Waiting outside the club for the doors to open for the Ben Lee concert, I heard a man behind me say, "Excuse me," as he unloaded gear from a nearby van into the club. Behind the van I spotted a certain curly-haired male Aussie exiting a car. I left my place by the door and walked towards him--unsure of my plan.
"Hello," he said in his adorable accent.
"I'm really excited for the show tonight!"
"Oh cool. Thanks for coming."
"I LIKE YOUR NEW ALBUM!"
"Aw, cool. Thanks."
Wow, not my best work.
Anywhoodle. Andrew met up with me after the embarrassing small talk with one of my favorite musicians, and we claimed the best seats in the house for ourselves and some friends who were about 20 people behind us in line. I sipped on a drink that tasted like a melted blue popsicle while I enjoyed the opening act, Low Vs. Diamond.
Immediately following the band's last song, Ben Lee took the stage. He paid special attention to our table... making lots of eye contact and telling us, "Just flip the tables over. It's cool. I own the place."
We refrained from trashing the place, which is a little more than I can say about Ben. (Kidding.) He was way more animated than the last time I saw him perform four years ago. At one point he climbed on top of our table and somehow managed to avoid spilling everyone's drinks... though he was less than an inch away from dancing on top of Bri's pizza...
Throughout the show, people shouted various song requests, but he ignored them all. At one point he said, "Sorry. I love you guys. But I'm playing whatever I want."
I don't really understand why performers are so weird about song requests in general, but I can understand wanting to stick to a set list that you thoughtfully crafted. So party on, Ben. Even if you didn't play one of my favorite songs in the entire world, "Gamble Everything For Love." I still love you.
"Hey, I just want to let you guys know--I don't really do encores. If you want to get the full rock show experience, maybe I can turn around for a minute and you guys can clap or something? Or I can just do a stage dive?"
Okay, when I'm standing two feet from anyone who declares their intention to dive off the stage on top of me, I get a little nervous. Thank God he spared my life and jumped off our table on to the people behind us. Phew. I could be writing this post from a full body cast if he wasn't so kind. (I mean, the dude's tiny... but maybe you've heard... so am I.)
After the show, the club emptied quickly. Bri and I asked Ben if he would mind getting a picture with us. Grunting a little bit, I hoisted myself up on the bar next to him.