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Pop / Rock 18/10/2001

Hanson Joins Ben Folds Onstage In Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fans of Ben Folds got more than they paid for Tuesday (Oct. 16) night when the rock star was joined by a very unlikely trio of pop artists for an unexpected encore at L.A.'s El Rey Theater.

Following a set comprised entirely of songs from Folds' first solo album, Rocking the Suburbs and a couple of rarities, Folds returned to the stage and thanked the audience for their response to the set.

After a crowd-pleasing sing-along on "Philosophy" (from Ben Folds Five's 1995 self-titled debut ) a techie approached Folds' piano bench and whispered something in his ear. "We have a special guest � three special guests," he said, and, after a brief huddle, Folds introduced "The Hanson Brothers."

The pop princes' subsequent vocal harmonies on "Kate" were pleasant enough, and Taylor Hanson's newly mature charisma onstage was enough to silence the few non-believers in the audience. The pop trio had previously discussed their desire to work with Folds on future projects, and their admiration of the songwriter was obvious as they bowed, a la Wayne and Garth, as they made their way offstage.

This isn�t the first time Hanson has made a surprise appearance with a more seasoned musical act; the brothers were surprise guests of Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir at a benefit in New York two years ago. The brothers are currently working on a follow up to the critically acclaimed, but commercially ignored, This Time Around.

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