Last night Tina and I attended a concert together as a special anniversary treat. John Mayer was the name on the ticket, but we were also there for our old favorite Ben Folds and his current band. It was a great show and a wonderful time with my sweet wife who is currently working so hard in
I must begin this blog by mentioning a sentiment of Tina’s that I share. During the half hour break between the two groups, she reminisced about the feeling of excitement that going to concerts used to give her. I remember those days—we would wait and wait for a show and when that day finally arrived, man-oh-man. Concerts that we wanted to go to were usually in
Concerts in adulthood just don’t have the same affect on us anymore. I am fairly sure that if I added them all up, since returning from
But we still had a great time. We got to the Jobing.com arena (the lamest name for a venue since Cricket pavilion) during what I determined today to be Ben Fold’s first song, Gone (it killed me that we could have missed some of his set). The strangest thing about seeing a band you really really like (and readers of this blog know how much I love Ben) open for a different, much bigger band. In other words, they are definitely not the main event, and you can tell because everybody is sitting down. In fact, it is safe to say that a majority of the audience didn’t know who he was until late in his set when he played Brick. “Ohhhh,” the 8500 people who were there solely for John Mayer must have thought at once, “THAT is who this guy is!”
So we found our way down to our 12th row seats (Tina had forgotten that we had such great seats—which was fun. “We’re on the floor! Awesome!”). And sat there amongst all the John Mayer fans and belted along with Ben Folds as he sang. After the first song, the 50 year old guy that was sitting next to me said, sensing my enthusiasm, “Who is this guy?” So Ben Folds rocked the house and I sat there politely tapping my foot, every inch of me wanting to get up and shake my bootie. He played some favorites, including some great songs from the “five” days: All You Can Eat, Not the Same, Kate, Narcolepsy, 1 Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn faces, and a cover of Postal Service’s Some Great Heights come to mind at the moment. He had some songs where he added in some synth happiness—and I think I read somewhere that he is going to be using that synthesizer more on his next album. In classic Ben Folds potty humor, he mentioned studying up on the internet a very low frequency at which when felt/heard at a high enough volume, caused the listener to loose control of his bowels. He then played a note/frequency a few pitches above that note. As you might imagine, it’s a myth. But a funny myth, wouldn’t you say?
Ben Folds was over too quickly. The only Ben Folds t-shirt you could buy was a brown one that had the words “I ♥ Ben Folds” in the “I ♥
The John Mayer show was what you might expect. Mayer is such an amazing guitarist. Maybe I will expand on this in some future blog, but the guy has one of the classiest careers in the biz (did I just say biz?). You gotta hand it to someone who has had so much commercial success, but yet remains so authentic and true to himself. Both times I have seen John Mayer (the other you can read about here), this sense of authenticism was the most palpable feeling present. The guy is just talented and can write a sweet melody to boot. You can take a look at the set list for last night’s show here. The highlights for me were “Bigger than My Body” and “Gravity.” Plus, unlike Tina, I LOVE all the jams and jam he did.
Watching crowds at concerts is fun. Next time you go to one, look around at how the people are behaving. A lot of people are like you, they are into it—dancing around a bit—definitely singing along. And then there are the folks who are REALLY into it. I saw a few of these fans during last night’s show. These are the fans that are SO into it, you have to ask yourself, “are they really into it or are they just into being into it?” There were these two girls who fit this description. Here’s how you can tell. During every song, they don’t actually look at the artist playing. They look at each other, hands in the air, dancing, singing every word to each other (as if to say, “we know every word to this song—and we know it TOGETHER!”). Then, in between songs, when there is a chance that John Mayer might be looking in their direction, they swoon for him—reach toward him, even though they are way too far away—like 100 feet and 45 degrees up—to touch him. So that was fun/pathetic to watch.
Final thoughts? I can’t wait to see Ben Folds in a crowd full of Ben Folds fans again. Then you know it will be me showing everyone I know EVERY WORD and reaching toward the stage, hoping to catch Ben’s eye, if only for a moment. Maybe I’ll wear a tube-top.