Ben Folds @ The Fox Theater, May 17

The Fox Theater was the star of this evening.

It opened in February of this year and this was my first of, hopefully, many shows here.  It is astonishingly beautiful.  There are several tiers of floor and a seated balcony.  The hardwood floors are fabulous, with little vents poofing cool air.  It’s sort of art deco and kind of Middle Eastern.  Opulent without being gaudy.

It gives me this feeling of hope for Oakland.  Like maybe it won’t be so scuzzy some time soon and that nice places to eat and drink won’t be so surprisingly noteworthy.  The charm of the Fox Theater is sure to improve the tenor of it’s surrounding neighborhood.

So… Ben Folds.  He was cute and geek chic, yes.  But mostly, I yearned for the shows of yore.
The last time I saw him was so great.  He got the audience singing a harmonized round that was super fun.  And he did an over the top cover of Aerosmith’s Dream On that left me a little obsessed with that song.
I loved Rockin’ the Suburbs and admittedly, his new album, Way to Normal, didn’t thrill me quite as much.  So I knew that the show would have a lot of his new songs going in to it.

And maybe something totally great happened at the end of the show.  I left at 10:30, because, you know.  My bed time is at 10.  And while the show was supposed to start at 8, nothing happened until almost 9:30.  Happily, I was enjoying my exploration of the venue during the wait.  To be fair, a group of semi-talented kids from Sacramento did an acapella cover of Annie Waits prior to Ben taking the stage.  So if something really great happened once the actual show started, I missed it.  But in the hour I saw there was a guy playing a fancy glow-in-the-dark tambourine, and Ben put some Altoid tins on the strings of his piano.

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