All Ages, Rock & Pop

Ben Folds

When: Thu., Nov. 13, 8 p.m. 2008

It's easy to try and boil Ben Folds down to the composite of his heroes; the North Carolina native has Billy Joel's chops, Joe Jackson's attitude, Randy Newman's cynicism, and Todd Rundgren's pop sense. But Folds has always been one of these guys who always zigged when people expected him to zag. No one else was lugging a piano around when guitars where the instrument of choice during the grunge and post-punk eras of the '90s. And when Folds walked away from Ben Folds Five to fly solo, it was during the peak of the band's popularity. While fatherhood resulted in some accusing him of softening, his latest Way to Normal recaptures some of the edge inspired by the upheavals of a personal life that has Folds going on his fourth marriage. Catch his piano-pounding-driven brand of snarkiness at the Warfield (982 Market St., San Francisco) on Thursday, Nov. 13. 8 p.m., $35.

Dave Gil de Rubio

Price: $35-$38

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