08.18.02 Englewood, CO

Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre with Widespread Panic, Spearhead, Angelique Kidjo

I Was There
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After a set from Spearhead, Ben took the stage for an hour-long acoustic set. He treated the fans in the crowd to an alternate version of "Steal My Kisses", and was joined by Leon Mobley late in set on "Forever" and "Burn One Down/With My Own Two Hands." Leon also sat in on djembe with headliner Widespread Panic for their song "Drums."

Who Went

  • sroyer55's picture
  • mtndee's picture
  • FACharles's picture
  • Joshua Stokes's picture
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anonymous's picture

Mobile (Alabama) is hosting their annual three day'Bayfest' where part of downtown is fenced off and several artists and groups play on at least seven stages. I found this website after typing in several unkind adjectives followed by the term 'Widespread Panic fans.'

This was my second Widespread Panic show and and the crowd's behavior was identical in spirit as happened during the first show two years ago. There simply are no words that will adequately describe the behavior of the WSP fans at tonights show. It was simply and totally outrageous.

I cannot wrap my mind around the concept and motivation for people of their ilk to act so RUDE, OBNOXIOUS, HOSTILE, ARROGANT, CONDESCENDING, TOTALLY FAKE, IGNORANT, SELF-DELUDED, and ATTEMPTING TO PROVOKE PHYSICAL CONFRONTATIONS. It just defies all reason and logic.

I arrived to the venue several hours before the show to ensure I'd would be located on the front rail giving me a clean shot with which to photograph the band. Several people would weasel their way in front of me and when I said something to them they looked at my like I came from another planet and copped a hostile attitude thereafter.

After the first set there were five @hole males that were two or three people away on either side of my location during the first half. They made it a point to move directly in front of me and when the second set started these jerks purposefully put their hands in the air so that didn't have a clear shot of any of WSP and was unable to photograph the remaining portion of the show.

I had to tell one of the these thugs to give me my space as he keep moving back while he was attempting some quasi-dance move. Once he actually bumped his @ into me at which point I said something to him and he too copped that trademark hostile attitude. I wanted to beat the living daylights out this guy but wasn't sure what his fellow nitwits would do.

Can anyone explain why WSP fans behave and act as they do? I've NEVER been to any concert in my life where I was subjected to such abuse. These ignorant b@tard need to remember that there are some people that are prepared to defend themselves with a variety of tools made just for that purpose. Perpetrate physical violence on my physical person and you run the risk of great personal injury or death.

I'd like to say to Ben that you are not alone when it comes to being on the recieving end of crass, juvenille and uncivilized behavior from genuienly ignorant and malevelant people. I'm sorry that you experience what you did.

Thanks for letting me ventilate. I thought I was alone when it came to the WSP fans. For just a brief time I thought that there was something wrong with me but I quickliy dispensed with that notion.

Kind regards,

Tony B.


anonymous's picture

i love panic, but damn... i try sticking up for most panic kids, but some of them need to get a clue... i feel so sorry ben harper had to play to a crowd like that... also, the city of denver either needs to close fiddlers green or let them turn up the volume... its rediculous to pay to go to a concert you can't hear because of city ordinances... great setlist, just wish i could've heard it...

anonymous's picture

I have to agree with the general concensus about this show. This was my 5th Ben show, and as always, he amazes me vocally. But the WSP fans were being jerks, not at all respectful. If you have to talk loud, go chill farther away from the stage. After a awesome opening by Spearhead, you'd think people would be hyped up for Ben, but this didn't seem to be the case. Also Ben seemed to be in a bit of a funk, he def. didn't seem to be his normal smiling self. That may have had something to do with the crowd and sound, again, Ben some of us do really appreciate you.

jamezone156436's picture

After amazing sets by Angelique Kidjo
and, Michael Franti and Spearhead.
I was hyped to see Ben once again.
His set was powerful until the WSP
fans showed up drunk on their cell phones standing up waving to their friends on the lawn, though we had
good seats still had a tough time
filtering through the "crap" and
hearing Ben.....I like, many others
on these reviews and more out there
wished I could apologize for the "rude
fake hippies" as stated in one of the
reviews and hoped Ben could do it all
over again
Much Love to Ben and The IC
Widespread is just thin

justin.patti89180's picture

I couldn't agree with Ethan more. The set was awesome, but I was sitting in the green and everyone around me was there to see WSP and didn't care about what was going on while Ben was on stage. I was so pissed because Ben was the main reason I went to that show. I live in Boulder and it would be great to see Ben at the Fox, or some place like it where the only people there are Ben Harper fans and are there to enjoy the show.

kp_hyde35009's picture

Ben played a very good show. The crowd may have been loud and at times you could here Jerry joseph on the 2nd stage, but to hear a solo-accoustic set from Ben is always a treat. It really shows his amazing voice and really brings out the emotion he puts into his work. The crowd was typical of any festival, it was same type of situation last summer at Steamboat with SCI. At least then the you could hear some crowd response to Burn One Down into My own Two Hands. Besides, I am happy to see him at a festival than not at all. Nevertheless, Ben was amazing and I can't wait to see him again on his own tour.

tbann124250's picture

I love everything about the music Ben plays. First off, I enjoyed the show and he met most of my expectations. Most of the set was Ben on the accoustic, a few songs on the Wiesen, and Please Bleed on the electic(fantastic!), one cover (The Verve's "The Drugs Dont Work"), and his new one "When It's Good". Although the main reason I am writing this is to share my opinion in regard to the others posted. It seems as though many people were disapointed with the set. I think the crowd may have been more "respectful" if he had played a more upbeat set i.e. a Jimmy or Bob cover, some more songs on the electric, or play with the crimminals. You know, more energy for those who aren't as familier with his music. That doesn't matter though. The fact is that he was there to play a 90 min. accoustic set (which is exeactly what he did). The quality of the songs, I thought, was crisp, soothing, and emaculate! As for the concerns about the sound I cant relate to. From the fourth row, everything sounded magnificent (except for the people talking of course). Also, it may be a hunch, but I wasn't expecting an encore. Save that for the headliner (right?). Finally, being that their were other bands thier with there own fans, people talking is a given. I dont want to offend others who posted reiviews, but I think their concerns with the crowds respectfulness is a bit to critical. Relax a little. Till next time!

P.S. If you didn't notice, the first threee songs played are tracks 10-11-12 on Right For Your Mind. Nice touch!

taylorkoa2242638's picture

I have to start out by saying that Ben has one of the greatest voices I have ever heard. It shakes you. But when you drive six hours and the crowd and sound sucks, you get pissed off. We were in the lower grass area and you could hear the bands on the second stage better than Ben. Also, almost no one was paying any attention to him accept a few of us. I wish I could apologize to him for everyone. What songs did come through clear were fucking bad. Like another review I read, we too did not stick around for WSP. This is the second time I have seen him (with Dave Matthews in 2000 at Mile High), and I hope to see him many more times. Thanks from Albuquerque.

anonymous's picture

Well I am not gonna harp on the whole crowd thing. Let's just say that I am willing to bet that is the last time Ben shares the stage with WSP.

On to the show. We managed to score descent seats dead center about 15 rows back. There were a lot of empty seats around me and it was relatively mellow aside form the constant chatter from the fans who were oblivious to Ben's music.

The security was tight and they prevented anyone from getting down low in front of the stage.

Ben's set was mostly acoustic and somewhat quiet. There was a second stage that you could hear converging on some of Ben's quiet stuff. I felt bad for the people who were into Ben and in the way back.

The highlight for me was the solo acoustic country version of Steal My Kisses. What a great rendition.

One song was LOUD and that was Please Bleed. It blew my eardrums out it was so heavy and distorted.

When Burn One Down came on everyone lit up and got into the set a little. Leon managed to get some of the crowd to clap along during 2 hands. After that, Ben walked off the stage and didn't come back out. I just sat there stunned that he didn't do an encore.

This was a somewhat disappointing show mainly due to the shitty venue and close-minded crowd.


anonymous's picture

first of all, Ben was awesome, I marvel at the incredible'ness of his voice and his guitar playing. THis was the first time i've seen him live, and it was excellent, and not even drunken assholes who won't shut up could completely ruin it. but they came close. The crowd was incredibly rude and i could tell that ben was not very happy with us. I felt bad and wanted to apologize to him for having to play for a bunch obnoxious fake hippies. Not everyone was rude though, and i'm sure if you had better seats, you cold enjoy the show more, but I was so pissed off after ben got done that i left and didn't even stay fro WSP. NOthing against them, they're awesome, but I just couldn't take anymore.
I hope that ben plays some smaller, more intimate venues with better crowds when he starts touring again, so i can get the true experience