BY JON CRONIN
While spring is slightly delayed in its arrival, the Forest Hills Stadium is looking ahead to the summer, adding several prominent performances—including Willie Nelson, Van Morrison and Ben Folds—to its roster.
Ben Folds will be accompanied by Cake and special guest Tall Heights during his performance on Aug. 17, while Van Morrison and Willie Nelson will co-headline a show on Sept. 12. Tickets are on sale for Ben Folds on April 6 and Morrison and Nelson will become available on April 7. Both concerts are one night only.
“Cake—my rough contemporaries, comrades and heroes—to me, they make universal, poetic, identifiable music with a groove. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I’m proud as punch to be on tour with them this summer,” said Folds. “I’m telling my friends to get there early enough for Tall Heights—a great addition to this bill.”
Folds had a late 1990s hit with the song “Brick,” while Cake was known for its radio-friendly tunes “The Distance” and “Never There.”
“We are very much looking forward to touring with Ben Folds,” says Cake’s John McCrea. “In a culture often conflicted about its relationship to melody, and songwriting generally, Ben continues unapologetically to provide melodic clarity and musicality. I am also looking forward to hearing Tall Heights. This co-headline line up seems like a good combination of musical style—disparate, but not antithetical to each other—and it should be a solid evening of music.”
“Ben Folds has been a friend to us, a tour partner in the past, and for a long time we have had great respect for him,” says Cake’s Vincent DiFiore. “Cake is looking forward to expressing our identity through music this summer, and the chemistry of our evening together with Ben and his band will be an inspiring jolt for us and the audience.”
Forest Hills Stadium announced that Van Morrison and Willie Nelson will celebrate some personal milestones with the audience at their concert. Morrison will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the transcendent Astral Weeks album when he takes the Forest Hills stage for the third time and Nelson will celebrate his 85th birthday.
On April 27, the iconic Irish singer-songwriter will also release his new album, You’re Driving Me Crazy, in which he is accompanied by jazz organ virtuoso Joey DeFrancesco. Morrison stated that the new album has a variety of jazz and blues standards and classics—such as “Miss Otis Regrets,” “The Things I Used to Do,” and “Every Day I Have the Blues”—and newer versions of fan favorites, such as “Have I Told You Lately?” and “The Way Young Lovers Do.”
Nelson will release a new album on April 27 titled Last Man Standing that features new music and lyrics by the aged auteur of country music.
Nelson announced that the album is a meditation on the passage of time and joy of life, along with his signature wit and wisdom.
The stadium will soon announce more additions to its summer schedule.
Reach reporter Jon Cronin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 125.