Ben Lee with WASOBen Lee managed to be characteristically both laidback and energetic at his opening performance at the Perth Concert Hall last night, serving up crowd favourites with panache as well as sharing some new tracks, a stunning cover and entertaining with the occasional clever ditty. The Western Australian Symphony Orchestra was a magnificent backdrop to Lee’s catchy pop songs, lifting them to new heights without overpowering the vocals.

For someone who admitted he’d only just woken up, Ben Lee bounced onto the stage with plenty of energy. Jetlag may have been responsible for his two forgetful lyrics moments during the show, but Lee’s sheepishly adorable grin and lack of pretentiousness meant all was forgiven.

In the first half, Gamble Everything for Love and Is this How Love’s Supposed to Feel? were epic and heartfelt, with strings providing extra drama. In between songs, Lee chatted with the audience about awkward silences, getting to kiss Tiffany-Amber Thiessen on a video clip, having a baby and his opinion on various random subjects.

Highlights post-interval were a hauntingly beautiful, pared-back cover of MGMT’s Kids, a joyous rendition of Love Me Like the World is Ending and an interactive I Love Pop Music. He played a few songs written as part of his band Noise Addict, but it seemed a shame to see the orchestra sitting idly and perhaps it was my imagination, but they didn’t seem to be received with as much enthusiasm.

After telling us he needed to “take a leak” but would be back for the encore, Lee came back on to finish with Cigarettes Will Kill You. Overall, Lee was nothing short of charming and although he stopped short of persuading the audience to have a group hug, we clapped, sung, laughed and had a good time together.


Ben Lee with WASO

Venue: Perth Concert Hall
Dates/Time: 7.30 pm Thursday 27, Friday 28 & Saturday 29 August
Tickets: from $70.00
Bookings: WASO on 9326 0000 or www.waso.com.au
BOCS on 9484 1133 or www.bocsticketing.com.au