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Proving you don’t need guitars to rock, Ben Folds’ virtuosic ivory-tickling set his intentionally misnamed ’90s trio apart from the flannel-and-feedback crowd. The North Carolina native also enjoyed solo success after the Five folded in 2000, but the band’s energy was missed. Apparently, Folds, bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee missed each other, too, and Ben Folds Five returned last year with a new album, “Sound of the Life of the Mind.” While it’s not their best — that distinction still goes to 1997’s “Whatever and Ever Amen” — the band’s sold-out reunion shows affirm that spirited, hook-heavy piano rock still has its place.

7 p.m. Monday, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; sold out (206-628-3151 or

Charlie Zaillian, Special to The Seattle Times

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