Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
Tonight @ The Riverside Theater, 8:30 p.m.
With the Ben Folds Five abortion ballad “Brick,” Ben Folds scored his first major hit, a baleful departure from his usual goofball piano romps. With his solo career, Ben Folds has swung back and forth between “Brick”-like confessionals and uptempo, irreverent silliness. For 2005’s Songs for Silverman, for instance, Folds channeled his inner Elliott Smith, but his 2008 album, Way to Normal, evoked “Weird Al” Yankovic in its light tone and eagerness to please. Like Elton John, Billie Joel and the other great piano men before him, Folds wants to have it both ways, balladeering while bringing the crowd to its feet. Tonight he performs behind his latest album, Lonely Avenue, a collaboration with High Fidelity author Nick Hornby. (Click here to read an interview with Folds about the album.)