Rockin’ the Suburbs
Ben Folds was awesome, as expected. I’d never been to Wolf Trap before, and as a venue with an “under the stars” option, it’s definitely my favorite. Not that I’d planned on it, but I’ll never go to Nissan Pavilion again unless the tickets are free and box seats and come with helicopter transportation. Since the response of most people where “who?” when I told them who was playing, I just grabbed Justin. We had a quick meal at Tysons Corner before heading over to Wolf Trap with plenty of time before the opening act. Since we had my company’s box seats, we had access to a special lounge with snacks and drinks so we were a few glasses of wine in before the show started.
Much as I love his music, I’d never seen him live and it was a real treat. He draws the type of crowd that shouts out requests and knows the audience participation parts to certain songs. He played right on through, nearly 2 hours with only the standard “encore” break. He got the crowd to do three-part harmony, he played a few tracks that will appear on his next album, and only screwed up once. He says it happens about once every 2 months, which is still a pretty high rate for a professional musician.
Other memorable moments were when he sang a song about falling off the stage in concert in Hiroshima and continuing to play even though he was bleeding all over the place. He writes songs about stuff that really happened “because it’s easier.” And he loves playing at Wolf Trap because you get to learn the signs (ASL) for “fuck.” After that statement, he improvised a song to “test the interpreters” that contained the word “shit” then for a different sign, “poop” as well a few other swear words and some complicated (long) medical terms. The woman handled it all like a pro though and as much of the applause afterwards was for her as him. Overall it was a really good time, not quite on par with the energy built up during Jamie Cullum’s 930 Club concert, but I’d see him again at Wolf Trap or a more local venue.
Having my cousin here isn’t nearly the imposition I thought it might be, but it does make me realize that my apartment is not user friendly. I’ve left her notes about the quirks of this or that (especially the shower that will scald you without a second thought), gave her a mini-tutorial on how to use my universal remote. I can see myself turning into the type of person that might do an apartment exchange with someone, but leave post-it notes all over the place with advice and directions.