BY MICHELLE BRIER
Ben Howard’s melancholy rock made its way to the Fillmore in Denver on Saturday, February 7th. The sold out show brought a young crowd out to listen to his almost dozen song set, tunes mostly coming from his new album, I Forget Where We Were. He also played a handful from his debut album, including “Keep Your Head Up,” “Black Flies” and “The Fear.”
Howard opened the show with an ethereal sounding “Small Things,” a song that showcased his unique voice and guitar playing skills. Meanwhile, electronic beats and soundscape textures emanated from a lot of the new album’s material. And an energetic and upbeat “Time is Dancing” punctured the string of other rich, deep ballads.
With soul stirring melodies, introspective lyrics and strong guitar riff, Howard had heads bobbing all night. The light show that accompanied him was equally impressive, with bright colors punching the dark venue and bright lights pointing out to the audience. I didn’t notice that he had no interaction with the audience until my concert companion commented on it. I didn’t mind; that meant I got to hear more of his songs without interruption. (After having that pointed out to me I realized the only interruptions I got were from tipsy concertgoers directly in front of me.)
When he announced at the end of the show that he was sick, I thought that explained his quietude, but an acquaintance I saw the next day said that her Ben Howard connoisseur boyfriend told her that Howard is not a big talker in general and that he comes off very shy. His sickness may have explained the one-song encore in which he performed “The Fear.” I was expecting to hear the big hit from his first album, “Only Love,” but I guess I’ll have to wait for the next time he comes to town. Hopefully then he’ll be in better health.