08.18.00 Park City, UT

Deer Valley Amphitheater with Alvin Youngblood Hart

I Was There
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Just before "People Lead", Juan teased a bit of "Whole Lotta Love." Ben joined in and quickly stopped.

Who Went

  • Leaphart3's picture


anonymous's picture

Probably one of my most favorite Ben Harper shows... being outdoors in beautiful Deer Valley among thousands of beautiful happy people was wonderful. Then it began to rain, and everyone just covered their heads with blankets, or just enjoyed the moisture. Ben was magical as he always is... every time I see him live I love his music more and more. He plays and sings with such amazing soul and spirit-not a single person in the crowd goes without being moved. And you can feel Bens love for his fans. I could feel it particularly at this concert. What can I say-Ben is amazing. I love him!

anonymous's picture

I have been to two Ben Harper concerts now, this one being the first. The Deer Valley concert in Park City was the best concert I have been to in my entire life, and I've been to some great concerts. I love their music and their style. The sound was great in the outdoor ampitheater. Juan Nelson is the coolest bass player I've ever seen. It was a miracle that it rained all day except while Ben was playing. I love the lap-sliding guitar. Please come back to Park City some time. The Salt Lake concert was also great, but the sound and the atmosphere isn't as good as outdoor. Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are the best!
Logan Campbell

julysmile84185's picture

Only a few more hours to hold her breath. Deer Valley Amphitheater at Park City, Utah is a small outdoor venue at the base of two chairlifts. There are two buildings that sit at the entrance; one of which is a ski lodge. Funny thing is...it looks temporary or 'in the works.' She walks up from the first tier of parking toward the mountain, hearing the faint sounds of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals doing a sound check. The music sounds more clearly as she approaches the amphitheater. People are forming a small group near the entrance to the concert area; some are sitting, others are tossing a Frisbee around, or playing with a hacky sack. It begins to rain at 4:10p.m., while she is standing near the merchandise stand, observing the activity. The rain is cold and causes people to change everything they're doing. They start to move their coolers back to their cars and put on something to keep warm. The rain passes in under 15 minutes, leaving 40 minutes to wait for the gate to open. However, it has so quickly become 5:20p.m. and the gate is still closed. Fortunately, people begin moving forward and into the venue 10 minutes later. She cruises to the front of the seating area, places her bag down next to the green plastic barricade, and heads over to the concession stand to receive the 'gourmet picnic basket' that came with her ticket. As it turns out...it's an actual basket filled with many tasty goodies. Somehow, she had paid only a dollar more for the GA ticket with the basket than the plain GA ticket! What a deal! It begins to rain a few minutes before Alvin Youngblood Hart takes the stage, and it rains for the entire 45 minutes of his set. Luckily, and without surprise, the rain stops when Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals take position on stage. Approximately 4,000 people are soaking wet and loving it! Ben thanks the crowd for hanging out in the rain, "you're too good." The guys start in with "Burn To Shine." There couldn't be a better way to warm people up. It feels like one huge backyard party! The energy is increasing when Juan and Dean throw down a sweet beat at the end of "Glory and Consequence." Ben lays down a few harsh and sharp measures as an intro. To "Ground On Down" and begins singing it in a higher pitch than she is used to hearing. At the end of the jam Ben picks up his lap slide and pushes it towards Juan. The crowd is surging! The metal barricades that are in the front center of the crowd are about to go because so many people are pushing forward. The song ends and Ben gives thanks to Alvin Youngblood Hart, "our paths cross all the time." A girl to the right of her is screaming Ben's name and is holding out a bouquet of flowers. Ben sees her and points to her, "If those flowers are for me, I'm getting 'em." She shrieks in response and excitement. David steps downstage and it's time for "Burn One Down." The crowd sings along and a familiar aroma fills the damp air. During "People Lead" the crowd gives out an incredible response to the lyrics, "you can put a man through school, but you cannot make him think." She finds this to be understandable because classes start for most people on Monday or the following week. However, these words don't have the same message for her...they are slightly deeper...just thinking that one can be 'educated,' but not all have a mind of their own to question anything and everything possible. The end of the song is marked by a bum-bah-bah beat. Just before "Forgiven" starts, Ben sees the flowers in the crowd once again and gets up from his seat to walk out to get them. The stage rises only three feet above the ground, so this is not a dangerous feat although it turns out to be. As Ben gets closer to the crowd the space between people disappears and the crowd lunges forward. The girl passes the flowers to Ben, he quickly kisses the back of her hand and bolts back to the stage. "Forgiven" kept people quiet and actually listening to the spiritually vocal-instrumental intro. Ben becomes a talking machine when the song ends. Ben says, "I need to work on my posture" as he straightens his back up. He then introduces Juan, Dean, and David to the audience and gives thanks to the road crew and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Ben points back at David, "look at how much stuff David has. That's a lot of stuff to bang around on. What do you have back there?" David shows off his set of stuff, even the "sensitive stuff," as Ben put it. On that note, they just blaze through "Faded," getting the crowd even closer together and more excited. The crowd is so incredibly enthusiastic, that during "Whipping Boy" the guys have to work extra hard to overpower the sound of the crowd. Juan gives a small scratch lead into an emotional "Woman In You." Ben jostles in his seat, as if he were stuck to it, while repeating the words, "in me." When the song ends Ben asks the audience who wants his slide, then tossing it to a guy in the front with blonde hair. Ben comments, "This is the Q and A part of the set." Someone asks where he got his shirt. He hesitates and replies with a smile, "from a friend." Ben changes the subject to his guitar. He says, "This is a lap slide guitar. Since I am a complete guitar geek, I just assume that you all know what this is. It's a semi-hollow, semi-solid lap slide guitar. It was made in Australia." The title track to the third record is announced, "The Will To Live." The song is rockin'! Apparently, it is rockin' so hard that a guy who is trippin' out on some funky drugs tramples a bunch of people in the front right section before being discarded by the security. Nick Rich walks out on stage sportin' the 'Innocent Criminal' sweatshirt for "Steal My Kisses." People all around her are singing and screaming so loudly that her ears are vibrating. The song ends and the crowd begins to chant, "Ben, Ben, Ben." Hands of people in the crowd rise, holding lighters to indicate patience. About five minutes later, Ben walks out on stage and then stands still on his riser in order to absorb the energy from the crowd. He sits down and says, "thank you, you guys are too good. I feel so privileged to be here for you guys. I feel so strongly about so many things... I don't think that parents should resort to hitting their kids...I know I deserved every whipping I got...that's strange...maybe I didn't." Without hesitation, he moves right through "Widow Of A Living Man" and "Another Lonely Day." She breathes in the cool mountain air feeling warmed inside by the words of these songs. Ben pauses, "Thank you so much. I may say that too often, but." It can only keep getting better. As soon as Ben asks the audience, "Who has a friend?" She knows that he is going to play one of her all time favorite songs. Before the song starts, Ben talks about his parents and their good taste in music. Then he goes deeper on that subject and ends up saying that his parents would be Ben Harper fans because of their great taste in music. Everyone in the crowd is grateful to hear Ben compliment himself, even if he wasn't trying to do so. Ben mentions, "you can often judge people by the kind of music they don't like...Ummm...I had a train of thought...trains keep moving." Tonight's version of "Roses From My Friends" is calmly sweet and gorgeous...she knows that it is so special to hear the acoustic of this song. Ben thanks the audience again before getting up and walking to the stage exit directly upstage from his seat. The crowd cheers once more, knowing that they could persuade the guys to come back for a few more. Juan walks out first and picks up his bass, while Ben kind of dances around on his riser before sitting down. "Sexual Healing" is always a crowd pleaser. It just flows so nicely and gives off a tight vibe between people in the crowd. "Please Bleed" isn't as painful as before, but still as intense. She looks up at the sky to see the clouds lit up by lightning. Another downpour is in the works as the guys burn through "Manic Depression." The natural electricity in the air makes for a great combination with "Manic." Ben scratches around on his guitar while David and Dean give away their drumsticks. The feeling in the crowd is full of energy as Dean grabs his jacket and is the last to leave the stage. Standing barefoot in the wet grass, she searches for her sandals amongst the empty cans and plastic bottles. So many people, so much great music...it makes it difficult to leave. However, the clouds release piercing cold rain once more, which influences most to get under a roof of some kind. She slowly walks through the rain and the small river that it's creating on the walkway while speaking with a kind soul. She speaks of love for the music and comments on the wonderfully spectacular vibe that was present here at Deer Valley.