Musician Ben Folds entertained a crowd of about 3,400 students in the Smith Center on Saturday night using a piano, his sense of humor and audience interaction.
The Program Board sponsored the show, which began with a 30-minute set by rock artist Dante Mizetti. Folds performed songs from his solo albums and the Ben Folds Five album including “Kate” and “Rockin’ the Suburbs.” Folds went solo after his band broke up in 1999.
“(Folds) appeals to a diverse audience,” said Jon Reiling, PB executive chair. “I think he’s a good mix.”
Folds’ performance focused on audience participation and interaction; the performer asked the audience to provide the horn section for his song “Army.”
The artist said his song “Philosophy” inspired him to start running again.
“I don’t have man boobs, but if I started growing them that would suck,” Folds said.
At the end of Folds’ set, audience members rose to their feet, waving lighters and lit-up cell phones, cheering, stomping and screaming for an encore.
“You’ve been really nice to me tonight,” Folds said as he returned to the stage. “It’s a good way to come out of the studio.”
Folds is currently working on his third solo album.
Many audience members said they enjoyed the performance.
“I loved it,” senior Cristis Morotchie said. “I thought it was really cool how (Folds) could manipulate the piano to sound like a guitar.”