05.21.01 Spokane, WA

Fox Theatre with Jack Johnson

I Was There
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First full band version of "Suzie Blue" played live tonight.

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anonymous's picture

After two full days off, Ben and the Criminals came out strong and performed for a solid two and a half hours. Dean and Ben had taken advantage of the short break after Salt Lake City to travel down to Los Angeles. Ben arrived in Spokane around 5 pm on the day of the show, in time for a short sound check.

The Fox Theatre proved an interesting location for the show. At only 1600 seats, it was one of the smallest venues on this tour. Early in the day, around noon, workers were busy changing the marquee from the high school symphony performance the previous evening. One worker yelled to the other, "Who's playing tonight?" Just after that, Dean came by, chatted with my friends and I for a while, and signed the stick I snagged at Bumbershoot.

The intimacy of the venue allowed for one first for the band: Suzie Blue with the Criminals joining in. The intro to Ground was one of the best I have ever heard. I had not heard God Fearing Man at a show for quite some time, so that was a highlight for me, especially as the opener.

At one point Ben commented on the foolishness of having so many compuers running in the world while we are having such an energy crisis going on. A generator running outside the venue, which could be heard during the acoustic encore, powered the show. This probably had to do with the theatre's physical state and the fact that it is currently undergoing restoration efforts.

Perhaps Ben played a bit more than rested while in L.A., as after the final encore he headed straight for the bus and went to sleep. David, Nick, and Vince were all out and chatted away for a while after the show was over.

All in all this show was excellent. I am looking forward to seeing Ben and the boys in such a variety of venues in only four days. A little larger on Wednesday outdoors at the Plaza of Nations (capacity 4500), and full-sized arena rock at the Key Arena (capacity 17,000).