Ben Folds is serious about having fun
Ben Folds doesn't mess around when it comes to music.
Walking to his piano at the Ritz on Friday night in brown slacks and a gray T-shirt, he knew his job was to play some fun music, not to look pretty.
From his soft, mellow, insightful pieces to the thumping, quick songs that make you get to your feet and dance, Folds brought his entire repertoire with him. To kick things off right, he started out the night right with his upbeat song Errant Dog, a fan favorite.
Moving through his catalog, Folds played the gamut, including the culture-slamming Jesus Land and Annie Waits, a song that evolved into a sing-along with the audience.
Folds also showed the audience a trick where he placed Altoid tins on the strings of his piano to create a wildly different sound on his song Free Coffee.
He even delved into the past to play some old Ben Folds Five music, including The Battle for Who Could Care Less (admittedly, one of my favorite songs by the group).
The opening act, Jukebox the Ghost, meshed so well with Folds, it was easy to see why he picked them to tour with him. With their three-piece set of piano, bass, and drums, Jukebox the Ghost had a fun, quirky feel to them that fit well with the theme of the show.
While Folds is all business about playing, you can tell the man is having a good time while doing it; he had a smile on his face while he was pounding away at the keys. He literally couldn't stay seated and much of the time was standing up, hunched over his piano.
Folds comes off as a man who knows he isn't cool and he doesn't care. This passes along to those at the show too who, for the most part, were aging hipsters just out to have a good time.
Seeing Ben Folds play, it's hard not to have a good time. The man is so passionate and happy that you can't help but break into smile while seeing him perform.
--Story/photos by Leigh Armstrong, Times Staff Writer
After the jump, check out some more photos of Folds and his fans...