Review + Photos by Mike McCawley
August 23, 2018 | BMO Harris Pavilion, Milwaukee, WI –
The dream of the 90s was alive at the lakefront on Thursday night when college-alt-rock stalwarts Ben Folds and CAKE brought their tour to Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Pavilion.
Folds and CAKE each did about 75 minutes of their best known material. Folds hammered his grand piano with familiar solo and Ben Folds Five songs such as “Brick,” “Zak and Sara” and “The Luckiest”, the latter of which caused a break out of romantic slow-dancing in the audience as many people seemed to be re-living their wedding’s first dance moment with that song. Folds rarely left his piano but did come out to the front of the stage to direct a sing-a-long with the audience providing harmonies for his closing song “Not the Same” from his Rockin’ the Suburbs album.
While Folds’ music was often slower and introspective, CAKE brought the tempo up a bit with many of their classics such as “Stickshifts & Safetybelts,” “Opera Singer,” and “Meanwhile Rick James” with band leader John McCrea using his arms and hands to punctuate each line of his poetic talk-singing, while trumpeter Vince DiFiore filled in the space between with his familiar horn blowing.
A highlight of the night was a small sapling tree that CAKE had on stage for the duration of their show, which they then gave away to an audience member that promised to plant and care for the tree. They do this at pretty much every show now and their website has a map of the “CAKE Forest” showing where all of their trees have been planted.
Boston three-piece Tall Heights opened the show and also acted as Ben Folds’ backing band once their set was done.
BEN FOLDS SETLIST:
Battle of Who Could Care Less (Ben Folds Five song)
Levi Johnston’s Blues
Brick (Ben Folds Five song)
You Don’t Know Me
Still Fighting It
Do It Anyway (Ben Folds Five song)
Zak and Sara
Rockin’ the Suburbs
CAKE FOLDS SETLIST:
Sad Songs and Waltzes (Willie Nelson cover)
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Osvaldo Farrés cover)
Meanwhile, Rick James…
Stickshifts and Safetybelts
Walk on By
Ruby Sees All
Sick of You
For more information on Ben Folds, please visit:
For more information on CAKE, please visit:
Photos appearing on this page is the property of Mike McCawley. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws and will not be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Mike McCawley. Copyright 2018 Mike McCawley. All Rights Reserved.