11.29.03 London, England

Brixton Academy

I Was There
5
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Comments/Reviews

mollysuesmith76426's picture

What to say? i can't find the words to describe the greatness of this artist. I struggled to get tickets for that concert and it was worth the struggle and the anxiety of maybe not having them. Agree with the other previews about people being rude, but at the end i was there for Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. Couldn't see him very well ( had a 6ft blonde girl right in front me, hiihaa!!) but The Voice lifted me up...!!! It was a truly unique and amazing experience and i went out of The Brixton Academy not being able to exactly tell what i was feeling...Being through pure happiness when funky Brown Eyed Blues came up, sadness at Power of the Gospel and crying my eyes out at Another Lonely Day! (yep...been through all that!!) But that's what make a great artist, making us going through different range of feelings and in my case, it has always been happening with Ben Harper. So thanks again Mr Harper for reminding us we're only human.

ross_harries20005564's picture

Ten minutes after the lights had gone up, my mate Shabs and I were still stood, open-mouthed, staring at the stage. He turned to me, and with visibly trembling hands said "That's the best gig I've ever been to in my life." I wholeheartedly agreed. During the a capella "I'll Rise" it became more than just a concert ... it was a transcendental experience! In this era of bland, insipid, souless, manufactured rubbish, it is massively important for REAL musicians like Ben and the Innocent Criminals to flourish. Thanks so much guys. Can't wait for the next time...

anonymous's picture

Only one thing. Thanx to Paul from Liverpool for the great present!! Ben was really good!!!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

anonymous's picture

One word - Amazing! I went both nights, fri. and sat. and saturday is a night I will never forget. The I'll rise solo was nothing short of spectacular and every song was dead on - woman in you - wow! I've seen Ben numerous times and Brixton is a great venue. I agree that there were some obnoxious individuals in the crowd but that is standard whenever alcohol is involved! It didn't spoil my time I was front row both nights and experienced every type of emotion possible. I flew 14 hours for the shows and it was well worth it - Ben you move me! I have and would travel the world to hear his intoxicating voice!

anonymous's picture

Have been looking forward to seeing Ben Harper for a long time, and I was really pleased to get tickets. He didn't dissapoint. Ben Harper gave one of the graetest concert performances I have ever witnessed. However, I have to echo those comments made by other reviewers. The shine was taken off the concert by the those people who came to get drink and yalk to theyr mates. I was guted as the crowd was louder than the PA for a large amount of the gig. The performance desrved better. I hope he gets it next time.

ant_hughes91368's picture

Have to say a few things. Number one it was an absolutely stunning performance by the whole band, the noise was unnoticible to me as i was just givin the band my whole attention. The music was spot on, the stage performance was great, and the emotion in the music was unparalell to any other music or art at the moment. Well done guys. Cant say too much to praise the man himself because the band themselves are just as talented. The bongo player had me amazed when he played his solo on burn one down. Also a massive bigup to the bass player for the solo to steal my kisses and brown eyed blues, whilst singing along to what he was playing in notes (nice). I'll cherish the photos i got of the evening, did'nt even know about the photography ban. but hey When ever i wanna remember that night i just listen to the live from mars album and it takes me back. Nice on guys. Hope to catch ya playin some where closer to home again.
Oh and If any one knows of a live recording of the night or anything. Let us know!

anonymous's picture

I thought it was fantastic too, although I agree with the comments about the crowd being too noisy during the quiet bits. I'm also disappointed to hear the very end was really good - I'm hypoglycemic and passed out during the last song. Thanks to the two guys who held me up - very bizarre to wake up and find I'm being "danced around" by two strangers. I spent the very end of the gig in the medical room, but up until that point I had a fantastic evening. Come back soon Ben! And bring Jack Johnson with you!

anonymous's picture

This was the third Ben Harper show i went to on this European tour. I would have to say that this was the worst behaved crowed to date. The people were so bloody rude by speaking during his acoustic set. Also people applauding before he finished a song. People yelling and applauding during the intro to Power of the Gospel. If you were bored or didn't know any of his songs, don't bother coming next time.

anonymous's picture

I missed ben when he cam earlier in the year but the wait was worth it. Ok the crowd was rude at times but hey, spoiled for choice living near the acadamy.. But it blow me away to many great moment to say an i think at times ben would say the same, come back sooon please dont leave it so long.. I THANK U BEN AN THE INOCENT CRIMINALS FOR ALL I GET AND all u give...........

anonymous's picture

Love to BHIC from London and thanks for an amazing performance Saturday night. You had the entire audience in your hands.
We were there both nights and Sat night was definitely better. Fri night we couldn't hear Ben's voice above the band. I think the sound engineer just made sure only his sound desk the sweet spot in the room. We had an epic journey to find the best sound and found left of the stage was fine. Brixton Academy needs to get it's act together.
Apologies for lack of coverage in the press in the UK. I don't understand why we didn't see anything coming up to the gigs....
Just goes to show the power of your performance that through word of mouth you can fill the Brixton Academy 2 nights in a row without it. Fantastic.

tomguest73500's picture

Absolutely amazing. Only dissapointment was the sound quality at the beginning and the ban on photography. Ben was truley inspirational. I was standing right at the front and when he sang 'ill rise' it sent shivers down my spine. Hopefully there will be some photos here soon or if anybody has some they can post them on the web somewhere. Come back soon Ben and bringing Jack Johnson would def. be a bonus.

anonymous's picture

What can I say? Imense! So much so my sister even fainted when "steal my kisses" came on! Can't wait for his return to England, maybe next time with Jack!

anonymous's picture

What an amazing performance!
First time seeing Ben & Co live, and it lived up to and past my expectations. It was amazing! I tingled with emotion throughout the whole thing: Thank you for touching my heart Ben.
I can safely say I left Brixton one very satisfied lady!
Now the question is...when are they coming back for more??? (next time preferably to manchester too!)

c_romy2551894's picture

Very better than yesterday, i can't forget ILL RISE ... It was so magic and powerful... Ben sang ill rise without microphone, and made rise with him more than 4000 person..i never saw that before.. Thank you again.
the woman in you was so good too!
the last show, i came back home happy and sad too, because all the shows i did was all very good, i took a lot of energie, but i don't know when we would see Ben again in France..
please, come back soon, your shows are like a drug now! and thank you to be so nice, simple, sincere. when i listen you, I BELIEVE IN A BETTER WAY!
thanks again. see you. RESPECT_ LOVE.

anonymous's picture

HI. Brixton on Saterday was great. Been looking forward to it for months and it was not a disapointment. Harper and the IC's were so good, and Like A King/I'LL Rise was quite emotional for Ben i think. They wern't expecting so much support from English fans! Let's hope he comes back to see us soon.

anonymous's picture

Glad to see other people whinging about the noise from the back. Having seen Ben more times than I can count (all in the U.S.), I was shocked to hear all of the noise from the crowd (especially during the quiet bits)and just chalked it up to the fact that a lot of people weren't necessarily there for Ben but just for a good show. Excellent venue (glad to go to a show in London where the crowd wasn't seated!), even though the sound - particularly the vocals - were crap. Impossible to say a Ben show is bad, just not quite up to the usual impeccable standards.

joshnewman116182's picture

Absolutely mindblowing - my first time seeing Ben.i just wish some people would apreciate his art and learn to shut up during his solos!Ground on down was amazing.come back soon ben!thanks for the memory

anonymous's picture

Absolutedly, gob-smackingly amazing. Even though the sound wasn't great, Ben & the boys rose above & did good, once again.

Couple of tears in the eyes during Widow and Like A King (sans microphone) & Juan totally funked on Brown Eyed Blues... i was grinning like a fool ;)

Thank you.

anonymous's picture

First Harper show. In London for the semester and what a great treat. This was an amazing show by my judgement. After some 27 Panic shows and another 10 or so Phish shows, this is one of the best shows I've ever seen. There were moments where I had to check the stage to make sure Bob and the Wailers weren't up there. The jamming was extremely impressive, I loved every song and I think the venue was great. Where can I get this show? Please email me if have access to any tapes or board recordings.

anonymous's picture

Ill rise, solo and without a mic... it was amazing. A pity that people couldnt shut up for us to hear the quieter songs, but than that was made up for with the energy in songs like burn one down.
It was awesome Ben, come back soon!

anonymous's picture

Ben Harper. What a Legend. The set was incredible, despite constant noise from the crowd. His vocals were on top form and the whole gig was amazing. This man deserves all the praise he gets. Come back soon!!

anonymous's picture

Had been looking forward to this concert for months, and it delivered on all levels. I was blown away by Ben and his band, they were incredible. Highlight for me was opening with Glory and Consequence, which I was desperate to hear after listening to it on the live from Mars album, and Ben singing solo with no mike in I'll rise. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Come back please!x

anonymous's picture

Negatives first - the idiots in the crowd and at the back who just couldn't shut up, even in the quietest moments. Maybe too if Brixton Academy weren't so obsessed with profit and shut the bars downstairs whilst the gig was in process, that would help too. Got that off my chest. Thereafter it was all good. We had reggae, rock, funk, folk and gospel all embedded in one man and his band and he delivered all with power and passion. Too many good moments - Woman in You was incredible but I'll Rise at the end with Ben singing solo and the crowd silent (for the first time!). He seemed genuinely moved by the crowd reaction - we were by the show he put one. Massive respect.

anonymous's picture

Been looking forward to Friday at Brixton for soo long! Fantastic to see BHIC again. Was it me or was the it way too quiet? During the solo momemts the noise from the crowd was really obstrusive. Bad manners or needing to turn the mike up?

anonymous's picture

So the sound wasn't brilliant and Ben had a little trouble with his amp but these are minor details at the end of the long road across Europe. Paris on Monday was good. Yet the setting too large. Something more intimate was the Brixton Academy. A little thanks to the man and his band who offer hope and not cynicism.
Praise that voice and the moments given.