10.07.99 Davis, CA

Recreation Hall University of California, Davis with Joseph Arthur

I Was There
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The show started with Dean kicking into a beat, then Juan joining in and David adding some great percussion. Ben stood center stage and with fist clenched and raised, sang "I'll Rise." At one point, Ben said that with more songs to choose from means he can only perform fewer songs each night. He then took a poll to see who would prefer a medly of one-minute snipets of several songs, or fewer songs at full length. He acknowledged the vote as a tie. Someone in the crowd decided he would choose the song and screamed out "Freebird". Ben responded by singing "I'm as free as a bird now" in a very soulful voice. During the encore, one woman yelled out, "How was Ireland" to which Ben replied, "Ireland was the bomb, thanks for asking." He proceeded to say how good the beer was, that he had drank too much, and then snickered "Yeah, oppression's a drag." The first encore was performed solo acoustic. Check out a review of the show at SECTION 3.

Who Went

  • Positivevibes420's picture
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sillydream's picture

I was pretty stoked to learn Ben was playing @ U.C. Davis. It was an odd setting...I felt like the Rec Hall should have been packed...I mean, it was Ben Harper : ) then this quirky, eccentric dude walks onto stage with a harmonica wrapped around his neck, a guitar and stacks of keyboards and sound machines. He made a few noises, then played them back. Made some more noises & played them back along with the previously recorded stuff and then just breaks into the funkiest, downright cool tunes and starts singing & slammin' his harmonica to it all. Joseph Arthur the Star was born [okay in my mind anyway]. I LOVED that guy opening for Ben Harper...I'm still, to this day, a junkie when it comes to his music and art. Alas, he didn't steal the show, however the funki groovin' carried on with Ben & the guys as they took stage. I made it pretty close to the front of the stage for this show and it was awesome seeing the playful energy exuding from the guys...there was so much positivity and you could really feel that they loved what they were doing. Music has the ability to evoke & instill so much emotion in those who listen and let it feel their souls, I carry with me today, memories and emotion from that very night.