This is rather old, and it's most unlikely that anyone will read it, but for what it's worth this concert was an incredible experience for me. I was still in high school at the time and went with my "cool aunt" who offered me weed on the way to the show.
The music was great and I was (and am) a huge fan and feel very strongly about the topics of Ben Harper's music. Thanks to everyone who is responsible for what's happening here. I return to this music intermittently and it has been a touchstone in my life. Peace.
Simply put - the most incredible concert of my life. I thank Ben and the Innocent Criminals and also all the people there for making that such an experience for me.
The sun begins to set, and she is late for the Ben Harper and Innocent Criminal show at the Plaza of Nations in Vancouver, B.C. She is extremely close to the venue when she notices the line, which is stagnant and close to a quarter of a mile long. She cruises along the curves in the path of the line, trying to find a small break into which she may slyly squeeze. Amazingly, upon entering the venue, the floor is already packed tightly with people who are patiently standing and waiting for BH and the IC to perform. She makes a spot for herself, standing outside of the crowd. Unfortunately, due to the stand of speakers, her view is restricted. Looking upward, she admires the glass-covered, multi-angled, white structure, which creates the form of this venue. She feels the relaxing energy of an outside venue once again. It's 8:50p.m.; the people, who were once in line, are now filling in the empty spaces in the crowd. The Innocent Criminals and Ben walk on stage, and enthusiasm fills the air. "Burn To Shine" gets things rolling as people continue to migrate inside. Three, extra-large, blue balloons float through the space above the audience and land on stage during "Glory and Consequence." Nick Rich and Joshua Arroyo take care of it by throwing the air balls off stage right into the backstage area. Ben introduces the IC and thanks the Alvin Youngblood Hart band before playing a sweet intro. to a soul-warming "Please Bleed." While she holds onto the emotion of the song, an individual attempts to call out the next song. "Burn One Down" gets the crowd pumped. Everyone appears to be excited and extremely happy. A guy down on the floor, just to house left of Ben, lights up a joint the size of a banana! As the cloud of smoke rises from the crowd, people begin to cheer loudly. Ben, laughingly, makes a comment about the tight security and moves into "Excuse Me Mr., " which sounds less spoken but sung instead. The crowd's response is overwhelming. More people move into the crowd, dancing when the guys transition into Marley's "Burnin' and Lootin'." The guys rip through "Forgiven" and into "Faded." Ben plays a sweet and long jam as the transition from the lyrical to the instrumental part of the song. A sharp beat ends "Faded," and, without any time, the guys start in on "Whipping Boy." A few security people, who appear to be on a mission, shove their way into the crowd. The music is right on, which keeps the good energy flyin'. Ben thanks the crowd and begins to sing "By My Side," which receives an audience of silence. Ben dedicates the next song to Curtis Mayfield. "Woman In You" is strongly delivered. A slightly new yet familiar sound creates a rhythm, which causes her to dance more intensely than any time before. Juan grooves during his solo in "Steal My Kisses." The entire crowd jumps up and down, following the lead of Nick Rich and Juan Nelson. Screams and cheers are released from the crowd as the song ends, and the waiting for an encore begins. She can only see Ben's shadow on the wall upstage as he takes the stage for the acoustic set. He waves to the audience and sits to play "Another Lonely Day." The crowd quietly sings along. In the middle of "Not Fire, Not Ice," a few people yell out confessions of love for Ben. Ben tells the people that "Not Fire, Not Ice" almost made it onto the "Fight For Your Mind" album, but there wasn't enough time. "Beloved One" gives her chills and truly sets her in the mood for "I Shall Not Walk Alone." Ben ends his set and exits stage right, only to return with Dean, David, and Juan for the last, but not least, encore. "Touch From Your Lust" just keeps getting tighter with its incredible jam and chorus lines. "Sexual Healing" excites the crowd to a level where they actually get the beat and clap along to the end. Ben pauses and says, "Thanks for being here. You guys are the straight up bomb." He introduces the band once more just before they blast into "Ground On Down." "Manic Depression" ends in faster tempos with more and different wails. It's 11:11p.m., and the evening has come to an end. She finds her acquaintances and sits on the ground, talking about the show and sharing the most memorable parts of the concert.