ben folds encore 02I’ve been a Ben Folds fan for years.  My first experience with him was his The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner about 10 years ago.  I only had to hear Army once.  I was hooked.

It wasn’t until last year, though, that I saw him live for the first time. He was touring his Way to Normal album, then.  It was an amazing show.  One of the best I’ve ever seen.

Last week, I saw him perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.


I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.  I mean, Folds is a rockin’ sonuvabitch.  How was that gonna’ play with the symphony?

I should have known that Folds can rock anywhere.

I mean, he opened with Zak and Sara. That’s always gonna thump.  Symphony conductor Rei Hotoda, a tiny woman, had the Pops rockin along with Folds.

ben folds encore 01My buddy Mark scored us some outstanding seats.  We were in the choral terrace, which wraps around the stage like a horseshoe.  We were looking right over Folds’ shoulder all evening able to watch his hands punish the piano keys.  Amazing view!

If you have the opportunity to see Ben Folds play live – either with his band or with an orchestra – you owe it to yourself to go.  He is an amazingly talented man who can rock this bitch or any other.

For his second encore, Folds dismissed the orchestra and played two of my favorites: Army and Rockin’ the Suburbs.  There is something empowering about being in the I.M. Pei designed Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center beneath the magnificent Lay Family Concert Organ and singing “FUCK” at the top of your lungs with 2000 others.

Best news of the evening, by the way?  He’s working on an album that’s due out for next year.   He played two songs from it.  Hopefully he’ll tour that one as well.

The video below features Folds playing with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.  Yeah.  It was like that.  Freakin’ awesome.