Ben Folds Five, Urban Art Bar,April 16, 1997
Opening Act - Not memorable

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After having such a hectic weekend with Barenaked Ladies, I was really not in the moodfor another concert, but am I glad I found the energy to head out to this one. After somedisappointing opening acts, the trio known as Ben Folds Five (Ben says he miscounted) hitthe stage around 11:15pm. Certainly too late for me on a work night, but well worth thewait and exceedingly more than worth the $1.07 it cost for a Buzz Wednesday Night Special.

This group from Chapel Hill, North Carolina (home of my alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), consists ofBen Folds on piano, Robert Sledge on bass guitar and stand up bass, and Darren Jessee ondrums. They have two CDs, a self-titled and their newest, "Whatever and EverAmen". Ben Folds is an incredible pianist. I was positioned about 5 feet away fromhis fingers and at times they were moving so fast, I couldn't see them. He uses his arms,elbows, legs, feet, and even played a little mouth keyboard (not sure of the officialname). Memorable songs were "Kate", dedicated to Ben's wife, "AliceChildress", dedicated to their road manager's wife, "Battle of Who Could CareLess", the common dilemma about the one that cares the most has the least power in arelationship , "Steven's Last Night in Town", a song about a guy that they keptthrowing going away parties for, but would never leave, "Brick", a haunting tuneabout disillusionment in a relationship, "Song for the Dumped", the way we allfeel when someone tells us they need space, and the peppy "Underground". BFFadds a lot of energy to pop songs that utilize the piano instead of heavy guitars. Theyrock no less, but offer an "alternative" (I hate that word) to the grungey,distorted, heavy sounds that are so prevalent today.

I will see Ben Folds anytime I can, and already know that they are going to be at the Midtown Festival in Atlanta, onstage just before BarenakedLadies and Squirrel NutZippers. I'll be dancin' the night away!!!

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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