Ben Folds Five is reuniting for an exclusive one-time, live benefit performance of their final album, “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner,” in its entirety on September 18 at the UNC Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC. It will mark the band’s first performance together in 10 years and will take place in the band’s former hometown at the University of North Carolina. Proceeds from concert will benefit Operation Smile: Changing Lives One Smile at a Time.
The show is part of MySpace’s launch of its newest music program, Front to Back, celebrating iconic albums that have helped shape the MySpace generation. The show will be rebroadcast on the official Front to Back MySpace profile in October.
“We are honored and excited that Ben Folds Five is helping launch this new music program,” said Josh Brooks, VP of Music Marketing for MySpace, in a statement. “Front to Back is about connecting and re-connecting the MySpace community, fans and bands alike with some of the most acclaimed and inspirational albums ever produced.”
“Front to Back” asks leading artists to perform one of their seminal albums, from front to back, in a live concert that is later aired on the site. The airing includes interviews with the band, as well as artists who were influenced by the album. Presented by Nowwhat.com, tickets to the Ben Folds Five Front to Back taping will go on sale to the public on September 8 at 10 a.m. EST. Additional Front to Back performances will be announced by MySpace in the coming months.
Piano-based rock trio Ben Folds Five formed in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1993. Comprised of Ben Folds on vocals and piano, Robert Sledge on bass and backing vocals and Darren Jessee on drums and backing vocals, the group quickly became heroes in the world of indie alternative-pop. Well-known for their hit single “Brick” from their platinum-selling 1997 album, “Whatever and Ever Amen,” the group was together for seven years before disbanding amicably in 2000. The band’s fourth and final album, “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner” was released in April 1999. It cracked the Top 40 of Billboard’s Album chart and reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Top Internet Albums chart.
Following the break-up, Folds began his solo career while Jessee went on to form the band Hotel Lights and Sledge went on to play in the now-defunct International Orange. Folds’ third solo studio album, “Way to Normal,” will be released on September 30. ”
“When MySpace approached me about doing this gig, I misunderstood and thought they wanted us to play ‘Purple Rain’ front to back, so of course I said yes,” said Folds in a statement. “But we’re happy to do ‘The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner’ instead. Of our three albums, this one brings back the most vivid memories. It was actually written to be one song of many movements, which is why there are motifs that appear throughout the album. That should make ‘Reinhold’ a natural to be played front to back.”