Ben Folds lights up Louisville Palace

By on November 14, 2015

By Peyton Schmidt—

On Nov. 13, a chilly Friday night, Ben Folds and yMusic—a six person musical ensemble—took stage at the Louisville Palace Theater. 91.9 WFPK, a local radio station, hosted the ensemble and opening band Dotan.

Hailing from Holland, the Dutch singer-songwriter Dotan played a transfixing acoustic show for the Louisville audience. Dotan’s raw lyrics are full of  honesty and heartache in perhaps it’s purest form. His gut-wrenchingly beautiful songs from his album “7 Layers” lured the audience into a dream-like state. Dotan’s gentle melodies and calm persona set the tone for Folds and yMusic’s performance.

During intermission, the majority of the concert goers spent the 15-minute duration admiring the Louisville Palace’s architecture. Guests were encouraged to purchase wine and spirits at the Parisian-inspired café and bar area, then explore the Palace’s elaborate venue. From spiraled staircases, hand painted walls and constellation-filled ceilings, there is an incredible around every corner at the Palace.

In no time, the lights of the lobby flickered, signaling it was once again time to return to the theater. Fans scurried back into the auditorium, frantically whispering to their significant other about their excitement for the show. As everyone finally made it back to their designated seats, the lights slowly dimmed. Amidst the darkness, we could faintly make out the shadows of Folds and yMusic finding their places on stage. An echoing applause erupted from the audience as the lights faded on, shining on a grinning Ben Folds. Wasting no time, Folds immediately dove into a song, yMusic beautifully orchestrating alongside him. The bellowing sounds of the instruments in correlation with Folds’ delicate singing sent chills up and down my spine.

The jazzy riffs of the clarinet and trumpet filled the auditorium, causing people to nod their heads or tap their feet along with the contagious rhythm. Whether he caused people to throw their heads back laughing at one of his corny jokes or put their arm around someone they loved, Folds captivated the audience’s mood and attention. Though he was serious when he needed to be, within the gaps between songs he was quite the opposite. He was charming and comical, creating and performing an impromptu song about Kentucky just for the audience and even let a crazed fan hop on stage with him so he could sign his shirt.

Ben Folds has the unique ability to make people feel things. Folds and yMusic took the audience on a musical roller coaster ride of emotions. A million videos and photos, smeared mascara, a hoarse voice and a dead phone later, it was finally time for Folds to perform his last song. As the band members took their final bows and left the stage, the audience’s cheers pleaded them to come back. Just when we thought our sore palms couldn’t clap any longer, Folds and the band emerged from the stage wings for an encore. The audience’s hoots and hollers eventually faded out, allowing Folds to proceed with his final song under the Palace’s starlit ceiling.

Although I didn’t attend the show with a significant other, I managed to leave the show with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Folds has an unexplainable way of giving every audience member a special and romantic night, even if they only showed up to write an article for their university’s newspaper. A job well done Ben Folds, a job well done.

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