Ben Folds Five returns to Summerfest

It’s been a long time since Ben Folds Five has played Summerfest. Ben Folds played last year’s Rock the Green at Veterans Park, the first zero waste music festival, but the trio hasn’t been around Milwaukee for quite a while.

Achieving most of their success across the pond in Britain, not a lot of shows have been played in The States in recent years. A few shows here an there after the reunion and “getting back together” of sorts weren’t enough to get fans too excited for a larger North American tour, in my opinion, but with the addition of the new Summerfest stage and sponsor BMO Harris Bank brought a silent star to a city that has been quietly waiting for their turn to see Ben Folds Five again.

Playing the new BMO Harris Pavilion built right next to the Marcus Amphitheater, Ben Folds Five had the pleasure of playing a brand new stage during a very exciting year for Summerfest; their 45th anniversary.

A nice crowd welcomed Ben Folds who showed his happiness to be playing Milwaukee again. Starting off the set by slamming on his piano and then creatively turing it into his first song backed by just a bassist and drummer, Ben Folds Five showed off their creativity through a surprisingly minimalistic setup.

There was nothing to the stage but a few instruments (piano, drums, and bass) and a few lights overhead. Throughout the show Ben was on his feet a lot, letting the abundance of energy flow through his body and hands on the piano.

It’s extremely apparent that Ben Folds is the leader of the band; singer, songwriter, and of course by the name. The rest of the guys, well, sit at the drums or contribute backing vocals and play bass. There really isn’t much interaction between the guys, but the music is great. So if you don’t mind a less entertaining stage show, but appreciate good and sometimes quirky music, then Ben Folds Five might be something you’d like to see.

Their Milwaukee show was off the tour trail as Ben Folds Five continue performing in New York and Florida in September and then on to Australia and Europe for late Fall and Winter. If you’re still waiting for a North American tour, you’ll have to wait a little longer.

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