Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Ben Folds: Missoula, MT

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Holy cow! What a show. The opening act was awesome, and the piano man himself did not disappoint. Carrie and I bought some ear plugs (after the hearing damage we got from the Dragonforce concert in the spring), but we didn’t even need them, which was a nice change. I’m getting old enough that I can’t afford to damage my hearing anymore if I want to continue to make and enjoy music. My dad and my sister went to the concert in Bellingham two days before we did, so we kind of knew what to expect, but it was still an awesome time. They also missed out on the opening act — Kate Miller-Heidke, who blew us away, and whose album is currently sitting pretty in Australia.

The only disappointment I felt was after it was over, and I realized he would not be playing “Fred Jones, Part II.” That’s another beautiful song I wanted to hear.

The opening act was amazing. It was just Kate and her husband, Keir Nuttall. We bought their CD, but it definitely had a fuller sound than the live act. Their performance had a great feeling of intimacy: just a guy with a guitar and a gal singing. And what a voice! She did all sorts of operatic vocal acrobatics. There’s a little bit of that on the album, but in concert you could definitely tell that she’s had some classical training. The intimacy was mostly missing from the CD, but I need to give it a few more listens to evaluate it fully. It’s a fun listen and I’m not saying I dislike it, just that the contrast between the live performance and the studio recording are quite marked and unexpected.


These kind of suck, because the lighting was bad, I didn’t want to use the flash that much, and I didn’t want to get closer to the stage.


  1. Free Coffee
  2. Annie Waits
  3. Sentimental Guy
  4. Eddit Walker
  5. Effington — “This song was written on a stage in Normal, Illinois. That’s why it pretty much has one chord.”
  6. Jesusland
  7. The Luckiest — This song was by special request from someone else, and I really enjoyed it because it’s my and Carrie’s wedding song.
  8. Song for the Dumped — Ben told the story of how he learned a complicated-sounding lick at the piano when he was a kid, and was trying to work it into a song. On the tour van, he was working on “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces” when Darren Jessee asked to see it, said it was rubbish, and scribbled out the lyrics to “Song for the Dumped”, which Ben was able to integrate the piano lick into.
  9. Gone
  10. Picture Window — One of the two Nick Hornby collaborations he played.
  11. Levi Johnston’s Blues — After this one, he was going to play another one, but decided it wasn’t ready, said the song “wasn’t under copyright yet”, and tossed the sheet of paper (presumably with the lyrics) into the audience.
  12. You Don’t Know Me — Kate Miller-Heidke performed Regina Spektor’s part, and Keir Nuttall accompanied on acoustic guitar. She added a nice, operatic touch to the part.
  13. Kate
  14. Still Fighting It
  15. You to Thank
  16. Landed
  17. Dr. Yang — Ben said that some people describe this song as “snarky.” That’s a word he prefer to leave the lexicon. Along with “OMG.” After this song, he asked if there was any song that anyone wanted to hear, and of course everybody shouted out a different name.
  18. Hiro’s Song — He went to get a Caj√≥n for this one, which he played instead of the piano.
  19. Zak and Sara
  20. Bitches Ain’t Shit — He had a guy from the audience come up to sing the second verse. He first tried to get the audience to sing it, but that didn’t work out.
  21. Army — We kind of failed at the horn part.
  22. Rock This Bitch — Elaborations on the theme of a girl named Suzy who had a birthday.
  23. Gracie
  24. Not the Same — With some awesome conducting for the ‘drunken chorus.’
  25. And of course, the obligatory encore break…
  26. Evaporated — I was psyched for this one, as I think it’s very beautiful. The a capella version is also pretty.
  27. Rockin’ the Suburbs