Itís hard to believe that Ben Lee has been putting out records since he was 14 years old but once you see him live ñ you know that this talented, now 24 year old, clearly has what is takes to be a big star and certainly has the experience under his belt. Dressed in his trademark tux jacket with cut off sleeves and a studded ìUniversity of Scrantonî hooded sweatshirt underneath Ben took the stage to a capacity crowd at Brooklynís SOUTHPAW.
Playing with a 5-piece band, featuring the very talented McGowen on guitar (the only musician of the bunch who is on the record) Ben came out strong with the current single in Australia, "Running With Scissors". Clearly filled with confidence, Ben is a pure joy to watch. Not only is he one of the most talented vocalists out there, but one of the funniest people I have ever seen. His one liners in between songs were brilliant. And the references he makes as far as older music and musicians goes, leads you to believe he was listening to classic rock in his crib.
At one point, Ben dashed off stage and walked thru the crowd to the back of the venue. He then sat at a piano in the back of the room and did a cover of Motely Crueís "Home Sweet Home". This was king! I couldnít get my lighter out quick enough. His fans clearly are fanatical. Ben got back on stage and pulled out some old numbers where he needed to ask for help on the lyrics ñ and everyone shouted the entire song back to him. Ben took turns playing with the band and then doing stuff alone on acoustic where he was just as magical. Here is where the singer/songwriters beat out the rest of them. You could hear a pin drop during these moments. We were all even surprised and delighted with a cover of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." During this time you could not imagine anyone else doing this song ñ what a moment. I would love to hear this on record.
Other highlights included "Chills/" "No Room to Bleed" and the crowd favorite "Something Borrowed, Something Blue". All are tracks on his forthcoming album Hey You Yes You coming out 8/12 on F2 Music (a division of Cornerstone Promotion and the Fader magazine). The record is produced by Dan the Automator. Catch Ben on tour with Fountains of Wayne in July and fall dates/tours that are TBD as of now. Ben also stars in a film coming out in Australia in September with possible future distribution in the states.
This is truly one of the greats right now and he will only get better. Attention some of you older artists ñ you can learn a thing or two about talent from this incredible young songwriter.