Live New Orleans

Ben Folds Five

Voodoo Music Festival

October 31, 1999

Ben Folds Five played a great show on May 5, 1998 at the House of Blues when they were still touring behind Whatever and Ever, Amen, their second album. They played all the popular songs, and Folds, in some kind of homage/satire to all instrument breakers, repeatedly threw his stool at the keys from a few feet away. 1999 saw the release of the Unauthorized Biography of Rheinhold Messner, a sadder album that was more complex sonically.

The group took the stage just as it was turning night. To this day, this is the concert at which the "perfect" set was played. By perfect, I mean that they play all the songs you want to hear and none of the songs you don't want to hear. They re-created the power and emotion on their third album live, a difficult task. The band was in a good mood, but I had to get out of one and move every time someone yelled for them to play "Brick," their one radio hit. They never played the song, and I liked that for some reason.

Normally, festival shows are worse than club shows. Not for this band.

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