Pop music phenomenons in their respective decades of airwave dominance, both Violent Femmes and Ben Folds displayed their musical liveliness on Saturday night with two enthusiastic setlists. With each band touring in support of two very different July releases, the Femmes jumpstarted their performance with “Adam Was A Man” - a tongue-in-cheek ode to the horror, delight, and demise of Adam and Eve from their latest studio album Hotel Last Resort. It wasn’t long before they ripped into “Blister In The Sun” which had the entire crowd on their feet dancing with their ‘big hands’ in the air. From there fans never sat back down as the band blasted through a full set of punk-infused classics as if the 1980s were still in full swing. Ben Folds then followed with a whimsical and charming recital that mirrored his book A Dream About Lightning Bugs (released July 30th) that enchantingly details how music shaped his life. If anything, Folds’ playful stage banter and whimsicality was in full effect as he presented audience members with tracks having titles such as “Phone in a Pool”, “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces”, and ending with “Rock This Bitch.” But that’s not to say Folds stuck solely to the humorous and amusing - the set was also woven with ivory-laden love songs such as “Still Fighting It” and “The Luckiest” with the crooner seemingly aware of his date-night saturated audience. In all, this co-headlining event was the perfect blend of pop and punk, past and present, suburbs and city - all among the lightning bugs on a dreamy summer night in Indianapolis.
You can catch both bands on tour through October 4.