A few weeks ago, I got to see one of the coolest shows of my life. I think I first started seriously listening to Ben Folds in college. What a dude. He has always been able to play and write like a genius. He has hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) stories behind every song. He always has something to say. (When I found out that "Brick" was written about his girlfriend's abortion, I knew he was worth listening to.)
Growing up born and raised near Baltimore and also a musician since third grade, I have always had a special love for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I loved visiting the BSO on field trips as a kid. It's become increasingly sad to me that appreciation for orchestras has been dwindling. I say, eff that. They have more talent than anyone you'll hear on the radio.
All that to say, I was extremely excited when my friend Elizabeth notified me that Ben was going to be playing with the BSO. He's done this before and with numerous orchestras around the country. But here he was in my backyard, and I was practically hyperventilating from the excitement. Truth be told, I cried through most of the show. Not embarrassing sobbing or anything like that, but a few tears came down for each song. It was emotional for me because I spent about 10 years of my life playing music in that kind of setting, and I really do miss it. I wish I hadn't been so quick to give it up after graduating high school, although I discovered my affinity and talent for guitar and voice. But you put me in front of strings and winds, and I will cry 100% of the time. When you pair that with a guy that I have so much respect for and kills the crap out of every song he writes and performs, I'm done for.
Here's a great example of why Ben is special. During the show, he said he had written a song about how his kids were unable to attend because their flight was delayed. He made up the lyrics and had an idea in his head of how he wanted it to go. So he had a piece of paper with his written lyrics, and started fiddling with the melody on the piano. He then directed every single section of the orchestra how to play the parts he heard in his head, and pieced it all together to create something amazing. When they played all their parts together and he sang his made up lyrics on the spot, it was insane. He did this right in front of my very eyes. And that, my friends, is what music is all about. Hearing, creating, and inspiring.
blurry iphone pics... sorrry :)