03.30.03 Wellington, New Zealand

Queens Wharf Events Centre with DJ Stinky Jim, Jack Johnson

I Was There
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Who Went

  • Jess's picture


anonymous's picture

OMG was all I cud say when Randy(bens tech) said "yeah man your on the guest list", well after missing half of jack johnson(the half I say kicked some serious ass. When ben came out it WAS like seeing jesus or something, my high light was "widow of a living man". Thanks to Randy for the ticklet, that changed my life bro. ben

tonymoore86's picture

I wrote this for a competition for xstv to win a signed copy of diamonds on the inside but i didnt win so i thought id paste it on here. Ben Harper at Queens Wharf Event Centre in Wellington on the 30th of March was the best day of my life, I went and lined up at the front at 1pm with a mate and waited in line with all the other die hard fans we all talked about his music and even sang some of his songs. When the doors finally opened at 6:30 we sprinted to the barrier I got right in the middle right in front of Ben's Mic. We waited as the crowd slowly filled behind us we made friends with the security guards and they told us how great a guy Ben was, lucky guys met him. Then finally 7:20 came around and Jack Johnson turned up on stage he did an awesome set with all his hits including "Flake, Inaudible Melodies, Bubble Toes, Fortunate Fool and Posters" he did about 5 songs of his new stuff as well as a sublime cover of "Garden Grove" and When he said the line "Finding Roaches in the pot" when it came to Pot he stopped and smiled and let the crowd yell it.
When Ben came out after a 30 minute break the crowd went ballistic he must have realised he was loved so much in Wellington he went straight into "Excuse me Mr" with beautiful vocals by the end of the song he was sweating. "I Shall Not Walk Alone" was the next song, and in this song Ben looked at me I pointed at him and he pointed back at me! It was so cool he then went into some songs off Diamonds on the inside "Brown Eyed Blues" and "Temporary Remedy" during "Brown Eyed Blues" Bassist Juan Nelson did a beautiful bass solo smiling to the crowd then poked his tongue out at the end he looked as though he was having the time of his life up there. He then did "Welcome to the Cruel World", "Gold to me", and in "The Woman in you" he held Wooooommmmmmaaaaannnnnnnnnnn for soooo long it was amazing I was truly stunned. "Steal My kisses" was one of my favourite songs with Ben and all the innocent criminals on stage they got the crowd screaming. Leon Mobley on precussion was cracking me up so much he was blowing kisses to all the chicks in the front row, then he looked at me and saw me cracking up and smiled and blew a kiss to me! All the people round me were patting me on the back I was cracking up. The whole band seems like such laid back, nice guys. To calm everyone down a bit he and the innocents did "Diamonds on the inside" a favourite of mine of the new album. Then did another of my favourites "Amen Omen" with beautiful lyrics "old friends become old strangers between the darkness and the dawn". "So high so low" followed. "Burn One Down" was next, another of my favourites. With Leon on a big drum at his front starting off the song was brilliant to hear live. Ben's vocals you could hardly hear over the cheer from the thousands behind me. After each song Ben Said "Thank you" as if to say if it wasn't for you guys I wouldn't be here. "Burn one down" was the last song before we got him back out for the encores. We all started clapping until our hands felt they would drop off with occasionally banging on the barrier, till he came out by himself and sat down on his chair covered by a cloth he put his guitar on his lap said "Thank you" and went into "Yes indeed I'm alone again and here comes emptiness crashing in it's either love or hate I cant find in-between cause I've been with witches and I've been with a queen" yes it's "Another lonely day" with the most magnificent vocals I have ever heard he sang with such passion. He then did "Widow of a living man" and went off stage again this time we thought maybe he's not going to come back on, but sure enough he comes out again and brings the innocent criminals with him "Blessed to be a witness" was beautiful with Ben on the Thiele Tongue Drum. And Finally with Ben talking about how he was intimate with the audience and feels an awesome vibe from all of us. He finished the evening with " With my own two hands" and in the middle of this he had written some lyrics about war and put them on his mic stand and sang them to us showing us how he was all for peace and not for war and then finished with " But I can change the world with my own two hands". Thank you Ben for such an outstanding night of pure music.

Yours peacefully
Tony Moore

anonymous's picture

Whoever it was that shouted out 'awesome bruvva'! got it right. That was all that needed to be said and I reckon that it meant heaps to Ben, it was a true compliment. :)

anonymous's picture

A week later and i've finally hit the website. The other reviews do just credit to the show I can't express just how amazing it was to be there and how the music exploded off the album into live performance. The band made a great impact I think everyone loved Juan Nelsons stage presence and rythmic solos.

A great concert. I'm still buzzing :D :D

anonymous's picture

hey all,
i was looking forward to this concert for a very long time, since the last time ben harper was in wellington left me buzzing.i wanted the experience again plus the new avenues and sounds of his lastest album to give a fresh fix of ben haper genius. The added bonus of Jack Johnson was the cherry on the top of what was a concert that simply blew me away.
From Jack's acoustic sounds that seemed very personal and honest (simply a guy and his friends sharing music with a bunch of people without the added hype, just pure music) to the familiar and inspiring sound that is ben harper and the innocent criminals, this concert had a life of its own , seemingly taking the crowd and musicians along for the ride. As ben said, there was an intimacy in the interaction between the audience and band which allowed the performance have a distinct meaning for all who attended.
The highlight for me would have had to be Jaun's funky , funky, funky moves on the bass during Brown Eyed Blues. I distinctly remember thinking when i heard the song begin that i hoped Juan would teach us all a lesson on playing the bass, and did he what, i don't think anyone had an answer :)It is a shame that Bring the Funk wasn't played, i am sure that Juan would have kept us spinning.
Once again Ben shared some incredile vocal emotion in his songs which give his music such life which i will always appreciate and respect. also love the slide guitar moves that he pulls off with such ease, especially when singing.
looking forward to the next concert already....

anonymous's picture


This show was absolutely amazing! Ben and the Criminals were everything that I expected and more. Juan is pure genius on the bass. The acoustic songs left me speechless and the whole crowd was under the influence of some of the greatest songwriting of our generation.

Let's not forget Jack. His set was brilliant and proved that most people know more of his songs than just Flake.

Michael_newing's picture

hey people,
I just have to say that last nights concert was very very VERY good. The band was so much tighter than when i saw them in 2000, a truly amazing experience!!
Me and some mates lined up a couple of hours before the doors opened and managed to get front row center, so incredible seeing him play upclose, the passion in his face when he sang blew me away, especially welcome to the cruel world. Woman in you was so good last night, he held the .........wooooommmmmaaaannn for fuckin ages...longer than the version on live from mars.
Burn one down was also a highlight with ben getting the crowd to sing with him at the end. he would sing some notes, then the crowd would sing them back at him. just like some of the older bootlegs of the song. has to be one of the best versions of the song i have heard
They ended the night with a extended version of with my own two hands going into 'War' by bob then back to two hands....so awesome and quite appropriate!! he used to sometimes sing war within like a king...but i think this is the first time he has sung it for along time...i could be wrong?
The only down side was that the concert ran late and they had to cut the set short as she's only happy in the sun and bring the funk were on the set but not played....but i wasn't too gutted about it.

here's the set in order (hopefully)

Excuse me mr
i shall not walk alone
brown eyed blues
temporary remedy
welcome to the cruel world
gold to me
woman in you
diamonds on the inside
amen omen
steal my kisses
so high so low
burn one down


another lonely day
widow of a living man
blessed to be a witness

with my own two hands >> war >> two hands

Another highlight of the show was juan....he's the man. he did these awesome base solo's in brown eyed blues and steal my kisses, and when he finished he would look at the crowd with this funny expression on his face as if to say 'was that good enough for ya'.
another funny point during the show was in the middle of burn one down ben said, 'lets see if we can get away with it' : )
I talked to evil for a little bit after the show and he said the the ben and the band were on fire tonight and could tell that they were loving it.

such a good night!!!!


anonymous's picture

This wellington show was amazing!! Ben and Jacks shows get better and better each night!! (i went to the first 3 NZ ones)

Jack came on round about 7.30ish...he was so good....they played alot longer set, about 20-25 minutes longer than friday and saturday night. I got right up the front,well about 10 rows from the front...SO stoked! had such a good view! Jack played Rodeo Clowns which was a nice surprise, and a few songs off "On and On", Horizon has been defeated, On and on and Wasting(i think thats what its called). Sounds WICKED!
he was so much better tonight than the past 2 nights in auckland...the crowd responded to him really well...and he really seemed to be having heaps of fun!

Waited about half an hour and Ben and the Innocent Criminals came on! so awesome! I honeslty dont know how to describe tonights performance....it was just amazing...it was so much better than auckland by far. The band and the audience seemed to feed off each other,and watching it happen was incredible. During Brown Eyed Blues,Juan pulls out this PHAT as bass guitar solo...had people cheering for ages,we all went nuts-and he was loving it!

Ben just looked like he was completely enjoying himself tonight, he got so much good energy from the crowd, and he gave it back to us tenfold! His voice was amazing...so soft at times...yet so powerful!! Just such a pleasure to hear...and also...hearing the slide guitar again was great! During Blessed to be a witness, Ben got behind Leons drums and had a go...it was so wicked! They all were doing percussion at one point in that song..and just went crazy!
Leon was wicked...and that could be me being biased cos ive met him...but he has got the bomb skills...during Burn One Down it was just great! He has so much passion and energy...and always has a smile on his face! He was blowin' kisses to all the ladies in the house during Steal My Kisses....so cute!! hehe
Oliver was great....he is such a good drummer...he was great the other nights, but seemed just sooo much more tight tonight...very very cool!! Man, he CAN play!!
Jason was awesome on the keys, the into to Woman In You was sooooooo good....very very cool to hear!! He fits in really well. Nicky P was also really good too....very nice addition to the band :) He is such a rock star!! He totally complements Ben.

there is so much to say!! I loved hearing "Widow of a living man"...i was listening to that earlier on in the day a bit..and hearing it tonight was great!! I think that Wellington just have this really great vibe to it..such a cultural and artistic city...we just fully got into it right at the start.
Having been to two other concerts in such a short period of time didnt make the 3rd time any different...i really felt like each time was my first...the band played to you as though you were the first stop in their tour, and give it everything that they have :)

Ben H also said that he loved the fact that he felt so intimate with the audience, even tho it was such a big venue(well 5,000 ppl)....bigger than auckland anyway...i thought that was really cool cos he didnt talk much to the audience up at those 2 concerts...man wellingtonians rule!!

By the way guys, if youre not really into Bring The Funk...when you hear it live...i can guarantee you will think otherwise...it is one the phattest songs ive ever heard for a long time!! Juan just goes wild!!

the past weekend(which started on thursday night) has just been so damn amazing....me and Ben have had the best time...and this could easily be the best weekend of my life...its so hard to explain...but its just been so good!! We met so many awesome people! We're so lucky that we got to go to 3 concerts...it was so worth it :)

P.S. Amen Omen was mind blowingly beautiful :)

im gonna be on cloud nine for a very long time!!!