07.12.00 East Rutherford, NJ

Giants Stadium with Ozomatli, Dave Matthews Band

I Was There
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Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Setlist 1969-12-31 - Giants Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ

Ben finished the set with "Walk Away" upon hearing a request from a fan in the crowd.

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anonymous's picture

While I admit to being a huge DMB fan I chose this show to get tickets to because I knew Ben would be opening. I had never seen BH&IC before even though I own about five albums, all of which I adore. So I am writing this review to simply say they were fantastic. I too was sorry that they recieved less than exstatic applause for their appearance but there were MORE than just a few of us cheering them on. I always feel kinda bad for openers of most concerts because many folks rudly ignore the show or talk amongst themselves instead of watching. If you think the response was bad at this show you should've seen Macy Grays while opening for Dave in Atlanta this year. Anyway I was really pleased with the show and 'Walk Away' was just unbelievable. He couldn't have picked a better crowd to sing 'Burn To Shine' to either. :)

julysmile84185's picture

Supposedly the forecast called for scattered showers, but the only thing falling from the sky was the heat from the sun. People arrive early to get the ideal parking spot and prepare their portable barbecues for a pre-show party. It's important to stay hydrated on a hot day like this, so she tries to drink as much water as she can before the show. The sun never seems to tire. Once again, she lags. Rushing over to Gate D, she realizes that her seat is on the tip-top level. She has the choice to run up a cement spiral to the third level or take the escalator. Surprisingly, no one is on the escalator, so she runs up that and takes a quick right at the top, continuing to run towards Section 321. People look at her as if there is no reason to run, but how can she not? Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are on stage and playing "Glory and Consequence!" She gets to her seat in just enough time to hear the end of the second chorus. Lifting her hand to block the sun from blinding her, she sees that the stadium is only a quarter full and approximately five people are dancing! Are people hearing this, or are they just tired and need to sit? "Faded" and "Burn To Shine" sound and feel like they're on fire. Ben holds up a guitar and tells the crowd, "This is a lap slide guitar and...that's what it is." He then jokingly makes a comment about Dean lookin' sexy not wearing any clothes while playing "yeah, he and Flea." Ben introduces "Forgiven," explaining that it isn't about forgiving someone, but that "forgiveness can mean so many things or nothing to some. This is just a song about being forgiven." It starts in with the lyrical intro, which carries her through the song practically floating. Dean marks a spectacular finish as multi-colored lights flash to the beat. Ben introduces "the mighty Juan," gives a "shot out to the back; how are your noses up there?", introduces Dean, and David who is a New York native and a huge Knicks fan. Ben announces the next song as "The Woman in You is the worry in me, which is actually the chorus, but the name of the song is 'The Woman In You'." Man, he must have held "woman" for close to 15 seconds! Tonight's version of "Burn One Down" is one of the most beautiful performances to which she had listened. Since she is in the top level and straight across from the stage with the strong sun in her face, it is a good thing that she can hear the song because it is difficult to see what's happening on stage. "Manic Depression" gets a guy in the front row of her section head-banging, has one of the longest jamming finales that she has heard in a while, and receives a large applause. Ben introduces Nick Rich as he comes on stage, and it's time for "Steal My Kisses." As she had hoped, it gets the response that the guys deserve for all the songs; people are mouthing the words and dancing while sitting and standing. Juan lays out his solo, and Nick kicks it with his beat while Ben stands. There isn't any jumping tonight, and when Dean walks down stage to lead the audience in a clap, there is little response. The song seems to end quickly, and all of the guys leave the stage except for Ben, who takes his seat once more. She wonders what is going on? Just then, Ben begins playing "Walk Away." This is the first acoustic song Ben has played during this tour. It's always a privilege to listen to his acoustic songs, and, unfortunately, most of the stadium was less than attentive. The sun disappears behind the stage side of the stadium, and Ben gets up from his chair and walks off stage without speaking another word. Saddened by the poor response, she leaves her seat and quietly moves through the people waiting for DMB. Descending the spiral walkway, she stops to watch the sun set behind the horizon as more people chug their beers at the entrance in order to enter the stadium. She exits, knowing that the power instilled in the music of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals is silent and far more intense than most people realize, just like the sun.