Alec Benjamin charms his young audience with sweet storytelling at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Hailing from Pheonix Arizona, 25-year-old singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin brought his heartfelt storytelling to life with electro-acoustic pop as he performed to a youthful crowd at a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire. The artist, whose rise to success owes itself to a springboard of parking lot gigs and social media platforms like YouTube, admitted, “this may be the coolest venue I’ve ever played in”, before playing tracks from his debut release, Mixtape 1: America (2013) and his first studio album, Narrated for You (2018).
Arriving on stage to an appreciative ripple of screams from predominately female, fresh-faced teens, Benjamin opened the show with Boy In The Bubble. His sweetly sung vocals were drowned out as the room sang along with him, before he moved onto a song called Swim, equally well received. The singer appeared humble: dressed in a simple T-shirt, shirt and trainers, he played without arrogance, happy to engage the crowd with simple stories about his life in between numbers, creating a feeling of wholesomeness and cuteness that had his audience utterly hooked.
Stand-out tracks Jesus in LA and Let Me Down Slowly allowed the performer to regale us with tales of his journey to this present moment, and large screen panels behind the band lit up the stage with neon pictures of swaying palm trees, cities and graphics. Alternating between acoustic and electric guitar, Benjamin also took to the keyboard for an absolutely stunning, stripped-back rendition of another highlight, Paper Crown.
During the hour-long set, the artist also treated fans to a new single due to be realised in two weeks, My Mind Is a Prison – which was known by some eager followers, and which had those who weren’t familiar vowing to “learn it off by heart” for his next gig. After a jubilant encore and a couple of selfies with the audience for Instagram and Twitter, this sweet sensation left the stage to a well-deserved, thunderous teenage applause.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Alec Benjamin’s website here.
Watch the video for Must Have Been the Wind here: