Ben Lee | Festival of Voices

5th July, 2014 | Federation Concert Hall

There was a quiet buzz of excitement as patrons filed into the hall awaiting this much-loved Aussie lyricist. A smaller scale concert, the hall hummed with polite chatter until Ben Lee strolled on stage, waving his thanks to fans; if he was nervous, he wasn’t showing it. Earlier that day, Lee had conducted a vocal workshop explaining to his students his beliefs on what creating music is and how it can feel like a higher power.

Ben Lee was winding up his Australian tour in Hobart at the Federation Concert Hall as part of the Festival of Voices. Before beginning, he made sure the fan that tweeted him was in attendance and not still stuck at the bus stop. He performed hits such as Catch My Disease, Gamble Everything For Love, and other much-loved songs, as well as giving the audience a glimpse of what is to come in from his forthcoming release which is set for release later this year. All new songs were very well received by the crowd and had an unexpected childlike feel about them – especially the song Happiness, which he swears he wrote prior to Pharrel Williams’ Happy. Perhaps he has spent five years too long at home with his little girl? He admits that he has forgotten most of his lyrics but can sing you the whole Frozen soundtrack with ease.

Ben Lee does things his way; taking song requests from the audience and allowing them echo his lyrics back to him. He refused to conform to the ritual walk off stage before the encore, and instead turned his back for a minute while all his fans roared for more. For the finale, he clambered over three rows of seats with his guitar to sit in the middle of the hall, making sure not to knock anyone out along the way. The last song, We’re All In This Together, was sung without a microphone and had a soothing campfire feel. The audience were swept away with his stage presence as they cheered, whistled and whooped for more.

All of his fans are excited for his new album but should expect the unexpected when it is released – Happiness could be the new song for ABC Kids.

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