At 6.00pm the line of people waiting to get into the Tivoli, Brisbane was all the way down the end of the street, making apparent the dedication of Ben Howard fans. Having announced sold out shows all around Australia, and beginning the I forget where we were tour in Brisbane, Ben Howard and opening act Andrew Kidman and The Windy Hills kicked things off with a bang.
Even though Andrew Kidman was with only one of his Windy Hills band mates that didn’t stop them from setting the mood for the night, with some smooth, sultry tunes – two men, two guitars and one powerful duo.
With a humble presence, Ben took to the stage with his fellow band mates. This talented soul and his band exploded into action. Howard far greater in a live setting than on record, the pure passion of his guitar playing was unparalleled and made more remarkable by the fact that majority of the set is played on an acoustic guitar.
As he began to play Conrad, the crowd moved back and forth in a fluid motion, perfectly in sync, singing along as the sky fell alight with phones. The jacket came off and things intensified when Ben played Keep Your Head Up, the crowd left thirsty for more. Around 10.00pm Ben began to slow things down with Small Things, lights flashed blue and purple, illuminating the roof of the art deco auditorium with mandala like patterns.
Although he made little audience contact, speaking only briefly to announce he needed a beer, still the crowd cheered and cried for an encore. The first song in his encore was Old Pine, where he was almost drowned out completely by the onslaught of background singers coming from the crowd. Ben announced he would “play this one then call it a day I reckon…” the crowd laughing as if he was joking. But soon enough to the audience’s dismay he finished off with Esmeralda.