06.10.00 Melbourne, Australia

Festival Hall with Wicked Beat Sound System

I Was There
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Ben spoke about Aboriginal reconciliation, and how the reconciliation march in Sydney a few days before had warmed his heart. He said he felt excited for the future because the time was coming when our generation would be stepping into the shoes of the "pasty old men...and they're always men..." in government. He also made a joke about one of his parents being black and the other white, so he had the right to hate both races equally...and quickly made sure everyone knew he was joking :) At one point, someone yelled out, "We can't help loving you Ben!" Ben stopped and said how he loved the fans too. During "Steal My Kisses" Ben stopped playing and danced with the band while the bass and percussion solos were being played. "I'll Rise" was sung without guitar with Ben standing in the middle of the stage with one fist raised. Towards the end he stepped away from the microphone and sung without it, stopping the crowd screaming with a gesture. Everyone was silent until he finished, then went crazy.

Who Went

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andrewcrance31662's picture

For an introduction to Ben Harper live in performance this was a very lucky roll.

Firstly the reasonably priced tickets went against the trends of other international artists at the time, this indicated that giving access to the message and the music was paramount. The positive energetic and genuine feeling from the audience was enchanting. The crowd was filled with natural sincere beauty and committed fans of the calibre that only the likes of Ben and TIC can attract.

With an eruption of everything live rock music should be with 'Glory and Consequence' the band instantaneously showed why they had began to be regarded as one of the best live acts on the Planet.

Halfway through the performance the band left the stage far to early for an encore? This concert was prior to the release of 'Live from Mars' and much of the crowd were unfamiliar with Ben's live formula. It's amazing how Ben moves between genera's and intensities beyond that captured in his previously released music. Ben returned moments later to sit Solo with one acoustic guitar in hand. In this we had moved from the intense rock of the previous set to pure solo folk What followed was a feeling of intimacy only ever reached by few. With voices from both sexes repetitively erupting with expressions of love everyone was on a higher level.

With a recent report of Ben undergoing some personal changes and receiving a large tattoo he was requested by an audience member to share the art. Hesitantly he removed his shirt to show the tattoo adorned on his torso. He then went onto thank his Australian and New Zealand friends in the audience one of which was the Tattoo artist.

With the hormones pumping and the elated feeling throughout the venue one couldn't ask for much more in a concert? But Ban had something up his sleeve! The recorded track 'I'll Rise' is a brilliant work, reproducing and sharing an empowering piece of poetry. To make the sentiments expressed in such brilliant text translate, all a performer has is the sincerity of their presentation. On the 10.6.2000 to remove any doubt that every word uttered by Ben in the previous 2.5 hours of performance had some how "faded" even after some 10 years of live performance, Ben free of the microphone and 'mouth to ear' was beyond words

Later a friend and committed music fan described the performance to me,
"That was the best concert I've ever seen!"

I felt the same, but wanting to be sure the hormones and intensity of the moment weren't getting the better of him I asked again some months later. "Friend you've seen Tool, RATM, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Jack Johnson, Powder Finger, Pearl Jam, Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, The RHCP, Nick Cave & The Dirty Three All in live performance over the years which would you say was the best concert you've been to?"

"Ben Harper Festival Hall 2000
That was the best concert I've ever seen!"

Thank you Ben and TIC etc,
"I believe and we shall never part"