Ben Howard at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin – Review & Photos
Sunday the 7th of December I had the privilege of going to see Ben Howard perform at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.
At 9:10, Ben Howard took to the stage, greeted by a thunderous applause. Orange and white lights pierced through the mist that had enveloped the stage, turning Ben and his band into silhouettes. He kicked things off with “Conrad” and “River In Your Mouth”, before playing the title song of his new album, “I Forget Where We Were”, finishing to a massive applause from the fans that had flocked to Dublin from all over Ireland to see him, some even coming from as far north as Derry!
“Black Flies”, the song that first got me listening to Ben Howard was next, with everybody singing along, spotlights dazzling the crowd. This was followed by “In Dreams” and “She Treats Me Well”, which both garnered massive applause from the crowd. What I liked most about the concert was the fact that it’s not the type of concert you go to just for the fun of it, so everyone there was a true fan of Ben Howard – and their sing-alongs and reactions to every song proved it!
“Small Things” and “End of the Affair” were next, with Ben & Co. cast in shadow once more. The lighting was superb at the gig. Every sequence matched the mood of its song perfectly.
After “Oats in the Water”, came “The Fear”, a favourite among the fans, and the crowd erupted into song and applause. At the end of “The Fear”, Ben began playing the opening rift of the song “Old Pine”, at which everyone got excited. However Ben was only teasing the fans, going from the rift into a song neither I nor anyone around me had heard before. I can only come to the conclusion that it was either a cover or a new song, as Ben gave no name to it. This wasn’t the first time in the night that I heard snippets of other songs being played before Ben changed to a full song, teasing his audience and keeping them on their toes throughout the night.
After the unknown cover/new song, Ben brought out a pint of Guinness and thanked the crowd, before finishing with the song “All Is Now Harmed”.
Cheers brought Ben back out for an encore to sing “Gracious”, to the delight of all the fans, who sang at the top of their lungs and gave a standing ovation when he took his final bows with his band.
It was a brilliant night overall and I will definitely be booking a ticket for Ben Howard’s next gig.
Review by Ciarán Watts
Photos by Tudor Marian