William Munoz

(Missoula Current) The stage at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater was filled with more than 80 musicians with the Missoula Symphony on Wednesday, each there to musically support Ben Folds and his new album, “What Matters Most.”

The collection of songs rose out of the pandemic and how Folds navigated that period. He related how he encouraged people online to send him stories from their lives and he'd write a song.

One in particular, “Kristine from the 7th Grade,” brought up a serious dilemma for Folds. The person who sent him the emails seemed familiar and checking a Facebook profile he realized it was a classmate from seventh grade – all well and good.

However, the posts this person was making were laden with conspiracy theories. It was the height of the pandemic, afterall.

Folds has said, “I've seen so many people who've been torn apart from their friends and families due to all sorts of agitating things in the media and on Facebook. I wanted the song to acknowledge the sadness of that.”

Putting this emotion into words ended up as a brilliant song.

His latest album, “What Matters Most,” is being promoted worldwide, often with full orchestras, as was the case in Missoula.

A summer night of music at the Kettle in Missoula

Missoula Symphony conductor Julia Tai at the Kettlehouse. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Missoula Symphony conductor Julia Tai at the Kettlehouse. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Ben Folds concert with Missoula Symphony at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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