04.22.05 Las Vegas, NV

Equestrian Aid Foundation Benefit The Joint @ The Hard Rock Hotel with Avion, Jenna Darlleen

I Was There
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Ben Harper Setlist 1969-12-31 - Equestrian Aid Foundation Benefit - Las Vegas, NV

Ben played a solo set for a sold-out Equestrian Aid Foundation Benefit which included a new song "'Gather Round The Stone."

Who Went

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  • vegaschris77's picture


anonymous's picture

That crowd sucked. I can't believe that such jerks were allowed into the Joint, or even allowed to be in the same venue as true Ben Harper fans. However, I was able to zone out of the chaos and zone into Ben...and I guess that's all that matters.

I would also like to think that the fivesome that was going to take place later that night- and the people who were in the SRO know exactly who I am referring to- are never allowed to see Ben again, because they were beyond rude.

anonymous's picture

Yes, we now know that the show was a fundraiser and both the Joint & Ticketmaster advertised it as a Ben Harper gig.

It is part of Ben's generous, compassionate character to be involved with such great charities and I respect him deeply for supporting the cause.

No doubt, the Vegas crowd sucked beyond recognition. However, in the midst of such shallow people I still had an incredible time. Ben is inspirational in any capacity and I left Vegas with a satisfied soul.

anonymous's picture

This was not a good concert. Even fans need to admit when a concert is not good, and even the best musicians are capable of bad concerts. And sometimes it is the musician's fault, and sometimes it is not.

First, nobody knew this was an Equestrian AIDS (just to make it clear, I think this is AIDS that horses get, not AIDS that humans get) benefit. Most people did not know that the set up would be unlike other shows at The Joint, so they could not get close to the stage. So while the crowd in the back was too loud for what was happening on stage, they were there to see Ben, not to listen to Robin Leach.

When Ben did come on, then the crowd should have quieted down, as this was a solo set. Some back at the bar never shut up. Most people did, and enjoyed the music. But the set was awfully short. All in all, this was not was the crowd expected. And you cannot blame it just on the people in the back, as the people at the tables up front, for the most part, didn't know one song from the next.

Don't blame this on poseurs or the Vegas fans. When Ben came to The Joint with Jack Johnson, he put on a great show, and the crowd was really good. The horse people should have kept this as a private event, plain and simple. It was marketed in a misleading way.

vegaschris77's picture

What a delight, when looking to see what concerts were coming up around my birthday (4/24) was it to see that Ben was coming back the the Joint to play again. I immediately got on and got 2 tickets. I later found out it was a benefit concert and that he would be playing a short set...no big deal...well worth it.

There are a few comments about this event that I have to make. First of all, what a great move for Ben to play for the Equestrian AIDS foundation at no cost. My seats happened to be in the first row of seats behind the banquet table with the gold medalist and co-host, Robert something. These people were money, but they were a thrill to sit behind. They did seem annoyed by the fans in the SRO area behind us...AND I DON'T BLAME THEM. They were outright rude! But before I get to that...the event was I.M.H.O. unorganized...very unfortunate. While Sheri Belafonte and Robin Leach were gracious hosts...it seemed unprepared and left for quite a few lapses in action and ultimately, crowd unrest. This WAS an event for people involved in the Equestrian community...they invited us into the event to help raise money, and in exchange, we got to see Ben. They had the most unfortunate of selections for a comic relief, a Korean woman doing extremely offensive jokes about n*ggers, k*kes, homos... etc. I could not believe my ears. Then the fans jeered...and all respect was lost. The organizers tried to raise money by having an auction, but it seemed somewhat difficult to manage, especially with the crowd of fans in the back of the room hollering and screaming over the MC's. Very embarassing as a fellow Ben Harper fan. But, I think the problems could have been averted by better organization and by not pushing back the opening of the doors an hour past the advertised time, giving countless people the opportunity to go overboard with drinks BEFORE the event even started.

Now...When Ben finally did come on stage, it was great, I agree with the other post about he & his guitar. He didn't seem to be himself though. He too may have shared in my embarassment for the organizers, the comedian and his fans. He was pretty solemn...looked unfortunatly like he was just going thru the motions. He didn't exhibit much of his great personality, and spoke just a few words at the end about appreciating the opportunity to help such an organization, and that AIDS research is very important.

I agree Ben, and thanks to everyone involved for giving us the opportunity to share in such an event, while raising money at the same time. I hope Ben doesn't have a bitter taste in his mouth after this event, and will soon return to Vegas on the summer tour.

Thanks for taking the time to read this...any comments from those who also attended the event??


[reposted from forum boards]

andrewhalferty24059's picture

All in all it was a good show. Ben was phenomenal and it was great to hear the new song Gather Round the Stone. If I had any complaint at all it was that Ben's set felt like it was cut a little short. Maybe it was due to the fact that The Joint turns into a nightclub around 10:30PM usually and I don't think Ben came on until at least 11. I just hope he comes back and brings the Innocent Criminals with him. There is a lot of support for them in this area and I think they could fill any venue in town. Thanks again Ben and I'll see you next time you're in town!!!!

monet2u's picture

Ben was beautiful as usual. He sang such sweet songs and I sang along with him. I'm sorry people are such monkehs...GAH they really shouldn't be let out in public. But Ben's true blue fans were enjoying every note he played.

Thank you Ben for Amen Omen, I knew you'd play it that night and I loved hearing it with just you and your guitar. Such a treat that I've not had the pleasure of for so long.

applebug7654's picture

Will To Leave is what the show should have been titled. The doors opened an hour late and everyone was getting pissy because the time kept ticking away and it was closing in on midnight, when most people thought the show would be over by midnight...not start! Believe it or not, I had other parties to go to so the waiting and waiting was ridiculous, especially since most of us, if any, were not notified that this was not a typical show meaning a show for an AIDS charity with such a short setlist. Plus with just Harper going solo with no band, most of us really got upset because we had anticipated a different type of show: more of a rock show rather than a one man performance. A lot of people left after the first few songs. I guess their will to leave was the only succor they could find for such a lackluster show. It'd would have been better if the fans were notified, but I guess if they had been, less would have shown up. At least the money went to charity. Hopefully he comes back to support his new album, with a better crowd to represent him and his brilliant talent.

rwaugh0588791's picture

Ben was amazing as always.
The people in Vegas suck.
First of all it was an AIDS benefit show which apparently nobody was aware of (nor was I). But they were disrespectful and small for what was an event with a purpose.
Secondly, half of the people there ( and there were only around 750!) were a bunch of posers who didn't even know who Ben was and talked, loudly, throughout the entire concert.
Overall I was happy to see Ben but the crowd was a real disappointment.