Ben Folds, Night 1

The Wiltern
Los Angeles, CA

Perhaps thanks to Rufus Wainwright's fans, I didn't feel as old as I normally do at a Ben Folds show. His audience is primarily college kids, so a couple of thirty-somethings stand out, sort of like someone's parents. The crowd at The Wiltern on Thursday night was a bit more diverse age-wise.

Ben Lee opened the show with a 30 minute set which was mostly upbeat and enjoyable. I'm not a huge fan of Lee, but he was good. In retrospect, I'd have preferred a longer set by him and less Rufus.

Since Folds and Wainwright are co-headlining their ''Odd Men Out'' tour, they are alternating sets each night. Ben Folds played a kick-ass, but way too short, set with his band, as well as a couple of solo numbers. Highlights included a duet with Wainwright doing ''Careless Whisper,'' Dr. Dre's ''Bitches Ain't Shit,'' ''Army'' with audience participation as the horn section, and the Ben Folds Five tune ''Where's Summer B'' from their first album. That's the song that brought us to Ben in early 1996. Unfortunately, there was no encore.

Rufus Wainwright didn't impress me and was a bit too mellow. He sounds the same in every song and has this strange voice in which he does not enunciate very much, giving him a cottony mouth sound with minimally decipherable lyrics. We lasted a few songs, then decided to take off.

Ben Folds goes on last tonight and will hopefully get an encore.

Written on my Palm at 7:30 am while waiting in line at NBC for Tonight Show tickets. Ben Folds is the musical guest. (And then I spent a couple of hours formatting it because I am a big dork!)


ren said...

wait, wait! when you say "careless whisper" are we talking about the wham! classic? because...i do know all the words to that. scared the hell out of james when i recited them for him. hee! glad you had fun and hope you have fun at the rest of the shows.

Jodi said...

Hell yes, the Wham! classic! One of my faves from the '80's. I thought George was so sexy in the video and had no clue how gay he was!

ren said...

oh boys can be gay AND sexy, one does not preclude the other (well, girls can too, i suppose but we aren't really talking about girls here). but i am quite sure i thought he was too. now he looks just too...groomed. i don't like that.

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