Ben Folds at Wolf Trap

Ben Folds hasn’t been with the Five for years, but he’s still turning out that style of quirky piano pop. We went to see him at Wolf Trap last night, but as it turned out, seeing him wasn’t the best part of the night. One of the benefits to being a member is a free concert, and this year we were offered the choice of Ben Folds, Eric Idle or Smokey Robinson. I really would like to go to the Eric Idle since it looks like him doing a version of Life Of Brian like Spamalot was a version of Holy Grail, but the reason I didn’t already have ticket is we’re going to be out of town that week. And Smokey is nice, but we both like Ben Folds and hadn’t seen him before.

There was also a dinner buffet included, and we were late getting there but got seats not expecting to see anyone we knew. Instead we ran into Bob and Cathy, who we know because Bob is the soundman for efo, and we’ve hung out with them on the efo cruises. We had a great time catching up over dinner (food was ok, carrot cake was awesome) and talked so long we missed most of the opening act – she wasn’t bad, though.

Ben Folds came out with a drummer and bassist (same trio format as the Five) and proceeded to rock out. I was expecting to enjoy Five classics like “Underground” and “Army”, but my favorite songs turned out to be songs from Rockin’ the Suburbs like “Annie Waits” and “Gone”. “Not the Same” was actually the highlight as he made the audience do a three part harmony and conducted us at the end. New songs from the album he’s releasing this fall were also pretty good – first single “Hiroshima” sounds like a winner. A shame we didn’t get the orignal set list for the night – I would have enjoyed “Brick” and “Battle of Who Could Care Less”. He had a lot of fun with the sign language ladies, as much as Da Vinci’s Notebook (for those who’ve seen them).