I’m kicking myself for not writing about this sooner. This was such an amazing show that I guess I needed a few days to process. That or I’m super lazy. Either way I want to tell you about Ben Folds live with yMusic at The Orpheum in LA. We are big fans of Ben Folds and have seen him perform several times all over the US. Our first time seeing him play live was at the University of Tulsa a million years ago. Chris introduced me to his music on a deeper level because all I knew of Ben Folds was his hit ballad Brick. But there is so much more to his music and his talent as a musician. And that has never been more evident than watching him play with yMusic-a sextet featuring Rob Moose, CJ Camerieri, Gabriel Cabezas, Alex Sopp, Hideaki Aomori and Nadia Sirota.
On this tour he’s promoting his new album, So There. where he collaborated with yMusic. This group of musicians make playing classical instruments look like Monday night football. It’s so engaging! They were passionate, fiery, and inspiring. At one point I thought the violinist, Rob Moose, was going to fall out of his chair. He was really getting after it! And I never thought I would give a standing ovation for a clarinet player, but Hidaki Aomori rocked that clarinet like he was Mick Jagger on the Forty Licks Tour. The show was a perfect mix of instrumental songs with just yMusic, and Ben playing his new and old songs with them.
Of course when you see a musician play in LA you kind of expect to see someone just as, if not more famous than the person you actually went to see. In our case, it was Ke$ha. Yep. Who knew she and Ben Folds were pals? Apparently they’ve been friends for years due to an unfortunate pool incident with Ben’s phone. He also told the crowd they were prepping for their appearance on the Billboard Music Awards where they were supposed to be performing a Bob Dylan song. But due to on-going legal issues with Ke$ha’s manager Dr. Luke, the performance had been cancelled. Thankfully, Ben felt like we should still see their performance. Woo hoo! He brought Ke$ha out and they sang It Ain’t Me Babe. Her voice was haunting, sad, and powerful. I had no idea she could sing like that. And if you saw the BMA’s it looks like she was allowed to perform after coming to an agreement with her manager. During the Encore there was a slightly awkward attempt to jam with Ke$sha and Ben. Bless her heart. She didn’t understand the Rock This Bitch game. But she tried.
We walked out of that show with Bob Saget. My friend Kelly Mack has a theory that Bob and Ben are BFF. Weird right? Chris also swears he saw Emma Stone but I think it was just a really skinny redhead. I love going to see live shows with Chris. He gets so into the music and truly has an appreciation for the musicality and song writing of each artist. We chatted the whole way home about the incredible experience and talent that Ben Folds brings to every show and vowed to start seeing more live music. After all we live in one of the best towns for music in the world. I also started to wonder if Ben Folds dreams in music. The way he guided the jam sessions, and the songs he’d written for the instrumentals were pure genius.
You can download the album So There on the Ben Fold’s website and also check out his upcoming tour dates. Looks like he’s going to Europe for a bit but then he’ll be back in the US in a few months. Oh! I almost forgot to mention his wonderful opening act, Dotan. Even though it was Dotan’s last show with the tour I’m so glad we got a chance to see him perform. His music was very moving and folksy. Beautiful storytelling. So we are definitely new fans. That’s what’s great about the power of music. You can discover new things every time you hear a song or see a new performer which we are determined to do more of in the future.