Ben Folds Five played to a sold-out crowd at the 9:30 club Sunday night and demonstrated that piano players can attract groupies, too. Ben Folds is the keyboard-playing force behind the inaccurately named trio, a band that takes its influences from many sections of the music store. Joe Jackson, Queen and the late comedian Sam Kinison were all conjured up at some point during the energetic performance, which had Folds hopping up on his Baldwin grand piano and even playing it from the inside, slamming his microphone against the strings and smacking a stool against the keyboard.
The trio played most of its new album, "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner," but mixed in plenty of older songs to please longtime fans in the crowd (though "Brick," one of the songs that first brought the band acclaim, was left off the set list).
The group ended the evening by indulging one fan's request for "Song for the Dumped," a loud, bitter rant in which a jilted ex-lover asks for his money, time and car keys back after a failed relationship. Folds climbed onto the balcony over the club's stage at the end of it all and returned to shower the crowd with bananas, boxes of cereal and bags of peanut M&Ms.