Come Pick Me Up...I've Landed

Seeing Ben Folds perform not once, but twice, at the Hollywood Bowl last weekend was really exciting, but also a little bizarre and surreal. I'm much more accustomed to packed shows at venues like the El Rey, where Ben is the headliner to a very enthusiastic audience, who happily participate in such things as rousing three-part harmonies under the tutelage of Mr. Folds. He just seemed dwarfed on that humongous stage. That said, I did enjoy the Bowl performances immensely and will keep my fingers crossed for a show with the Bowl Orchestra one of these days, like he has done in Australia and Boston. A girl can dream, right?

Saturday's crowd was much smaller and less receptive to Ben, who one person near us referred to as "just a nerd," than Sunday's. He cut a couple of songs short when the people unfamiliar with his work clapped prematurely. There was also a snarky comment after unsuccessfully getting the audience to sing along at one point. There were slightly different sets each night, both being peppered quite heavily with Ben Folds Five songs, as well as a couple of covers. I would say hearing Ben Folds sing Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" at the Hollywood Bowl is up there with memorable life experiences!

Perhaps because Sunday was a school night, the attendees were more attentive, less drunk, and more polite for Ben Folds. We talked to Jared*, Ben's bass player, outside after the show and he agreed. Granted, there were the women sitting next to me who would not shut up and just kept taking camera phone photos and giggling and talking about their kids' preschool graduations. Ugh. I was writing down the songs** Ben was singing and one them asked what I was writing. I said, "Everything you and your friend are saying." She laughed and told her friend. She thought it was great and said, "Oh, that's totally our sense of humor!" She obviously missed that I was trying to subtly say, "SHUT THE F&%K UP!" Hilarious.

We did not stay for John Mayer Sunday night. We sort of did on Saturday (much of the time was spent outside of the actual venue chatting with other Ben Folds fans and people-watching), but didn't really feel the need to do so again. Our leaving worked out well for a couple of his fans too, as Nanette explained on her blog. She's a good egg.

*On our way out, we talked to Ben's new drummer, Sam Smith, and his bass player, Jared Reynolds, who remembered meeting E before at another event. It turns out we will be helping Jared celebrate his birthday next February, but more about that later.

I've been asked if by "freak show" I meant an actual freak show or just concert goers. While the falling-down, stinkin' drunk Mayer fans from Saturday night could possibly be called "freaks," I just refer to them as "party girls." Or "dumbasses." Anyway, we did actually attend something called The Freak Show Deluxe at CIA after leaving the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. I was a little nervous as occasionally they have some gross things, but it was more comedic. There was fire eating, knife throwing, glass walking, straight jacket escaping, etc. There was the requisite nailing of the steel spike into the nostril bit, but that was over fairly quickly.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the bowling party we went to Sunday afternoon. It was fun, but I got dirt from the bowling ball all over my new Ben Folds shirt and I'm having a hard time getting it out. And yeah, I suck at "real life" bowling. Nothing like my skillz on Wii bowling.

**I'm not posting the set lists I wrote down as I figure most people who read here are that interested. If you are, feel free to contact me via snarkydork [at] gmail dot com and I'll send it.

Next week: I'm seeing The Police...twice...OMG!!!


Nanette said...

Your "everything you're saying" comment was hilarious! I'm surprised they didn't get the hint.

And I'm jealous of your Police shows! Those will be AWESOME!!!

Thanks again for allowing me to take your tix on Sunday. Those girls couldn't have been more appreciative!

Anonymous said...

Wow. You and Nanette had two different experiences.

Also, you are the Queen of Wii bowling. I bow down to you.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, think I would be a bit too squeamish for the Freak show after all. lol!
Concerts sound great! I'd have been tempted to ram my notebook up the chatterboxes nose. Seeing as how they needed the message to be a bit more obvious ... tee hee!

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