Went to see Ben Folds and Clem Snide at Atlas@Jillians last night.
On the way home, kelly asked me “is it possible to rock too much?” — a question answered in spades this night! We both ache like mad. Both bands were excellent, with Clem Snide throwing down a 1/2 hour set (after coming on an HOUR LATE, due to some reasons that were not and are not apparent at this moment). They only had two of their apparently usual four, guitar and drums, but it worked, and worked well! Warming up, the guitarist/vocalist played a little Zeppelin “Over the Hills and Far Away”, and i knew then, as i know now — this is gonna ROCK. Clem Snide is listed under “No Depression – Alt Country” at ear x-tacy, though that wasn’t immediately apparent from the show. They played a number of cool little songs, like “Lifeguard”, which was “written whilst watching Baywatch”, and was wryly funny. Though, the thing that really sealed my love of this band was their rendition of Daniel Johnston‘s “Casper the Friendly Ghost”. Pretty cool stuff, indeed.
and folds seemed to be in a more playful mood than the Cinci show we saw him at last. He mentioned George Harrison’s passing, noting that “all things should pass” as being one of his faves, and playing “Evaporate” from Whatever and Ever, Amen (not often played). The bassist drank Ale8One. He also played “Santa is a Big Fat Fuck”. Really cool. Some older stuff, too — 200 Angry Dwarves…, Philosophy, Song for the Dumped, and a punker called “Make Me Mommy“.
During “Rockin’ the Suburbs”, Folds dons his Fred Durst backwards baseball cap, and rocks the house down with his strap-on keyboard. He chucked the hat into the audience, and I CAUGHT IT. I’m not usually one to swoon over celebrity, but I just kept thinking “this has been on Ben Folds head!”, and then I promptly shoved the hat into my pants to avoid a hat-theft.
The crowd at the show was reasonably tame, though the 2 hour wait had its low points what with the pushing, and the teenage girls getting crushed and claustrophobic. After the came on, it was all fun. Thats the great thing about a Ben Folds show — everyone knows the words, fills in the backing vocals — even on his earliest stuff like “Philosophy” (which he did unaccompanied). He’s a great performer, and really enjoys these shows. Like Kelly said afterwards, “it’s not so much a show as it’s a big sing-along.”