Yesterday, I celebrated the last day of classes. Oh, not UNC's, dook's. You may be thinking, "Corey, as a die-hard Tar Heel, what would possess you to travel to that hell hole teeming with Blue Devils?" Two words: Ben Folds.
Sorry for the poor picture quality. I didn't plan ahead and had to take pictures with my phone.
There are a few perks that go along with attending a too-expensive private snotty university. One of those is having the money to throw a huge free concert in your quad with artists like Gym Class Heroes, Girl Talk and Ben Folds. Another is that you can have said concerts be a university-sponsored BYOB event.
So I drove my big Tar Heel butt over to Durham and carried my 12-pack of sudsy beverages across campus. I really had no idea where I was going, but I just followed the music. It totally worked. I knew I was getting close when I started to see tons of trash just littering the ground. I thought this was Earth Day.... Oh well.
Now here's the best part. I made a point not to wear any UNC stuff over to the concert, not because I was scared but I just didn't want to seem like I was trying to brag. Sometime during the break between Gym Class Heroes and Ben Folds, I heard a chant going through the crowd. When I finally figured out what it was, I had to laugh. "Tar!" "Heels!" It wouldn't be the last time that I heard the chant. It happened about seven times throughout the night. I think the ratio was literally 50/50 between UNC and dook students. But that's what happens when you bring an alumnus to play at your concert. The chant was funny the first few times, but downright obnoxious after that. I was kind of embarrassed to be one of the UNC people there. I hate when UNC fans are obnoxious: they make us all look bad.
Anyway, back to the important part. Ben Folds came on and the first song made me cringe. It was a song I've never heard before and the sound was thin. You could barely hear the piano. He kept playing the new songs that were OK, but no one really knew them and they were too slow. The crowd wasn't into it, the sound was bad and people were talking over him. I looked over to my friend Andy and said, "This is the worst Ben Folds show I've ever seen."
I spoke too soon.
He launched into "Zak and Sara," "Landed," and "Army." Now things started rocking. The crowd was into it and dancing around and they finally fixed the sound problems. Then Folds did something I never thought I would see him do: played "Brick" live. I was under the impression that he didn't play the song live anymore. Apparently I was wrong. It was a beautiful version (which I tried to record on my Blackberry, but failed miserably). Then, just a few songs later, he broke into "Kate," one of my all-time favorite Ben Folds Five tunes. Even without an encore, I left happy.
Getting back to the car wasn't as easy without music to guide me. We passed by K-ville (I'm not even going to try to spell it) and I thought about all the time people have spent camping out there the last four years just to watch dook lose. It made me laugh a little. I walked by Cameron Indoor and laughed a little more.
I finally got back to my car. I was happy to see that even with the dozens of UNC stickers it wasn't keyed and it didn't have its tires slashed. I turned left onto U.S. Hwy 15-501 and drove back to Chapel Hill, relieved to be safely away from Durham.
Oh, and this guy on the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia Street has an important message for the world, just in case you didn't know.
Seriously guys, he's not screwing around!!