”—accent on the “a,” of course.
Folds, enjoying the enthusiastic and on-point interactions responded to the shouts, “I’ve got the kindest hecklers.”
Around the set’s halfway point, the audience really started getting into the show. Hits like “Philosophy” and “Kate” prompted more intense head-bopping from fans. By the time the band pulled “Army” out of its musical arsenal, it looked like everyone had jumped to their feet.
A Ben Folds fan, myself, since childhood, this show was everything I could’ve expected from the reunited band. Folds and his bandmates were as charming as ever, energetic and undeniably entertaining.
Don’t believe me? Check out some of the crowd-sourced videos (embedded above) I found on YouTube.