07.24.97 San Francisco, CA

Warfield Theatre with Coolbone, DJ Evil Vince

I Was There
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Eric and EJ of the Eric Person Trio joined the band on "Gold To Me", "Fight For Your Mind", and "Mama''s Trippin''."

Who Went

  • Positivevibes420's picture
  • slowbucket's picture
  • shipwreck's picture
  • steveganz's picture
  • slowbucket45737's picture


thepaleballer57378's picture

I'm pretty sure it was the first of the two shows ben & co. did at the warfield on summer weekend in the city. this is when ben really hit home with me. he became my hendrix, my beatles, my marley, this is when he became my roots.
i had been to a few shows before and i've been to many since, but on this night he did something that i had never seen, heard, or felt from him or any other artist since:
on 'welcome to the cruel world' he closes with the maya angelou poem 'i will rise.' on the album it is beautiful, melodic, and invokes a spirit of an inner warrior and a willful conscience. so, on this night, in the city ben and the criminals put on a great show in a great venue. i arrived early and was able to secure my spot leaning on the stage right in front of juan... sweet. so after they were finished with a soulful and blazing set, ben and the criminals leave the stage.
we all stink of weed, beer, and patchouli oil, we all are tired and want more,we start to call him back out. cheers, whistles, addorations, joints, pipes, wondering.
then ben comes back out. by himself. one spotlight remains on him, center stage, only that glow lights the hall. he approaches the mic and pulls it towards his head, standing as oppose to his usual seated position. he stops, and breathes, and takes 2 or three steps back from the mic, aims his voice to the balcony, or god, closes his eyes, in prayer, raises his right fist in the air, in tradition, and then he sang.
you may write me down in history
with your bitter twisted lies
you may trod me down in the very dirt
and still like the dust i rise
does my hapiness upset you
why are you best with gloom
cause i laugh like i've got an oile well
pumpin in my livin room

never have felt a moment so complete and pure and in the now, or now the then. but one so powerful it maintains beach front property in the brain. i was 20 years old and was overwhelmed with the spirituality of that moment listening, feeling the power of this mans' voice, the glow, the aura was transcendant, so powerful it brought so many to tears.
yo tambien.
that was a great fuckin show.
fucking unreal.
i'll carry it with me always,on this path