Ben Howard, the UK’s as-of-yet hidden gem, played a soul-shattering concert at Metropolis Sunday night. Before Ben Howard took the stage, Louisiana native Gill Landry warmed up the crowd with his sweet melodies and charming southern drawl.
Cheers echoed throughout the venue as Howard and his band took to the stage. A lone yellow spotlight graced the background and mist obscured most of the stage. Howard opened up the show with a new song and followed it with one of my personal favorites, “Black Flies.” He played songs from his debut album Every Kingdom, delivering unforgettable performances of hits like “Only Love” and “Old Pine.” Songs like “Wolves” and “Diamonds” incited heavy audience participation.
The show felt like a private, intense jam session; almost giving the audience an all-access pass to raw, uncut musical brilliance. Howard attempted to converse with the audience in French, but he confessed that his French was quite “abysmal.”
As the band left the stage, an explosive demand for an encore erupted. Shrieks and stubborn foot-stomping called them back to the stage, delivering what was the best performance of the night. Howard started playing “Depth Over Distance,” and soulfully crooning “darling, I’d go blind for you” as he played his guitar, wowing the audience with clawhammer technique. He concluded the evening with “The Fear,” leaving the crowd satisfied and anticipating his next visit to Montreal.