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Ben Folds Makes New History At The Capitol Theatre

Ben Folds performs at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night.
Ben Folds performs at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski
Ben Folds Five performs at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night.
Ben Folds Five performs at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski
The trio of Ben Folds Five hits the stage at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night.
The trio of Ben Folds Five hits the stage at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski
Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke signs albums for fans after opening for Ben Folds Five at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night.
Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke signs albums for fans after opening for Ben Folds Five at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – After a nearly 13-year hiatus, the trio that makes up the ironically named band Ben Folds Five mixed old songs with new at the historic Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Tuesday night.

“So great to play this historic little spot here,” lead singer and pianist Ben Folds said before deadpanning, “MC Hammer played here.”

Before the show, bassist Robert Sledge expressed his honor to be one of the first shows to play the newly reopened venue. Sledge added he was “excited to explore an old sound in a new space.”

After a 1999 release of "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner," the band went quiet, with Folds pursuing a successful solo career that included, most recently, a judging spot on the reality vocal competition show "The Sing Off."

Every other song the alternative rock band played in the two-hour set Tuesday night was from its new album, "The Sound of the Life of the Mind," released Sept. 18. Fans in the mostly filled Capitol Theatre were well versed in the lyrics both old and new as Folds belted out songs from hits “Brick” and “Army” to “Thank You For Breaking My Heart” and their new single, “Do It Anyway.”

The show’s opener Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke – who played a folk cover of Eminem’s “Slim Shady” – said performing at the Capitol Theatre was a thrill. “It was a joy to play here. You can sense the history,” she said.

The Capitol Theatre was designed by architect Thomas Lamb in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Marvin Ravikoff purchased the theater in 1983, restoring the interior and using it for private events and performances. The theater reopened in September thanks to efforts of Peter Shapiro, owner of the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City who signed a long-term lease with the theater.

Here’s a list of upcoming act at the Capitol Theatre:

Wednesday, Oct. 10 - Fiona Apple with opener Blake Mills. Tickets are $56.75 and can be found online.

Thursday, Oct. 11 – Warren Haynes Solo Acoustic, with guests Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone, John Skehan, Andrew Altman and Andy Goessling. Tickets are $35 early advance, $40 advance and $45 day of show. To purchase, go online.

Friday, Oct. 12 – Warren Haynes Band with opener Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Tickets are $35 advance and $40 day of show. To purchase, go online.

Doors for all shows open at 6:30 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre is at 149 Westchester Ave., Port Chester.

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