We screen-grabbed these tweets over the weekend, and while the story has since been picked up by other outlets, this is an idea that shouldn't fade away quietly. The recently re-formed Ben Folds Five, best known for their 1997 album "Whatever and Ever Amen," took to Twitter over the weekend to offer their services to the Charlotte Bobcats as in-house entertainment. In a series of tweets, Ben Folds reached out to the Bobcats' Twitter account and celebrated Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to seek an invite:
And the Bobcats replied, in a warming way:
And Ben Folds replied, in an odd way:
(We guess Ben, as a joke and nice gift to random fans, just sets to following one person a week. To each their own, because we all have our weird Twitter quirks. I, personally, don't 'Favorite' anything in part because I didn't even notice the option until 2011, but mostly because I still don't understand the purpose of it when you can just re-tweet things and earn that top Twitter person more followers.)
Before you dismiss, this isn't some sad publicity stunt; as one other blog suggested. This is a respected, one-time platinum selling band; and judging from the venues listed on their last American tour it's safe to say that this crew is doing just fine when it comes to exposure, or help padding the bank account.
This is a goof, a good goof, and one we'd like to both keep in the news and encourage other acts of the Five's ilk to try. It doesn't always have to be wedding band-types taking to the pit, as teams attempt to fill those 41 home dates. With the group off to Australia and the United Kingdom in a few days, both their representation and Bobcats executives will have plenty of time to hash things out. Preferably not via Twitter Direct Message.
I own the album listed above, but overall am no great follower of this group. Still, I respect the group's pop sensibilities that have been suggested to be right up my alley by several people, and I have seen the Ben Folds Five in concert in 1995 and Ben Folds solo in 2003 at a show that I worked at, as a bartender. The latter was a pristine night out, save for the tippers in my area. The former was one of the worst-sounding concerts, by a proper pro outfit at least, that I'd ever been to. It was absolutely no fault of the band's, for all I can tell the bulk of the problem came from the front of house mix at the all-ages club that was more adept to carry mid-rangey rock outfits and not an acoustic piano.
There's your warning to the sound experts in Charlotte. We're not intimately familiar with their catalogue, but the Ben Folds Five won't be your typical pit group all full of slap bass and snare drum as they move seamlessly from a Kool and the Gang tune into a Van Morrison song from 45 years ago. Though we're sure the pros in Charlotte know what they're doing — have you seen these guys wrap cable around their shoulders? Yards of the stuff in seconds or less. They'll be fine.
Other bands? Not-quite-stadium-fillers with good reputations and name recognition like the Ben Folds Five? This is a cool thing, it's great for exposure, all of these clips go up on YouTube and get written up in places like here, and acoustics in these cavernous arenas are getting better and better. All it takes is a tight set, a Twitter account, and a cool sense of humor. The Ben Folds Five — who number in three — appear to have all three.