The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Wow. Wowie wow wow. I saw Ben Folds Live last night, and oh my gosh. Definitely the *best* concert I've ever been to, and probably one of the best experiences of my life. I was only about 15 feet from him at the most. I still can't believe I saw him!!!! Eeeeeeee!!!!

So Rachel decided to go with us. I picked her up and we went to Hannah's, then the three of us piled into the Natmobile and headed for New York Pizzaria (Rachel works there, so she gets half price). We picked up a pie and some garlic knots and headed for the Shrine, where we stood outside in the *cold* (it *had* to have been below 40... it was *freezing*!!!) for an hour! Note: Converse sneakers? Yeah. Definitely *not* well insulated. But since almost *everyone* in like was wearing a pair of Chucks (except this one guy in FLIP FLOPS) we were all on an equal playing field. When the doors finally opened we ran like hell to get good spots, then stood in our good spots for another hour, waiting for the show to start. Adam met us in line, Jeanette met us inside later, and Sam showed up in the bleeding middle of the thing, pissing off 500 people as he shoved through the crowd to get up to the front where we were. Finally, the lights go out and Ben gets on. No introduction, no opening act. It was just him and a Steinway; no pretense, very few light effects (the ones there were we could have done without---no one liked them, including Ben), and a very intimate atmosphere. He told us stories and everything. It was *awesome*. He prefers a Baldwin, but I guess all the Shriners had was a Steinway. Nevertheless, he claims it held up fairly well; he only broke one note the whole night, I think, but it was in the middle octave, an E or something, so it was used a lot and gave off a sitar-like timbre. The show was just amazing. He had a great connection with the audience, although to be fair, it probably helped that we were all, in effect, hailing him King of the Keys. His playing was just incredible. As a piano player, I was in awe. Absolute awe. His singing was flawless; it sounded like studio. It was simply the greatest show I'd ever seen.

After the show, Rachel, Hannah, Adam and I walked the two blocks to the square and went to the Burgundy Room, where Crystal and Hillary were playing a gig. I'd never been up there; it was really cool. The decor was very interesting, and it had a great atmosphere for my tastes. Sam and Jeanette met us there and I got to have a conversation with her, much to the annoyance of Sam, whom we unfortunately ganged up on when he wouldn't let me lean against him like a chairback. We hung out there for about an hour, but we were starting to fall asleep on the couch so we had to leave. Rachel, Adam, Hannah and I then proceeded to the Mudhouse, but alas, the Ben Folds poster that had been hanging there was already swiped. As we were leaving we saw the new Dueling Pianos bar across the street! It was so cool, the whole place was rockin' and the crowd was really into it. Unfortunately, they won't let in 18's! Just 21 and over!!! Blarg!!! I think I'm going to stand outside their big picture window all winter, holding a sign that says "minors like music too."

On the way home, Rachel checked her cell and besides the message of Ben Folds music (we called our cells and left ourselves voice messages of the concert--yeah, we're dorks) she had another message from her co-worker and friend Donnie, telling her that he had "something juicy" to tell her. When she called work, he wasn't there, but another co-worker told her what was going on. Apparently, Ben Folds had ordered a pizza from them!!! Not only that, but he couldn't eat the first one they sent (he's a vegetarian and didn't know their supreme had meat on it), so they sent him another which Donnie delivered, and he sent back a slice of the first piece *SIGNED* on the back!!! They vacuumed it and are putting it in a shadowbox for the restaurant. I'm going to eat there every week now.

I saw a guy at the concert taking pictures, so I gave him my email address and hopefully he'll send some to me. If he does, I'll post them here when I get them.

EeeK! A night of pure awesomeness!!!!


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