It is peculiar to see Ben Folds go on tour without a new studio album under his belt. Since his last release, Way to Normal in 2008, Folds has remained quiet on the solo end. He has done some production work as well as released an immediately glossed over (though excellent) Ben Folds Five album in 2012 called The Sound of the Life of the Mind.
Now he is back to spinning the solo tour circuit, and he packs quite an expansive setlist. Interestingly, he plays almost nothing from that last Ben Folds Five release, sticking mostly to his solo material and a few classics from that respective band. His solo debut from 2000, Rockin the Suburbs, marks the majority of the setlist with the title track closing out almost every solo show. He also performs “Not the Same” and “the Luckiest,” with “Annie Waits” from that same album sometimes replacing of one of these two. But fans can be certain that Rockin the Suburbs is well represented throughout.
The only guarantees for a Ben Folds’ setlist is “Brick” as well as the solo tune, “Zak and Sara.” The latter is not particularly popular, so it is a bit weird to see it as such a standard. But the biggest changes come from the band material, for his solo selection remains pretty consistent.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (3rd Movement)
Fred Jones, Part 2
Steven’s Last Night in Town
Zak and Sara
Rock This Bitch
Not the Same
One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
Rockin’ the Suburbs
How about his Ben Folds Five material?
Ben Folds obtained his name from the 90’s pop/rock group, Ben Folds Five, in which he fronted. Though he hasn’t joined back with the other members of Ben Folds Five for many years, he always adds a few of the songs from that group into his setlist. This time around he incorporates about five of their tunes into the set.
The platinum selling 1997 record Whatever and Ever Amen remains the group’s most popular release, and Ben makes the right call by playing perhaps its biggest song, “Brick,” as well as opening jam, “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces.” He also plays “Smoke” from the record which does not quite have the widespread popularity, but it remains the critical opus from the album. Nick Hornby broke down why “Smoke” is one of the best things from the 90’s in his music book 31 Songs. He may switch out one of the previously mentioned Ben Folds Five tunes with another from the group, “Kate.” “Narcolepsy” is also common, but not guaranteed.
How long is a Ben Folds concert?
Ben Folds plays for close to two hours. It is long enough to justify an intermission, something few bands do anymore.
Who is Ben Folds’ publicist and press contact?
Ben Folds has his own recording studio located in Nashville, Tennessee. To help with studio management and press, and the wide number of bands looking to work with Ben for studio time, he has a studio manager. Her name is Sharon Corbitt-House and she can be contacted at Sharon@benstudio.com.
Fans in particular might be interested to know they can contact the studio direct at 615-742-1998.
How do I get access to presale tickets for Ben Folds’ tour?
There seems to be no shortage of ways to obtain Ben Folds presale tickets. First up is the most popular option; the American Express platform. They offer tickets for almost the entirety of Ben Folds’ tour, but you need an American Express card to nab them.
Ben Folds also works with the Artist Arena platform for presale tickets. These are available for all Ben Folds fans, but you must be part of the fan club, which is the best option. The only problem is, they go quickly, so it is the best option if you are on top of it.
There are also local affiliates offering Ben Folds tickets, so you can check with your local community radio station and local blogs to see if they have giveaways or password entry presales.
Lastly, if for whatever reason the Artist Arena is done with presales, try the Concert Maps resource. They offer the best presale options, but they go quick as well. You need to reserve tickets up to a week before the show or else the option goes away.
“That Ben Folds encore, along with the excitement created by the new concerto, seemed to have an intoxicating effect on the audience. Indeed, the euphoria of the evening inspired the people on my shuttle bus to sing Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” all the way back to LP Field. Now, that had to be a first for a classical subscription crowd.” – John Pitcher of Arts Nashville
“So they wanted to take a break, slow it down some and have some space — but finally after 13 long years Ben Folds Five are together again. As a BFF fan for almost half of my life, there was zero chance I was missing the chance to see the trio perform live for the first time (and possibly the last). Apparently, I was not alone in the excitement… Expectations were high. I’m sure everyone entered the Wiltern Theatre with their own dream set list, fingers crossed that they would finally get to hear it live.” – Erika Brooks Adickman of the Idolator
“The group did quite a few songs from its new album, including the single “Do It Anyway” and the piano-key-slamming “Erase Me.” In addition, the group played tons of fan favorites like “Jackson Cannery” and “Philosophy” that had me jamming as much as I could within the confines of my padded seat. Folds’ piano playing has always been unbelievable, and seeing him live was no different.” – Scott Brown Hopewell of the Philly Burbs
Lonely Avenue Tour 2011
Tour Opening Acts: Kate Miller-Heidke
Started January 26, 2011 in Athens, Ohio | Ended July 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California
Ben Folds and a Piano
Tour Opening Acts: Kate Miller-Heidke
Started March 14, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia | Ended May 16, 2010 in San Fransciso, California
Way to Normal Tour
Tour Opening Acts: Missy Higgins
Started February 21, 2009 in Danbury, Connecticut | Ended April 26, 2009 in Syracuse, New York
Bearded Heart Tour
Tour Opening Acts: NA
Started February 29, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana | Ended May 30, 2008 in Cary, North Carolina