Throughout the many incarnations of his career, Ben Folds has continuously proven to be a class musician. From his Ben Folds Five era, to his solo records and collaborative releases furthermore, the North Carolina native is a songwriter and artist that his peers have for time after time wanted to always work with.
Not afraid to try things a little differently, Folds returns soon to Australia on his The Symphonic Tour to perform a series of shows with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. While not the first alternative artist to work with an orchestra in hallowed venues such as Sydney Town Hall, Folds is sure to intertwine and enhance all his piano driven masterpieces with a dose of strings, wood wind, percussion and brass.
The following tracks are the epitome of Ben Folds, fan favourites and a few wild cards he may well throw in on his upcoming tour:
“Rockin’ the Suburbs”
Quite possibly his most well known song, “Rockin’ The Suburbs” was one of the first times Folds crossed over into the mainstream. Written as an ironic parody of himself, it’d be rare to see a track like “Rockin’ The Suburbs” cross over into commercial radio in 2020.
Probably the second most played song at weddings behind an Ed Sheeran track, “The Luckiest” truly is the peak of love songs. Earnest, honest and delivered purely on piano, this will be a track that translates the best in an orchestral setting.
A throwback to the start of the 2010’s, Folds released this on a collaborative album with author Nick Hornby. A song of near misses, you’d be stoked to see this played live, but not surprised if it didn’t make an appearance (I’d be surprised if anything from the Lonely Avenue album makes the cut, but if any did, give me a little bit of this, “Picture Window”, “Levi Johnston’s Blues”, or “Claire’s Ninth”).
“You Don’t Know Me ft. Regina Spektor”
Featuring the most honestly delivered swear (except for maybe Josh Pyke’s “Lighthouse Song”), “You Don’t Know Me” was the song that brought Folds back to the masses in the late 2000’s. Featuring the entirely fantastic Regina Spektor, it is probably Folds’ best duet.
“Zak and Sara”
A song about learning how to spell people’s names correctly (it’s not really, but go with it) and released on the Rockin’ The Suburbs album, “Zak and Sara” is Folds at his melodic best.
Entirely sad in its content and delivery, “Brick” was ground breaking at the time of its release due to its openness about discussing abortion. Breaking down some of the negative barriers the topic has faced, “Brick” is devastating from front to back and Folds’ most prolific song to date.
A love song for his daughter, “Gracie” just makes you just want to learn piano and sing it to your fictional daughter whose names ends in an ‘e’ sound. The opening chords has the hallmarks of a lullaby, while its cadence helps deliver an overly warm songs that’s bound to be one of his daughter’s favourite songs.
“Such Great Heights (The Knife cover)”
One can only hope…
Ben Folds tours nationally on the following dates:
Thursday, 5th March, Sydney Town Hall (with Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
Friday, 6th March, Sydney Town Hall (with Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
Saturday, 7th March, Sydney Town Hall (with Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
Wednesday, 11th March, QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane (with Queensland Symphony Orchestra)
Thursday, 12th March, QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane (with Queensland Symphony Orchestra)
Monday, 16th March, Perth Concert Hall (with West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
Tuesday, 17th March, Perth Concert Hall (with West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
Thursday, 19th March, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra)
Sunday, 22nd March, Pienary, Melbourne Convention And Exhibition Centre (with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra).