Our trip up to Savannah for the Ben Folds concert was this past weekend and it was fantastic. Seriously, it’s the best concert I’ve ever been to. Brandon agreed with me except he had to put it at number two behind Pink Floyd which I can’t really blame him for.
It also helped that I was just really happy that we actually made it to the concert. I was stressed out the whole way up there. Brandon was supposed to leave early from work, but wound up being late. It was pouring rain the entire way so everyone was going slower than normal, plus we kept running into traffic at random places on the interstate. Both of us were starving from not eating anything all day so we had to make a detour and stuff greasy food in our mouths as fast as possible (which is always great for the digestive system). Then we wound up running out of gas about 5 miles from Savannah (less than an hour before the concert) so we had to make another detour to get gas. But our hotel wound up being closer to downtown than I thought (we couldn’t afford $200 a night to stay in one of the downtown hotels, so La Quinta it was), so we checked in, threw our crap in the room, rushed back to the car and rushed downtown where, thankfully, there was a (free!) parking garage a block away from the theater, otherwise finding parking would have been a bitch.
We got the concert with about 30 minutes to spare, so I could finally relax after that. We were in the third row, so the seats were great (We were on the right side, I would have preferred the center–Ben’s piano was closer to the left side of the stage–but I could still see him really well).
The thing that really surprised me was how good the opening act was. I hadn’t heard anything about who was opening and I was expecting them to be pretty bad because that’s how it’s been for many of the concerts I’ve been to, but this guy made a new fan out of me. His name is Eef Barzelay (yeah, I know) and if you like Ben Folds, then you’ll like this guy. He’s a bit more folky than Ben and he plays guitar, not piano, but it’s the same kind of interesting voice-good lyrics-simple catchy songs, type of music. He also had some funny songs that reminded me of Flight of the Conchords. I would definitely say he’s a cross between Ben Folds and Flight of the Conchords. Very good stuff. He was also really funny and totally won over the crowd. I realized halfway though that I had heard him before. If you’ve seen the movie Rocket Science (and if you haven’t, you need to Netflix it this instant, it’s a GREAT little indie about boy with a stuttering problem who joins the debate team at the urging of a girl he likes) he did the music for it. He even had a music video on the Rocket Science DVD and I remember watching it thinking “Wow, this guy is goofy” and he is, but in a super cute way. He plays the guitar kind of sideways so that he can do these little dances and flourishes while he sings. It is definitely a sight to behold.
So then Ben finally came out and, really, what can I say without turning into a thirteen year old girl? It was just a greatgreatgreatgreat concert. He played ALL my favorite songs (and I’ve loved Ben Folds for 10 years now, so that’s a lot of songs). The guy is a machine. I think he played for at least an hour an half or two hours? Half the songs were him with his drummer and guitarist (And a tamborine player that came out a few times and was awesomely hilarious. Ben said he knew he had finally made it when he could hire someone to come out and play tambourine on two of his songs. 😀 ), but there was a long stretch in the middle that was just him alone playing the piano. There were songs from every album, including his NEW album which they had just finished recording. They played at least 5 new songs and they were all great, so I can’t WAIT until the new album gets released.
The best part is the story he told about one of his new songs. He was in Japan and walked out on stage to start a concert, but it was so dark that he couldn’t see where the stage ended and he accidentally walked right off, fell on his head and practically busted it open (the chorus of the song is basically: “They watched me fall down”). He crawled back on stage and then proceeded to perform the whole set despite the fact he was bleeding all over the piano. After the concert he was rushed to the hospital and they took x-rays to make sure he had no head trauma or whatever. Obviously he’s fine, though. The cool part is he said those x-rays (with Japanese writing all over them) are going to be the cover of his new album. The even cooler part was the he needed audience reactions to add to that track on the album, so we did some cheering and some clapping and some singing for him. If he likes us, we could be on the new album, which would be pretty sweet! Besides that song he also got us to sing along to Not the Same and Army (he even got up on top of his piano to conduct us!)
The whole concert was just soo much fun and it was wonderful being back in Savannah again. It was really the best birthday present I could have and it was a nice release after three straight weeks of working with no breaks (for me and for Brandon who has been on a deadline at his new job as well). And I found a new musician I like in the process, which is always great. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to the Eef Barzelay album I just downloaded from iTunes.