I am so psyched! Luck would have it that Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright & Guster will be touring together this summer! Hallelujah, I've got tickets in hand and am going to see the 6/29 show at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA.
If you checked out my Top 10 Shows of All Time, you'll remember that Ben Folds ranked #6 on the list. So there's no question that I'd love to see him live again. I've also seen him with his band Ben Folds Five, which was extraordinary, too. Talk about a goofy group of guys who revel in their geekdom, play the heck out of their instruments, and combine wit & irreverence with highly complicated arrangements. It was like watching music from some hipster's Broadway musical comedy about being in your 20s in the 90s. But the intimacy of Ben's solo gig and his rapport with the audience was what pushed it into my Top 10. (To find out who else ranked among the top 10, plus some honorable mentions, check out the full Top 10 list.)
One lad whose praises I haven't yet sung is Rufus Wainwright. I LOVE Rufus, so let me sing said praises loud and clear now. I had never even heard of him when I saw him open up for Tori Amos one fateful night in 2001 at DC's DAR Constitution Hall. It was just Rufus behind a piano, followed by Rufus on the guitar. His voice was so clear, and his melodies so instantly hummable that I was riveted & immediately won over. His between-song banter was hilarious, too. So I hightailed it out to the lobby after his set, bought his then current CD (Poses), and had him sign it. I've been a big fan ever since, and am thrilled that I'll have the chance to see him again! I'll be interested to see if he plays solo, or if he pulls out the stops with a full band this time around. His most recent album, Want One, had big orchestral arrangements, so I'm curious to see how he decides to kick it live.
I've never seen Guster, but remember when they were playing the club scene in Boston way back when. I had the opportunity to listen to their most recent album via an AOL Listening Party and really dug it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they're all about. From what I hear, they're a band best enjoyed live.