I added a DVD to my collection last week and only just had time to watch it. Slack hey...
Ben Folds and WASO: Live in Perth
I had fully intended to go this concert when it was at Kings Park, but of course when you have kids there are different, more important, priorities in place so I didn't end up going. I thought nothing more of it until I stumbled across this DVD on Amazon while looking for more detail on Ben's 2001 release 'Rockin' the Suburbs'. I had a Sanity music voucher from christmas that I hadn't used yet so I popped on down to Sanity and ordered the DVD (it was import only). I then waited 5 weeks for it to arrive.
If any of you have spent any time listening to Ben Folds' music then you will know that he probably doesn't have the greatest singing voice in the world, in fact I would have to say his voice is fairly average for a successful artist. But Ben's voice isn't what draws people to his music, it is the brilliant music and lyrics he puts together that does the job. If the voice does play a part in the attraction of Ben Folds, it would be the sincerity the obviously flawed voice lends to the songs.
The idea of teaming up with a symphony orchestra has become a fairly common event over the past 10 or so years, done properly it can be great, Metallica's S&M and Tim Finn's EnzSO comes to mind, done half heartedly it can be terrible. Ben Folds and WASO is definitely in the former category, the arrangements work so well with Ben's music in the most part complementing Ben's brilliant piano skills and only occasionally taking the lead.
If there is any downside to this DVD it is the direction and camera work, it can be quite jumpy and the cuts are too abrupt. It is rumoured that Ben is planning to do another tour of Australia this year with a symphony orchestra in each city so maybe this time they can up their production standards a bit. Even with the slightly low quality camera work and direction, the audio is excellent and makes the DVD worth having.
I have ripped the audio from the DVD so I can listen to it at work now. Thank you DVD Audio Ripper :)