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Story and photos by Kate SeesholtzPlaying to an almost sold out crowd in New York City's aptly named Terminal 5, Ben Folds proved he's just as viable as a solo performer as he was with his former band, Ben Folds Five. He played the show in two sets, focusing first on songs from his latest solo endeavor, released that day, entitled Way to Normal.
Ben Folds made headlines earlier this summer when he leaked to the internet a version of Way to Normal with fake tracks. Ben played just as many of these fake versions of his new songs, as he did the actual album released tracks. The only bad part was that the crowd seemed to enjoy the fake songs better than their real life counterparts. The song to receive the highest praise from the crowd came in the form of the alternate version of "The Bitch Went Nuts," in which a republican lawyer takes a left wing liberal extremist to his company Christmas party. The song elicited continual shouts of acclaim from the young New York crowd.
Ben Folds closed out the evening with a set dedicated to his more classic songs from both his solo career, as well as classic Ben Folds Five tracks. He commented to the audience that, "people looked as if it was rude to only play new stuff; I just want everybody to be happy." He treated the overzealous crowd to upbeat versions of "Kate" and the popular "Rockin' the Suburbs." At times during these classic hits, the audience's singing almost drowned out Ben's.
While Ben Folds may not have reached the superstar status of some of his contemporaries, his witty lyrics combined with a commanding stage presence and intense following, only continues to confirm his staying power.
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