Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review + Photos + Setlist: Ben Kweller and Julia Nunes Delight a Sold-Out Off Broadway, Thursday, November 11

Posted By on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Page 2 of 2

click to enlarge Ben Kweller at the piano, at Off Broadway - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Ben Kweller at the piano, at Off Broadway

Without a band, the perpetually baby-faced singer-songwriter had room to make it up as he went along, which made for some of the best moments. After moving to the piano for a quick-and-dirty "How It Should Be (Sha Sha)" and Ben-Folds-jingly "Nothing Happening," Kweller asked audience members to take the stage to "play the keys" - their car keys - for lack of sleigh bells on "Until I Die."

Though Kweller referenced two microphones on either side of the stage, saying "We're recording an album here," he wasn't shy about going off-script: switching up the setlist, flubbing a lyric during harmonica-laced "Thirteen," and playing Roger Miller's "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" by audience request.

Best of all, Kweller spontaneously called out to Nunes to join him for "Sundress," a song they had never tried together before. You could hardly hear her harmonies, but she filled in the "ba-da-bum-bum" piano parts, and her comedienne's face embodied the over-the-moon exuberance of the crowd.

click to enlarge Ben Kweller fans - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Ben Kweller fans

After 90 minutes, Kweller ended with power-piano-pop anthem "Penny On the Train Track." He would have needed a few extra hands to cover the song's original full-bodied instrumentation, but the crowd filled in the hand-claps, and the rest of it wasn't missed. This is songwriting distilled to its roots, and it stands alone.

Ben Kweller setlist: The written one onstage, as grabbed by photographer Jason Stoff:

JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff

What was actually played, as noted by writer Katie Moulton -- something's missing! Please help! 1. On My Way 2. Commerce, TX 3. Run 4. I Don't Know Why 5. How It Should Be (Sha Sha) 6. Nothing Happening 7. Until I Die 8. Sawdust Man 9. Thirteen 10. ??? 11. In Other Words 12. My Apartment 13. Make It Up 14. Wantin' Her Again 15. Chug-A-Lug (Roger Miller cover) 16. You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd (Roger Miller cover, by request) 17. Fight 18. Sundress 19. Walk On Me 20. The Rules Encore: 21. Falling 22. Penny on the Train Track

Tags: , , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of...

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 15th, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation