07.09.00 Foxboro, MA

Foxboro Stadium with Ozomatli, Dave Matthews Band

I Was There
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Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Setlist 1969-12-31 - Foxboro Stadium - Foxboro, MA

Ben sang part of DMX's "Party Up" in the intro to "Steal My Kisses."

Who Went

  • bthomps26's picture
  • Nancy's picture
  • dmouli's picture


julysmile84185's picture

Inexpressible emotion is the best way to explain the second day at Foxboro Stadium. The whole day has been on the gloomy side; clouds cover the sky just taunting all of us with the thought of rain. Eventually, at 6:30 p.m., the wind starts blowing and raindrops fall. Some rush to find a poncho or a trash bag that they can use to stay relatively dry. The time at which Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are going on stage is creeping up, so she couldn't care less whether she is dry or not. Having the feeling that today is going to be the day for a memorable show, she finds a way to get down on the field. She gets to fourth row center and decides to stop there because the guys are about to go on. Dave Matthews walks up to a mic and gives an introduction that satisfies die-hard Ben Harper and IC fans because he tells everyone that he has taken a liking to the guys' music and hopes that everyone will be able to feel that connection as well. That being said, the guys take the stage and start with "Faded." One break before the instrumental and one after really gets the blood flowing through the crowd, and more people move toward the front. Ben considers those who are in the back of the stadium and says "hi" and gives a peace sign. He greets the "front row crew" before letting out a sly and quick, "touch yo'self" to kick off "Ground On Down." She smiles at Ben's spirit and energy. For some reason it feels like the rain might just be another way to transmit the power of the music because everyone is up and dancing, almost realizing that there isn't a show tomorrow. Ben props up his guitar to show the crowd and educates them as to why it is that he sits down to play. "It's not that I'm tired or lazy," but that the guitar he plays so often is a lap-slide. If that wasn't surprising enough, he introduces "Forgiven" and gives the closest explanation of the song as possible. "It's not necessarily forgiving someone; it can be another level of forgiveness; it can be any kind you like." After Dean really pumps it out on the drums and the song ends, she hopes for song that hasn't been played yet. She watches Tom Tyler carefully; what guitar is he bringing out? Ooohhh yes! she yells silently to herself. Yup, it's definitely the one. She waits with others in anticipation until Dean intros with the cymbals (tu-nanata-tata), and then she belts out a cheer for "Gold To Me." So many more people stand up, dance, sing along, and confess that they just love this song. This leads so smoothly into "Fight For Your Mind" that if you weren't expecting it, you just might miss the transition. Juan throws out an incredible amount of energy with his bass lines, which forces her to dance even more. Knowing the jam that is approaching, she watches Juan as he steps to his mic and begins a vocal and bass jam. He then moves down stage to continue the long-awaited solo jam. The audience is practically on fire when Juan shouts out, "Thank you Boston" at the end of his jam. Ben introduces Juan, Dean, and David and thanks DMB again for having them on the tour. "We are Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals" cues "Burn One Down." Now the audience is really on fire; everywhere she looks there are people clapping the beat. Amazing there are so many people getting into the music; what a wonderful, warm-chilling feeling! Ben Harper and the IC play a close to bluesy-feeling "Woman in You" rather than "Manic Depression." A super harsh break only increases the crazy energy that fills the stadium; no music is heard until after Ben solos in with an extremely powerful and lyrical "half a man." The music intensifies the energy once more, and Ben rocks back and forth in his chair while wailing "woman." The power of the music is matched by the strength of the cheers from the crowd. Nick Rich takes his position on stage and leads in with his beat, and after the first round, Ben kicks in "ya'll gonna make me lose my mind, ova here, ova here" and follows that up with the guitar lead into "Steal My Kisses." She looks around and sees nothing but raindrop-covered smiling faces. Juan steps down stage and solos, Nick keeps it truckin', and Ben gets up and dances more than ever before. Ben faces Nick and moves to the beat; Dean appears, and everyone jumps together next to Ben's riser. Being so thrilled, she begins to jump as high as she can. The audience claps the beat and continues it even after the song ends. Ben gives thanks, and they all disappear to backstage. Unbelievable! Incredible! Her instincts were right on; it was the best so far! People all around her keep asking who that was and making inspiring comments ("I've never seen these guys before, and they just blew me away!" "This guy rocks!"). The energy from the band and the music really reached everyone in the stadium. The rain, which had paused for the performance, has begun to fall again. She walks in the rain holding onto what the show left behind: a blissful feeling.