sab39

... indistinguishable from magic
effing the ineffable since 1977

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Thought for the day

8/19/2005
Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass...

 

Concert

8/8/2005
On Sunday night, Janene and I went to see Ben Folds at the Borgata in Atlantic City. We hadn't realized it, but it turned out that in this concert Ben had equal billing with some guy called Rufus Wainwright. More on him in a moment.

The opening act - a guy called Ben Lee who I'd never heard of before - surprised us by turning out to be absolutely awesome. Apparently his song "Catch my Disease" is going to be on the soundtrack to the new Deuce Bigalow movie - I'm glad he's getting a "break", if you can call it that, but the song deserves to be associated with a much better movie, in my humble opinion. He only did a short set, but I had no hesitation in nipping around to the merchandise stand afterwards and picking up his CD, which I've had on repeat ever since. He was also giving autographs so his album is now the first thing I ever had signed by a celebrity...

Then came Rufus Wainwright. We'd never heard of him before either, but he was touring with Ben Folds, so I figured, how bad could he be? Well, I found out. I don't mean to be offensive because apparently a lot of people really do like his music, but I'm emphatically not one of them (although I don't condone the people who were apparently behaving very rudely towards him and his fans at the concert, I do understand where they're coming from). It sounded like a funeral dirge being sung by a cat from the inside of the blender. The sad part is that he clearly is talented - he has an excellent voice and can obviously play his instruments - but he insists on singing tuneless mournful laments which were really painful to sit through. Ironically, all the parts when he wasn't actually singing were pretty good - his on-stage banter was fun and when he got his sister out to sing, she was good too. When he did a duet with her on someone else's song - "Alleluia", I'm afraid I don't know who originally sung it - he was actually quite good. Unfortunately after that we went back to the feline death march for another twenty minutes.

After that interminable disappointment and what seemed like far too long spent rearranging the stage, Ben F. finally came on. I'm not sure what I can possibly say that would do his performance justice. He exploded with energy from the moment he hit the stage (to a rousing instrumental recording of "Jesus Christ Superstar") to the frenetic encore. The unmistakeable highlight was his hilarious and theatrical melodic take on Dr. Dre's "Bitches ain't Shit" which you have to hear to believe, but to call that the highlight does a disservice to the rest of the show - every song was a highlight. I've never seen anyone play a piano with such speed and energy, and he was clearly having the time of his life, especially when he was interacting with the audience. My only complaint was that due to the double-billing with dear Rufus, the set seemed way too short - it's hard to believe that they both played for the same amount of time. Even so, the performance was more than good enough to make up for having to sit through that.

If I sound like I'm raving too much to be believable - sorry, but it really was THAT good. By light years the best concert I've ever been to - I haven't been to that many, but Janene has and she felt the same way. If you ever get the chance to see him live, take it. Seriously.

 
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