Feb 17, 2013

All Right, Ben Folds Five, Are You Ready to Change Rock 'n' Roll?

My wife and I went to the live performance of Ben Folds Five at Hitomi Memorial Hall in Sangehchaya, Tokyo, Japan. We really enjoyed it.

Ben Folds Five is an alternative rock band, which has a piano player, base player, and drums player, but no guitar player. They once broke up in 2000, but then reunited in 2012. They are now on the Japan leg of their tour.

I'd like to show you Ben Folds Five before and after breakup.

I have seen Ben Folds' perform solo in Japan before, but this was my first time seeing the band, Ben Folds Five. First of all, I was relieved that the three of them looked like they were getting along well with each other. They enjoyed performing and the audience also enjoyed seeing them enjoy it. Of course their performance was great.

In the entry "Now It's a Bad Time for Music Producers,But It's a Good Time for Listeners,"  I wrote about the recent bad situation of pop music in Japan. Even though, music CD sales have been decreasing drastically for a few years now in Japan, and commercial downloads haven't made up for this yet,

But Ben Folds Five might have little to do with this situation. They are not big stars and they haven't had a big hit, either, but they can do a great performance, and several thousands of fans in Japan, including me, certainly go to their live performance, whenever they come to Japan. At any time their great live performance would help them to keep their musical activities.

I wrote that Kurt Cobain, Ben Folds, and me belong to the same generation in the entry "A Rock Star Was Dead And A Geek Is StillAlive: Kurt Cobain and Ben Folds." I can't even imagine the meaning that Kurt Cobain and I are the same age, when I hear Smells Like Teen Spirit. But I often identify myself with Ben Folds, when I listen to his songs. I understand well the reason of the breakup and reunite of Ben Folds Five.

It is really hard for anyone to keep working with the same member for long time, even if they are getting along very well. Sometimes you need a change circumstances. At one time, I, myself, began to feel irritated with my work and colleagues, and so requested a transfer to another department. I think that my colleagues and I needed to separate from each other at that time like Ben Folds Five. Now I wanted to work with them again. I think that we will now be able to work better together than before, because we've had a lot of experiences and grown up to some degree since then.

I love the early Ben Folds Five's songs, but at the same time recent songs are impressed, too. Ben Folds is trying to make new music, and he has increased the range of his music.

All right, Ben Folds Five, are you ready to change Rock 'n' Roll? I'm ready to change the world, too.


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  2. Hi Yagian - I'm a long-time fan too and recently saw them play in Hiroshima - they were awesome. I'm interested to know what it is about Ben Folds Five that has made them kind of popular in Japan. Why do you think they appeal more to Japanese people than some of the bigger, more popular Western bands?


    1. Thank you for your comment. I don't know why Ben Folds Five is that popular in Japan, but I guess one of the reasons is that J-Wave, which is influential radio station to Western Pop music fans, has been supporting Ben Folds Five.