Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Ben Folds @ HOB - Tomorrow
Ben Folds defines the word “ham,” which is slightly surprising when you look back at the song that made him famous; “Brick” is a quiet piano ballad about his high school girlfriend’s abortion. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native shares intimate moments like this with his audience, but then offshoots them with live Chatroulette performances and stages full of enormous smiley face props. You never know what to expect from the piano maestro and self-proclaimed geek. To avoid leaking Way to Normal, his most recent album, Folds recorded a set of brand-new songs with the same titles as the real tracks. It’s this same strange spontaneity and unpredictability that makes Folds’ live shows so exciting; one minute he’ll have the audience contributing multiple harmonies, the next he’ll be improvising the lyrics and musical style of “Rock This Bitch,” a song he changes from show to show. The common denominator of everything from “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” a cheesy ode to living “male, middle-class, and white,” to “Bitch Went Nuts,” a kiss-off to an ex, is Folds’ ability to bang out beautiful, soaring piano rock without missing a note. Matt Pond PA opens the show at 8:00 pm at the House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue, 216.523.2583). Tickets: $35, advance; $37, day of show.