It’s been two years since Ben Folds got the band (the Five)back together and they’ve been making up for lost time, hitting the studio for last year’s The Sound of the Life of the Mind then doing a lap around the globe on their reunion tour. It appears Ben and the boys were kind enough to record those shows, so that they could give us Ben Folds Five Live (clever title, right?), the band’s first live album.
The 15-song collection is a beautiful reminder of why these guys won us over so quickly in the mid 90’s (catchy, piano-led indie pop songs that stay with you for days). While Folds has put out a live album as a solo artist, this is the first time (bootlegs aside) that the full band has put out a proper full length concert collection.
Recorded in 2012 and early 2013, in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and the U.K., the band digs deep into their catalog, playing everything from “Jackson Cannery” from their debut up to “Erase me” off the new album. The charm of seeing these guys live is that they never play the songs the exact same way each time. This collection includes plenty of favorites, like “Song for the Dumped,” “Tom and Mary” and “One Angry Dwarf and Two Hundred Solemn Faces”.
While 2012 was unofficially billed as the Summer of 90’s Nostalgia with a slew of mediocre groups reuniting to fend of the banks from foreclosures (was anyone really pleading for a Lit reunion? Smashmouth? Didn’t think so), it’s nice to see a band people actually want to hear from used the opportunity to get the band back together.
Ben Folds Five Live CD Review
Ben Folds Five – Live/15 tracks/Sony Legacy/2013