Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Who Wants to Make Out?

Saw Ben Lee last night. Yes, again. No, I'm not all ready to go Kathy Bates, stick him in my purse, take him home and hobble him. For one, the Mr. would quite object.

His incarnation this time was stellar opener for Aimee Mann. Or as he said, his job was to "rock our socks off," but if they were rocked off, not to leave them on the stage because they'd get in Aimee's way later. It was just him and Lara on the keyboards this time (I hear the rest of the band will join up later) and the set list was thus:

Gamble
Apple Candy
No Right Angles
Get Gotten
A song by San Francisco singer Sean Hayes. Ben was quick to remind us it wasn't the guy from Will & Grace, when some douche shouted, "He's closeted!" Ben said, "He's a closeted songwriter? Imagine that!" I'm saying, you cannot not love him. Anyway, the song was abandoned after the first verse.
Bruised (the Bens)
Catch My Disease (Katrina and the Waves, Elton John and NWA were the bands mentioned)
We're All In This Together, sung from atop a crowded table and sans microphone.

During his set, Ben playfully offered to make out with any non-fans (damn!). After the set, I saw him outside sitting on a table and went up to say hello (we're practically family now, you know) and some woman was pointing out a man in a bar who wanted to make out. Probably not what Ben had in mind.

I'm not as super-familiar with Aimee's stuff -- mostly I'm With Stupid, the Magnolia soundtrack and the Forgotten Arm. Thankfully, she stuck mostly to stuff from those albums, so I wasn't completely lost. Before "Save Me," she asked, "Can you believe Phil Collin's cartoon monkey love song beat this?" I, for one, cannot.

She marveled at Ben's ability to banter with the crowd, and said, "He's adorable, isn't he? Almost too adorable." Aww, Aimee has a crush. Get in line, sista. You know, I've heard Aimee isn't the nicest person on the planet, but I just wasn't seeing it last night. She seemed very cool, and I want her skin when I'm her age. She's gorgeous!

We were granted TWO encores, a first for me. I've never gotten the concept of encores. Just say you're going to take a break, you know? Or, you know, just be finished. I doubt most musicians are thinking this, but I always feel like it's a test of power, mixed in with a little insecurity. "Should I go home, or do these people actually like me? I think I'll make them clap like monkeys for 5 minutes to find out! You like me, you really like me!"

So, yeah, second encore. Grab bag request! Awwww yeah. Wouldn't you know, someone requested Voices Carry. And she sang it. I died!

All in all, great show. And I'm going to do it all over again in June, with my Ben-sized purse.