Friday May 13, 2005 Ben Folds, The Electric Factory, Philadelphia.

It's a gutsy move to open a sold out show with a cover song. But then again, Ben Folds hasn't really followed the norm when it comes to the music industry. Still releasing many of his newest songs in EP format, Folds is now on tour to support his newest release "Songs for Silverman". His recent stop in Philadelphia was a sold out performance at the Electric Factory. And this success was with little radio airplay except for occasional tune on WXPN.

Walking out onto the stage in a black t-shirt and jeans, Ben Folds broke out into The Cure's "In Between Days". From there, the first set continued with songs from the new album like Jesusland and Bastard. Ben does a nice job mixing songs from his solo career and his days with Ben Fold Five. Unlike his last stop in Philly for "Rockin' The Suburbs", this tour has Jared Reynolds on bass and Lindsay Jamieson on drums which added a new dimension to the live show. One of the highlights of his first set with the band was Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" which had the entire audience singing along to the chorus.

Folds stayed on stage to play a solo set with some of his older songs and often more mellow tunes like "Army" and "Brick". Always keeping the audience involved, he split the crowd to help fill in the backing vocals on "Army". Ben thanked Philadelphia for being a great audience as he shared a story about a faux pas with Paul Simon. He then went on to thank WXPN for playing his music in the early days as he began the first notes to "Alice Childress". This was one of many highlights from his electrifying performance.

As the band came back out to wrap up the evening, they pulled out a few surprises including "Wheres Summer B" ,"Philosophy", and the last interactive song of the evening "Not The Same" Folds had so much fun with the crowd, he jumped onto his piano and led the mock orchestra through their paces. As the night ended, Folds thanked everyone and then appeared to become enraged with his piano as he threw his stool at the keys and walked off. And thus ended another great performance from the multi-talented Ben Folds.

- barry crell, studio m live

View the photo gallery from Ben Folds 5.13.05