Monday, July 19, 2010

Ben Folds

I've whined on here already in a previous post about my inability to see Sting play his concert with the Orchestra due to the fact that his tour stop in my city was cancelled for unknown reasons (well, unkown to me). Rish, of course, took a trip out to Las Vegas to see the show...but with his other, much better friend. So I was just plain high and dry. But I was okay with that, because it's a position I've been in a lot of times in my life.

Then, out of the blue, Rish sends me a link. He says, "Is this something you'd like to go see?" It's a webpage advertising a Ben Folds concert where he's playing arrangements of his songs with an orchestra. And the show was only a week away.

Yeah, I wanted to see it. So, we got ourselves some tickets.

The show was happening at an amphitheater on the premises of a ski resort. Apparently the orchestra plays a number of shows there every summer. Ben Folds is just one of many shows they'll be playing this summer. Next week will be a selection of Disney soundtracks, later in the summer the orchestra will be playing with special guest Randy Travis. (Which doesn't sound like it would work out well, I mean it's called the Grand Old Opry, not Opera, but what do I know about country?)The place was beautiful, as Ski Resorts are wont to be. It was a wonderful place to see a concert, nestled in the mountains, as the sun sets in the west.Everybody brought out blankets and sat right down on the hill to enjoy the show. I think the place usually sees a much smaller crowd at these concerts, after all it's a symphony orchestra's summmer program. They don't see the likes of Ben Folds every week. So the crowd was much larger than normal. Rish and I were a slightly late, walking into the show are Mr. Folds started playing the first song, so we wound up sitting way the hell in the back. At one of the orchestra's usual concerts, I bet there wouldn't have been anyone sitting within a hundred yards of where we had to be. So our view of the show wasn't great.

Up where we were, there was precious little grass on the ground. The place was as stony as my douchebag heart. After several hours of sitting on this harsh, inhospitable terrain, my arse is completely, and permanently misshapen. Exhibit A, is the picture below.Aside from the terrain, however, the concert was very cool. It wasn't one of those shows where they search your bag at the door, and make you leave anything and everything in your car. You could bring in a cooler if you wanted to. If you look in the background of this next picture, you can see the people sitting next to us. Spread out on their blanket was a full on picnic lunch, including gourmet sandwiches, some sort of vinagrette thing (I could definitely smell something along those lines--maybe pasta salad, I don't know), and they even had a bottle of wine as well. And they weren't the only ones. I saw several people wandering about with wine glasses in their hands. If I'd known that we were going to this sort of an event, Rish and I would probably not have stopped in at Wendy's to cram our faces with cheap burgers on the way to the show. (We'd have probably gotten those cheap burgers to go, and eaten them on the, rocks).The show itself was really good. On the way out, I had expressed concerns to Rish that we would just get a rehash of the Ben Folds WASO concert album. It's not like a lot of rock and roll artists have had any of their songs arranged for orchestral accompaniment. Ben Folds had a whole set of them orchestrated once, but how likely is it that other newer songs would have been arranged for orchestra? But I really wanted to hear some of the songs he'd written post WASO concert.

"I hope he plays something like Effington," I said to Rish while we were in the car driving out.

It turned out that I had some sort of prophetic power this evening, because the show's third song turned out to be Effington.

When Rish saw my prophetic powers, he asked me to predict that some of the women in the audience would remove their tops as well (you may see that at a Motley Crue concert a lot, but Ben Folds is generally a different kind of crowd, so it would take some kind of magic to make it happen). I obliged Rish, and made the prediction. There were a lot of honeys at the show, so it would have been worthwhile if it came true. And wouldn't you know it, not five minutes later, while I'm conversing with Rish, I see his eyes bug out. He tells me that a girl sitting directly behind me who was wearing a strapless dress, had just fallen out of her top. She was rather embarrassed, and spent the rest of the night continuously pulling up her bodice, but my prediction had come true again. I should have predicted a windfall of money. I just wasn't thinking.Some of the songs sounded absolutely beautiful with the orchestra playing along. I particularly appreciated "Gracie," and "Fred Jones Part 2," but those were already favorites of mine. He also played a couple of songs from his upcoming album as well. If I hadn't been sleeping on the job, I'd have switched my camera over to video mode and recorded the tunes and posted them on YouTube already. I'm just too old I guess. My mind doesn't go to that immediately like it does for the younger generation.

When the show came to an end, Rish and I sat on the hill for an extra twenty minutes while we let the crowd clear out. To amuse ourselves we took a bunch of self-portrait photos.
Then someone took pity on us, and offered to take a picture for us.


  1. "Much better friend?" Would Jeff pose in super-gay photos with me? Would ANYBODY??

  2. That picture is pretty gay for some reason. What is it? I cringe when I look at it.