Monday, September 3, 2018

A Musical Weekend

I love music, but I wouldn't say I'm fanatical about it. I'll hit a concert when the mood strikes or when the right band is passing through. My favorite concert so far was catching Metallica in Peoria, which I thought was actually a better show than when I saw them at a larger venue in St. Louis.

The last concert I saw featured The Revivalists, also in Peoria. They played their big hit, Wish I Knew You, at that show, but I really dug All My Friends. I'm glad to see the latter is starting to get some radio air time.
My wife's cousin and his wife drove down from Madison this weekend to attend the Peoria Blues and Heritage Music Festival along the riverfront.

On Friday night we saw the Robert Cray Band. I would definitely put him in the blues category. I enjoyed his laid back style and found the music quite enjoyable. My wife is the big blues fan, but the genre is growing on me. I can't remember any one song we heard, but he put on quite a performance. You can check out his music here.

Saturday night we brought our camping chairs and I saw Ben Folds for the first time live. My wife introduced me to his music about fifteen years ago, but he was on the national scene long before that. (I was stuck in my "angry music" phase as she liked to call it.) Ben Folds is one of her favorite artists and because of his music the piano has become one of my favorite musical instruments to listen to.
Army, above, is one of his better known songs... I think. At least it's the one I've probably heard the most since marrying Laura 14+ years ago. LOL
This song, The Luckiest, made it onto our wedding CD, which we gave away to our guests. It's a sweet love song and a little sad. We were both pleased to hear it made the set list.
Folds began playing You Don't Know Me and I was half expecting Regina Spector to walk out on stage. They both have amazing voices and I think it would have been great to see the duo perform together live. Nope, that didn't happen.
That bit of a downer left me wanting a little more and then he played Effington, which is actually about Effingham, IL. Apparently he was on the tour bus to Normal, IL, and they passed Effingham on the way. He thought Effingham was a fun word and he proceeded to write a song about it. Crazy. This wound up being my favorite song that he played all night.

Overall, Ben Folds put on a fun concert and talked about the meaning behind a couple of his other songs and also about some of the people he bumped into while bumming around Peoria. I enjoyed his banter almost as much as his musical offerings.
I'm not sure why he was brought in to play at the Blues and Heritage Music Festival, unless the organizers have a tremendously large view of what is considered "heritage." Folds actually commented on this himself and thanked everyone for giving him a chance to play at the same venue as Buddy Guy, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Shooter Jennings.

Between artists there was plenty of good people watching to partake in. People always comment about the people watching at airports and Wal-Mart, but I think concerts are largely overlooked in this arena if you ask me. Overall, it was a fun time down on the riverfront listening to some good music with family.


  1. i am a fan of ben folds as well. saw him about 12 years ago - back when he included a certain dr. dre song in his setlist. good show!

  2. Never been to a Ben Folds concert... but I've seen Metallica before. They're one of my favorite 80's bands. Not sure I could handle the volume these days though.

  3. Love me some Ben Folds, but never seen him live. "Battle of Who Could Care Less" and his Dr. Dre cover are probably my favs.