Ben Folds performs at Western Connecticut State University
Monday, May 12, 2008
Billed as the main event for WCSU's annual "West Fest", the concert took place in the Feldman Arena, which is part of the O'Neill Center on the western campus of the university.
The opening act for Folds was Julia Nunes, who by all accounts is on her first tour. Nunes gained attention on YouTube and got featured on the front page for her quirky, self-recorded performances.
Nunes is a graduate of Fairport High School, New York and is now a college freshman. Nunes performed a half-hour set of songs, about half of which were of her own composition and the rest covers of other artists. During the first half of her set she played the ukulele and thereafter the guitar.
Despite Nunes' well-received set, it was clear that the crowd was there to see Ben Folds perform. The American singer-songwriter and former frontman of the musical group Ben Folds Five is widely acclaimed for his prowess as a pianist, songwriter and performer.
Ben Folds performed unaccompanied, aside from "tambourine man", a stage hand who appeared briefly during three songs. Folds told the audience that he had been nervous as this was his first solo performance in "a while."
Folds also played a couple of songs that he said he wrote during a contract dispute with a record company. He wrote the songs because they were "mandatory" in his contract. According to Folds, he asked how many songs he had to write to get out of his contract. They told him, he had to write 4.6 songs to complete his obligation. Thusly, one of the songs was called, "One Down And 3.6 to Go".
Near the end of the set, Ben Folds stood on his piano and directed the crowd as a choir. The audience was eager to participate in this experiment, which consisted of humming in different notes, and seemed to enjoy it. Folds seemed quite earnest in his appreciation of the audience's efforts.
After the set ended, the enthusiastic crowd of mostly WCSU students started to call out for Folds to reappear. He duly acquiesced and performed a few more songs before the crowd would go home.
- Ben Folds - official site
- Julia Nunes - official site
- Western Connecticut State University - official site