So I was pretty surprised to find that Ben is currently touring solo, so it was just him and his guitar/piano tonight. I’ve now seen him three times with a band and three times solo and each time I’m shocked at how great a musician he is. I love the full-band shows because they bring the rock - and i’m all about the rock - but there’s something truly magical that happens in the solo shows. Perhaps it’s that the volume is low enough that you can clearly hear everyone singing along - so it immediately feels more personal, but I think it’s mostly the fact that it becomes clear that Ben’s greatest asset are his songs themselves. A truly great song will sound good whether it’s performed by one voice with one guitar or a full band. In this bare format, Ben’s songs truly shine and expose him as one of my generation’s greatest talents.
While he was playing this song tonight it dawned on me that it’s one of my favorites because the bridge section explodes out of nowhere and he spits out the only curse word on the entire album. In true BK style, you don’t see it coming until it slaps you in the face.
You don’t tell me about what’s going on. Fucking make up your mind! Stop dragging it on. They’re only words - they don’t hurt.
It’s been a few years since I last saw BK live, but tonight he rolls back into Rochester (with Rochester-native and YouTube-darling Julia Nunes opening).
I’ve been a devoted member of the Church of BK since he was still sucking his thumb and pooping his diapers with his first band, Radish. That was ~13 years ago. He’s come a long way since those days and his songwriting has steadily matured as he’s grown from an angst-ridden teen into a loving father.
Thankfully for all of his fans, the one thing that hasn’t changed is his unbridled enthusiasm for live music; if you can’t have fun at a BK show, you probably can’t have fun at any show.