Ben Howard at the Hammerstein Ballroom
English singer-songwriter Ben Howard stopped by New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom to perform his most recent album I Forget Where We Are. Howard has transformed his acoustic style into alternative rock for this tour, resulting in an overall cool display of guitarists and a throbbing bass.
Howard’s songs have a quiet yet unique presence, with his voice almost whispering the lyrics into an atmosphere of calm guitars. Keeping with the original songs’ foundations, he added guitar melodies and accompanying percussion for a fuller sound that echoed through the ballroom. The presence of the large band also contributed to the rock-like evening. Throw in a fantastic light show, and you’ve got a perfect Friday-night concert.
Fan favorites like Conrad, Only Love, and Old Pine were premised with audience cheers. Howard’s presence on stage was characteristically casual, not making too much conversation with the audience and at times blending in with the band behind him. It was as if the audience had happened upon a spectacular rehearsal. However, all it took was his singularly lit silhouette to establish his talent as a solo artist. His guitar solo in Conrad featured his lone figure illuminated by a sunset-pink light. As the song grew in sound, so did the light on Howard, strumming the guitar like it was a bodily function with which he was born.
The Hammerstein Ballroom was the perfect intimate space for Howard’s tour. There was no need for room to thrash about, just enough space for the audience to see him and the band strum to the beat of each song and hear the subtleties between guitarists. Overall, the concert achieved a perfect balance of great music and relaxed atmosphere to end a chilly week in New York.
Photo: Maggie Boyd
For further information about Ben Howard and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Conrad here: