07.13.00 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

Who Went

  • Nancy's picture


julysmile84185's picture

Clouds cool the temperature today and lure people out early to have a good time before the show. Buses pull up and drop off full loads of people in front of the Ben Harper and Innocent Criminals' trailer. Groups of people stop to listen to downloads of live BH and IC tracks on the MP3 music clip, which will be given away in a drawing later tonight. It's about 6:35p.m.; Ozomatli just finished their set, and she decides that it's about time to go inside. Finding her seat early today, she sees Dave Matthews come out to introduce his "very, very good friends...Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals." She stands and watches as David steps down stage and Juan takes his position without his bass. Ahha, it has got to be....and then it begins..."Oppression!" It just puts out that rhythm that makes her feet and body move through the whole song and into "Get Up Stand Up." Ben sings, "we can never give up" solo, while David, Dean, and Juan continue the beat. During "Glory and Consequence," Juan cruises to stage right and then back to left, working the crowd along the way. Just before Ben announces "Burn To Shine," someone compliments his blue T-shirt with red lettering, and he responds, "You like that? A friend gave it to me last night." The energy from "Burn To Shine" keeps those in the front sections up and groovin'. Ben gives two thank you's, says hello to people on the side sections of the stadium, and talks it up with a Knicks fan who is close to the stage, "Think you'll get Bryan Grant?...you can't lose Spreewell...unless he comes to the Lakers, ooh." Smiling at those comments, she hears the intro to "Ground On Down." The guys rip it up, to say the least, and warm it up for a faster tempoed "Excuse Me Mr.." Ben releases wails of exquisite beauty to end the song. Dave and Juan take the down stage for "Burn One Down," and the crowd demonstrates their approval by dancing and applauding. Immediately before the song ends, Dave and Juan face each other and slowly step towards center stage while jammin' it out. Ben tells everyone that he got some new, steel blue Converse today, and he lifts his foot in the air so people can see the shoes. A talkative person down front asks Ben for the shoes, and Ben replies, "What would you do with my shoes?" The two covers of "Sexual Healing" and "Manic Depression" truly satisfy those who are paying attention and keep those who know the songs well smiling and moving. Ben introduces the whole band to the crowd just before Dean counts off "Steal My Kisses." Tonight there is a clap on the beat, which she can hear well. Ben dances and steps over onto Dean's riser while Nick and David show off for the crowd. Dean cuts out the drums and comes out onto Ben's riser to lead the audience in clapping. The guys jump together, Dean and David spread out to each corner of the stage to continue the crowd clapping, and Nick powers it out to end the song. Ben gives a "thank you" and exits stage right. Being that she only came to see Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, she searches for a way to leave the stadium. She makes her way out of the seats only to be approached by a guy, who comments, "You just kept moving for the whole set!! How did you do that?" Thinking to herself, how could she not?...the energy from the music just kept her going, she just smiles in response. He says, "Everybody in the section was thinking that you're on drugs...do you do that for all of DMB's set, too?" "Well," she laughs incredulously at the comment about being on drugs and says, "No, I only came to see Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. The energy and emotion transmitted through their music keeps me dancing for hours." He smiles in understanding and says, "Take care." She proceeds to walk through the tunnel towards the exit, sure that the guy will remember the music of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.