Ben Folds to perform at Stephens Lake Park

Sunday’s Roots N Blues N BBQ festival lineup brings big names in music.

Ben Folds closes out the Great Southern Bank Stage for the third and final day of the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival at Stephens Lake Park on Oct. 2. Folds is one of over 30 musicians playing at the festival, which has been held in Columbia since 2007. He goes on at 6:30 p.m.

The band

Folds is known for his involvement in the popular ‘90s band, Ben Folds Five, and has now been performing solo since the early 2000s. Folds has released five studio albums in the past 15 years, but his involvement in the music scene goes much further. Along with five EPs and other types of albums, Folds performed the music for Over the Hedge, judged a cappella show The Sing-Off and appeared in We’re the Millers and Community.

Fans of Folds don’t have to look far to find opportunities to hear his music. Folds has performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and “Rockin’ the Suburbs” was in the first episode of The Comix Scrutinizer.


Anyone planning on attending the festival should plan to park their car in any of the parking lots in downtown Columbia. Weekend parking is free in garages downtown, but be sure to pay if you arrive before 6 p.m. on Friday. Shuttles from the garages will start an hour before the gates open each day.

Bikers can ride straight to the festival gates and use the secure bicycle and stroller parking provided at the facility. COMO Connect is also free the weekend of the festival, and Stephens Lake Park is only a mile from downtown Columbia.

Noteworthy tunes

This week, I asked a Ben Folds fan to contribute to the playlist. The first half of the list is from Springfield, Missouri, resident Karl Eggers. Eggers has never seen Folds live but is considering going to the festival this weekend.

“Fred Jones Part 2”

This song is a follow-up to Ben Folds Five’s song “Cigarette” about Fred Jones, who was always busy taking care of his wife. In “Fred Jones Part 2,” Jones loses his job at the newspaper.

“Annie Waits”

One of my favorite parts of this pick is the very last lyrics. Throughout the song, it seems like Annie is waiting for someone, and it ends with “Annie waits, but not for me.” This is a powerful way to finish a song.


The last of Eggers’ picks, “Jesusland,” is an embodiment of Ben Folds’ style as a musician. It includes the funny, political lyrics he is known for over beautifully composed instrumentals.

“You Don’t Know Me” featuring Regina Spektor

This song is catchy and funny, which in retrospect could be said for most of Folds’ music. His lyrics seem to be political and, as any artist tries to include, has a message for the listener. It’s one of my favorite Ben Folds songs. Also, Regina Spektor is a wonderful singer (she’s sings the Orange is the New Black intro tune, by the way.)

“Capable of Anything”

This song off of Ben Folds’ 2015 album, So There, and has a more positive beat compared to some of Folds’ other songs. It offers a hopeful, catchy tune, and it shows the true talent he has as a composer.

“B------ Ain’t S---”

I don’t even have a reason for this; I just love it. Who else could get away with these lyrics over piano riffs?

If you like this, try…

“Everything You Know Is Wrong” by Weird Al Yankovic

One of my friends made me a mix CD with this song on it a few years back, and I still listen to it on long drives alone and to entertain new friends in the car.

“Blue Lips” by Regina Spektor

I really love Regina Spektor, not just in “You Don’t Know Me” and the Orange is the New Black opening song, but also in her other work. Both Spektor and Folds have unique work, but this song reminds me of “Gone” by Folds.

More Stories