Ben Folds Five frontman commanded the stage at Lisner Auditorium Monday, playing a mix of new songs from his upcoming album and a few beloved classics that his alternative rock band made famous.
The North Carolina-born singer, songwriter and pianist performed sections of a concerto he wrote recently, slotted to debut next year. Hits like “Brick” and “Landed” also made it onto the set list, along with a pair of songs that the dad wrote for his children.
Mr. Folds surprised the audience when he switched from playing the piano to drums—he started with a snare, and slowly, a whole drum kit was brought out and built for him while he played.
Ms. Ray was impressed with his performance and Mr. Folds’s ability to improvise and interact with the audience. He got the crowd involved by asking them to sing a three-part harmony for the tune “Not the Same.”
“For his first encore, he made up an entire song with the audience singing backup. Who does that? Things like that are why he tops my list of live performances— he's imaginative enough to surprise even the most devoted fans,” Ms. Ray said.
“He also makes for a good profile picture,” she quipped.