Ben Folds @ Hollywood Palladium

As it happens, there were two piano-pounders performing in Los Angeles last night–Ben Folds at the Palladium and Jack’s Mannequin over at The Wiltern. I’m really stoked the Ben Folds request went through (thanks LiveNation!) because I feel like SoCal gets more chances to see Jack’s than not. Anyway, I’ll freely admit I’m only a casual fan of Mr. Folds, but I’ve had friends who endlessly looped his live DVD as if they didn’t own anything else, so I absorbed some of their fandom.

Before Ben took the stage himself, he introduced songstress Sara Bareilles, who in turn introduced four A Capella bands who were having a sing-off to score some time with Mr. Folds. Have you ever experiences a capella music? IT’S MAGICAL. There are no instruments, just voices but but… well, watch this. There were 2 groups from USC, one from UCLA and one all the way from Stanford. When it came time to determine the winning group by cheer-vote, Josh Groban joined Sara on stage–the audienced was most stoked for USC’s Reverse Osmosis, who performed “One Angry Dwarf.” Let me tell you, though, all those groups had jaw-dropping talent.




Sentimental Guy (introduced by Ben saying, “This is about what goes on between a man and woman, or a boy and a girl–and about the peanut gallery who should shut the fuck up)

Dr. Yang


Annie Waits


You Don’t Know Me ft. Sara Bareilles

–He put altoid cans in his piano at this point, which made it sound more like a keyboard–

Free Coffee (w/ marching snare drum)

–Ben had previously commented about he only lived in LA for 6 months (in 2000), but that he wrote the next song during that time. It’s a song about a man who worked at a newspaper for 25 years. Ben commented that he really liked newspapers and hopes they don’t all die out.

Fred Jones Part II

–Ben talks about how he is the father of nine year-old twins, but that they actually have different birthdays because his daughter Gracie came out after midnight. Thus, she also missed his album deadline, so she didn’t get her own song until she was 4 years old.


–He talked about how he had a publishing deal before he had a record deal, which required him to write a certain number of songs to get paid. He wasn’t into writing “crap” just for money, but around the time the twins were born, he sucked it up and churned out a few.

The Secret Life Of Morgan Davis

One Down (the second song he wrote before he took lunch that day)

–He played a jingle that he wrote for a Japanese radio station





–The kickass audience harmony

Not The Same

The Bitch Went Nuts

Army (cool audience harmony again)

Rockin’ The Suburbs


Still Fighting It ft. Josh Groban


Bitches Ain’t Shit

(i don’t know if he played one after this, I left)

All in all it was a spectacular show, that man is crazy talented. I think even those who aren’t a fan of his style can even acknowledge that.

I was so mesmerized by the way he got the whole audience to be his orchestra!

If you get the chance to see him, you should do it. Highly recommended.