The room was packed and the energy high for a performance powerful enough to give Williamsburg a mild earthquake. Young fans stomped and cried outside because they couldn’t get in due to fake tickets or being underage. When Ben Howard walked onstage after impressive opening act Pete Roe, the crowd exploded.
Howard—who has risen to greater and greater prominence since he released Every Kingdom on Island in 2011—is an amazingly gifted singer/songwriter. Last month’s I Forget Where We Were has proved that fact yet again.
While the show featured much of the material from the most recent album, older gems such as “Only Love” and “Keep Your Head Up” allowed the crowd to sing along. The band featured mostly acoustic instruments, the warmth from the upright basses and cellos highlighting the delicate and haunting nature of Howard’s melodies. His songs are as hypnotic as the way in which he performs them, the crowd transfixed by his voice and the raw passion that backs it up.
Among all the British imports that have come out of the past decade, the ever maturing Howard stands out as an artist who’s music is timeless enough to make for a long-lasting career. Here’s looking forward to when Howard will grace America again.
– Charley Raiff