The Ben Folds Concert Was Everything I Could Have Dreamed [+setlist]

Is it cheesy if I say that tonight was one of the best nights of my life? Is it?

Because it totally was.

After a long day of unexpected events, I drove with five of my good friends to see Ben Folds at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. Now, if you recall, this is the concert that was canceled for snow in January. Which was bad but also a little good because I was so deathly ill (with, like, quasi-flu or something gross…TMI?) at the time that I don’t think I could have gone.

First, his opener, Kenton Chen, was amazing. He only played four songs and that made me a little sad, but I thought it really said something about his talent that we all wanted the opener to play more songs. His EP just dropped on iTunes last week, so you should definitely go check him out. I usually hate Ben’s openers, but this guy is truly, truly talented.

And then Ben Folds came on and played for two hours. And honestly, it was by far the best show he’s ever done that I’ve seen – and this is my fourth time to see him.

  1. Levi Johnston’s Blues (Lonely Avenue)
  2. Doc Pomus (Lonely Avenue)
  3. Gone (Songs for Silverman Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  4. Belinda (Lonely Avenue)
  5. Sleazy (Ke$ha cover)
  6. Sentimental Guy (Songs for Silverman)
  7. You to Thank (Songs for Silverman)
  8. Effington (Way to Normal)
  9. Still Fighting It (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  10. The B*tch went Nuts (Way to Normal)
  11. B*stard (Songs for Silverman)
  12. Rock this B*tch (original every show)
  13. Jesusland (Songs for Silverman)
  14. Brick (Whatever and Ever Amen)
  15. The Last Polka (Ben Folds Five)
  16. Gracie (Songs for Silverman)
  17. The Luckiest (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  18. Annie Waits (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  19. You Don’t Know Me (Way to Normal)
  20. Landed (Songs for Silverman)
  21. Zak and Sara (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  22. Hiroshima (Way to Normal)
  23. Not the Same (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
  24. Kate (Whatever and Ever Amen)
  25. Army (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner)
Encore: Underground (Ben Folds Five), Philosophy (Ben Folds Five)
So as you can see, he played a WIDE range of music, but curiously, a LOT of songs from Songs for Silverman and Rockin’ the Suburbs. It was really interesting, considering most of the music he played on the original Lonely Avenue tour was stuff from, well, Lonely Avenue. Reinhold Messner is my favorite album, so that was exciting, and Songs for Silverman and Rockin’ the Suburbs are not far behind. And really, Whatever and Ever Amen is excellent, too. I like Way to Normal, I like a lot of the songs, but as a whole it’s kind of eh. And also, some of the really old stuff – Ben Folds Five stuff, wow! He was all over the place tonight. And I love the new stuff, but it was just so thrilling to hear my favorites. Songs 11-17 were just piano rock – no auxiliary.
But speaking of auxiliary, he had a huge amount of it tonight. There was even a guy to play French horn on the first few songs, and he was fantastic. And there was a cutie bass player – he looked like Andrew Garfield. So. Do with that what you will.
Landed is my favorite song of all time. Like, literally, of all time. I could listen to it over and over and never be tired of it (have done that, actually). It has gotten me through SO much in my life, and it has so much meaning. I’ve never heard him play it live before, and I think my heart actually broke a little bit. And, of course, my favorite live songs are Not the Same and Army – he’s never done both. I felt gluttonous when he closed with Army – his audience participation songs are the best.
There was a point in the concert, fairly early on, in which I just decided to let loose and enjoy myself. I was feeling good about things, so I just stopped caring that other people could see me and sang along (loudly), danced, clapped, generally rocked out, and had the best time. I’ve never had that much fun at a concert. Every time I see him it’s just such a personal experience – I feel revitalized and happy and like everything is going to be great, no matter what’s going on outside of the concert. And it’s really something special to me that it feels that way. I don’t feel like that about a lot of things.
So, really, tonight was actually one of the best nights of my life – and if you’ve never seen him live, you are seriously, seriously missing out on something really and truly great.

5 thoughts on “The Ben Folds Concert Was Everything I Could Have Dreamed [+setlist]

  1. SO glad you had so much fun! Wish I could’ve been there! Also- Gone is from Rockin’ the Suburbs. That’s one of my favorites! 🙂

  2. This is the best of the 5 live shows I’ve seen him do.

    I had so much fun last night.

  3. also… did he bring a band or just Ben and the piano? I’m seeing the show in OKC in November and not sure it’s part of this tour (since this was a make-up date)

    • Thanks for adding it, Justin. He did bring a full band – four other guys. He did play the middle third of the show solo, though. Even though it was a makeup date, the setlist doesn’t match the ones from the original LA tour, so I suspect it’s part of the new one.

      I’m sure the show in November will be completely different because it’s with the Phil, though, and since it’s so far out.

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