After the band Ben Folds Five decided to close up shop, the remaining vocalist and pianist Ben Folds simply decided to embody all five band members, often sprinting around stage beating on drums then racing back to the piano. Since 2000, he's launched a successful solo career, touring with such names as Guster and John Mayer and even performing with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra. Though playing the occasional mellow melody, Folds is known mostly for his hard-hitting rock, delivering key-pounding songs on his grand piano, an unusual guest on the pop-rock scene. Whether it's a song dedicated to his children or a humorous rant on getting dumped, his lyrics prove just as entertaining as his electric fingertips. Ben Folds visits the National Friday, April 11, with Eef Barzelay. 9 p.m. $35. 612-1900.