Last night I went to my first concert in more than five years. I think the last one I went to was Nelly when he was playing at Riverfest in Little Rock and I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I used to love going to concerts. For all the terrible things to be said about Little Rock, Arkansas, there were a lot of great bands that came to the city that I was fortunate enough to see growing up, and I when I moved to Memphis, I thought I would have many more opportunities to see musicians than I ever had before, but I hadn’t until last night. My dad and I went to see Ben Folds, and the concert was incredible. He put on a fantastic show and was a much better pianist than I realized, in fact he was probably the best I’d ever seen.
Ten years ago I would have wanted to be in the thick of the action, amongst the other people crowding the stage, but now, in my 26th year of age, I was happy to hang back a little bit, removed from the crowd, but still in perfect position to see Ben sitting at the piano. I payed for parking, a rookie mistake, but it was well worth it to see my first concert in so long, and Ben Folds did not disappoint. He played song after song, some of which i recognized and others I did not, but I enjoyed them all just the same. It was a giant leap back onto the concert grid for me, one I relished every minute of. My dad and I stood behind the gated off section where the people who handled the lights and sound took their place, and i gotta say it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.
Even the songs I didn’t recognize were magnificent, and the genius of Ben Folds playing the piano shone through. He got the audience involved, and played the ivory’s so smooth it felt as if we are listening to a cd. He sang a freestyle song about the time he came to play Memphis in May but the weather detracted him from doing so, that really stole the show. It’s a shame that he didn’t have another show in Memphis today because i definitely would have bought tickets to that even. Ben played all my favorites, except “the Luckiest” and when he was through I was thoroughly wishing he’d have played more. The sold out crowd sang and danced along to his music like it was the second coming of the christ, and I too was swept up in all the emotion. I thought about making a joke about how I haven’t seen that many white people congregated together since I saw the news footage of the Donald Trump inauguration, but the truth is there were probably more people at the show last night. If you aren’t familiar with the work of Ben Folds then you are missing out on greatness, and I urge you to go check out his music ASAP. You can thank me later.