Cake & Ben Folds Brought Indie Vibes To Austin’s COTA- Review

by Diego Donamaria


Alternative rockers Cake and singer/songwriter Ben Folds have combined forces once again and are co-headlining a summer tour that are making 11 stops across the US. The artists had so much fun last year they decided to do it again in 2019.

Austin 101 Tall Heights-6The headliners are bringing along the electro-folk duo Tall Heights to round out the line up. We got to check out one of the stops of their tour at the Austin 360 Amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The Boston folk pop duo Tall Heights kicked off the evening with their characteristic pairing of vocal harmonies with minimalistic instrumentation. While I wouldn’t say that the duo emphasized any specific type of sound, the combination of the 2 folksy vocals, the guitar plucks and the cello created an intimate, soothing experience for the Austin concert goers in attendance. I particularly enjoyed the addition of synth and indie-rock influences on several songs.

Austin 101 Ben Folds-3The iconic and unforgettable singer songwriter Ben folds followed the line up with a wildly entertaining set, blending his highly melodic songs with his well known witty storytelling. Folds had brought the opening band onstage and performed classic songs like “Annie Waits”, “So There”, “Do It Anyway” and “Still Fighting It”. He even broke into an impromptu performance when a fan yelled “Ice Cold beer!”

Austin 101 Ben Folds-12Overall, the highlights were plentiful and Folds put down an awesome performance straddling his piano stool as often as sitting on it, hammering hard on his keys, and taking breaks to talk to the audience and give some background about the next song

Austin 101 Cake-10The stage was set for rocker band Cake to take the stage. The energy in the air was high and the audience was ready to sing along to all the well known tunes from the California band. Singer John McCrea brought his sarcastic lyrics and his wide ranging musical talents along with his band to the stage at the Circuit of the Americas.

Austin 101 Cake-5The band played hits like “Never There”, “Sinking Ship”, and “Long Time”. The band even did a cover of “War Pigs” from Black Sabbath and the song “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” from Osvaldo Farres (and theme song for popular British sitcom, “Coupling”).

Midway through the set, McCrea brought a tree onstage and gave it to an excited fan for her to plant and provide updates on social media. The crowd enjoyed the performance and sang along to every tune from the indie rockers. We were all eagerly awaiting the song “The Distance” but unfortunately the band ran out of time and didn’t play it. They played just 11 total songs, 9 original.

Overall it was a stellar summer night listening to some great music in an iconic Austin Venue. Check out our gallery of photos.

Cake Setlist:

Arco Arena
Frank Sinatra
Sinking Ship
Long Time
Stickshifts and Safetybelts
Meanwhile, Rick James…
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps(Osvaldo Farrés cover)
War Pigs(Black Sabbath cover)
Sheep Go to Heaven
Sick of You
Never There

Ben Folds Setlist:

Annie Waits
Battle of Who Could Care Less(Ben Folds Five song)
Moscow Mitch
Levi Johnston’s Blues
So There
Do It Anyway(Ben Folds Five song)
Still Fighting It
Ice Cold Beer
You Don’t Know Me
The Ascent of Stan
Zak and Sara
Rockin’ the Suburbs
Army(Ben Folds Five song)
Not the Same


Categories: COOL MUSIC, Featured Posts, MUSIC, REVIEWS, REVIEWS