Review and Photos by Codi Glancy
It’s been 13 years since the last Ben Folds Five album and 12 since they last toured. Last night was the band’s first time back in Atlanta since 1998. Based on the packed Tabernacle crowd’s excitement, it’s been long over due.
Opening act, Kate Miller-Heidke took the stage around 8. I had never heard of the Australian singer-songwriter before, but when she came out with just a guitar player, I was intrigued. Miller-Heidke is clearly a classically trained vocalist. She has an astonishing range allowing her to cover the highs and lows of an octave in a single verse. Her songs reminded me of the cute alternative-pop styles of artists like Kate Nash, Lily Allen, and Regina Specktor. In-between her beautifully fun songs and her hilarious crowd interaction, I completely understand why she was chosen to tour with Ben Folds.
When the time came for Ben Folds Five to take the stage, the crowd was roaring in anticipation! Opening up with the new “Michael Praytor, Five Years Later,” the three piece were filled with amazing energy and stage presence. Ben Folds is always humble and appreciative to his fans and that was evident in band’s performance and his smiles and waves to the crowd. They even improvised a song for the Atlanta crowd, apologizing for cancelling their originally scheduled show at Chastain in June. As the set continued on, BFF played an array of 20+ more songs from past albums and their newest. Favorites like “Battle of Who Could Care Less,” “Brick,” “Kate,” “Philosophy,” and “Army.” The amazing and one of a kind set ended with one of my all time favorites, “Song for the Dumped.” The hilariously funny and catchy led the audience to chanting and shouting the lyrics along with the band.
It’s too cruel to leave everyone left hanging after a song like “SFTD,” so the band came back after a deafening encore request. “Narcolepsy,” “Underground,” and finally “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces” ended the night.
I’ve seen Ben Folds before and it was fantastic, but Ben Folds Five blew him out of the water. It was a privilege to be one of the few thousands that get to see them on their newest world tour and I wouldn’t have missed it for any reason.
1. Michale Praytor, Five Years Later
2. Theme From Dr.Pyser”
3. Jackson Cannery
4. Selfless, Cold and Composed
5. Erase Me
6. Atlanta, 2012 Y’all (Elephant in the Room)
7. Uncle Walter
8. Alice Childress
9. Sky High
10. Battle of Who Could Care Less
12. The Sound of the Life of the Mind
15. Do It Anyway
20. Song for the Dumped
23. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces