07.22.05 Royal Oak, MI

Royal Oak Music Theatre with Tom Freund

I Was There
Login or Register to rate.

Charlie Musselwhite sang and played harmonica on "Homeless Child", "Gather 'Round The Stone" and "Dressed In Black" (aka "Why Must You Always Dress In Black"). Tom Freund sat in on "Pleasure And Pain."

Who Went

  • scane's picture
  • crispycat_'s picture
  • emartin2ke's picture
  • joshtondo's picture
  • cjdrouin's picture
  • discgolfdan's picture


joshtondo's picture

Does anyone have a recording of this show. It was my first ever Ben show. I had a recording and lost one of the discs in an old car when I sold it. I would love to get ahold of it. It was an amazing amazing experience and it would mean so much to me to get ahold of a complete recording again. Feel free to email me at joshtondo@gmail.com if you can help. This was definitely one of the greatest shows I have ever seen and opened up a musical portion of my life with Ben that has been beyond rewarding. Cheers, Joshua

anonymous's picture

This concert was the one i busted my Ben Harper cherry on. This was by far the greatest show I had ever seen . When Ben hit the first drumbeat for Burn One Down I could feel the electricity as well as breath it in . The band was phenomenal . Tom was also A list material.

hanzie83714's picture

I took my two Nephews and one of my best friends to this show. I flew in from Phoenix, Az. just to take them all to see the master. I have seen Ben 4 other times. This was the best show ever! My nephew's were exposed to greatness and now Ben has 2 more fans for life. Check out the set list from this show... 30 songs!!! Check out the size of this venue. 1600 plus people. Thank you very much Ben Harper.

mszabo165547's picture


shane_metcalfe49728's picture

Hey, on my way to this concert from canada, our vehicle broke down and we had to push it back across the boarder and get another vehicle and make it all the way back down there and we made it just at the start of Amen Omen, and we seen from there on and it still goes down as one of my best concerts ever... HOLY CRAP! BEN HARPER COME BACK TO DETROIT, TORONTO AREA SOON! AND BRING YOUR INNOCENT CRIMINALS THEY ROCK! I GOTTA SEE A FULL CONCERT!

anonymous's picture

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Ben and the band. To witness the power, energy and passion of a truly gifted group of musicians in such a small venue in this day and age is incredible! What other artist/group would put on that kind of a show at 35 a head? Surely not some of the so-called greats.

So THANK YOU again BHIC not only for your obvious appreciation of your fans but for your enviable talent and never-ending passion....CAN'T WAIT for the new album and next show I can attend!!!

meddlingBanter's picture

This was my 5th time seeing Ben and has everyone else has said it was by far the best I've seen the band play. Maybe it was the intimate setting, or maybe its the best band around showing what over ten years of making music turns into. I knew it was going to be a great show as soon as Ben started playing the first notes of Ground On Down. That being my favorite song and had yet to hear him play it live, hearing it in my hometown made the entire show for me. Leon, its always good to see you smiling man. Juan, you kill the bass. Ben, well you're absolutely breath taking. That 3 hr show will last a life time in my heart as I'm sure it will for many others. Incredible.


grateful4livin's picture

As everybody else has said, this was an epic show. So much positive energy, a very rare commodity these days. All I can say is to all the members of the band and crew, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!

P.S. Please come back to Motown next tour.

peckada13989's picture

this was my first time seeing ben harper & the innocent criminals in a show of their own. i've previously seen them open twice for Dave Matthews Band, so i knew I had to see them in their own right. it was an absolutely phenomenal show. very energetic. it was everything i expected and more. the crowd interaction was great. the acoustic set was outstanding. im definitely looking forward to seeing them again in the future!

smpegg45417's picture

Since they don't have it posted for whatever reason, here is the set list from Royal Oak:

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Royal Oak Music Theater

Ground on Down
Welcome to the Cruel World
Gold to Me
Wicked Man
Steal My Kisses->
Pressure Drop
Diamonds on the Inside
People Lead
How Many Miles Do We Have To March?
Brown Eyed Blues (with bass solo)
Mama's Trippin'
Breaking Down (with drum & percussion solo)
Introduction of band members
Burn One Down (with bongo drum solo)
Homeless Child (with Charlie Musselwhite)
Gather Round the Stone (with Charlie Musselwhite)
Please Bleed
Temporary Remedy

1st encores (all solo acoustic):
Number Three
Roses From My Friends
Another Lonely Day
Walk Away
I Shall Not Walk Alone
There Will Be a Light
When It's Good
Pleasure and Pain (with Tom Freund)

2nd encores:
Suzie Blue
Amen Omen
Glory and Consequence
Dressed in Black (with Charlie Musselwhite)
Ain't Too Proud To Beg
With My Own Two Hands->

anonymous's picture

Drove 10 hours. Woulda driven 20. Thank you guys for bringing so much happiness to myself, and every soul that was in that building. Thank you.

poetfreak79492's picture

The most fantastic show I have ever seen, and I have seen a LOT. I am just now getting my voice back. The energy there was incredible, everyones performance was inspired, and the resulting sound exceeded everything I have come to expect. My only complaint is not BHIC, but the crowd which was so fired up they sometimes drowned out the softer parts of songs. The Royal Oak is an incredible venue. You ARE blessed.

anonymous's picture

3+ hours of inspiration. I think we could have taken 3+ more. Thanks to Ben and the Detroit crowd for the best musical experience of my life.

goodfella6787350's picture

Everyone has already mentioned the 3 hour set and the chemistry between the band and the fans. I was fortunate enough to meet Ben and Leon outside and was so impressed at how modest they are for such a talented band. They appreciate their fans moreso than any other band I've seen live (which is quite a few). the concert itself was as amazing as anyone has said. There was not one weak song in the set and the energy was amazing. I can't wait to see them in concert again. I hope they come back soon!

ntornow's picture

Everyone's reviews have already touched on all of the amazing aspects of the Royal Oak show and the band in general. I just hope that everyone would agree that we are so blessed to have a group of musicians that performs music about spirituality, and social and political issues, and in such an emotional manner. I walked away this time thinking how much these shows are like events made to inspire rather than concerts to promote CD sales. To play for 3+ hours in such a beautiful theater was just that, inspirational.

smpegg45417's picture

By my count, they did a 32 song setlist which clocked in at about 3 hours and 15 minutes. During the regular set and both sets of encores, there were moments where I thought This is it, they're done and they played another 3 or 4 songs after that. I have only seen two shows longer than this in my life and those date back to Springsteen in '84 and the Allman Brothers in '80. No one in music today imparts more emotion than Ben Harper and the rhythm section of Juan Nelson, Oliver Charles and Leon Mobley has to be one of the all-time greatest ever. Everything was great but personal favorites included Breaking Down with the fantastic drum solo, Homeless Child which Charlie Musselwhite really adds a lot to, There Will Be a Light which translates beautifully to solo acoustic and pretty much the whole last set of encores. As Bob Seger noted 30 years ago, Deeetroit audiences are the greatest rock and roll audiences in the world and the crowd was raucous and rowdy the whole night. A truly stunning performance!

joemc98990715's picture

This was my 3rd Ben show and let me say that it was above and beyond any expectations that I could have had. HE played for over 3 hours with such soul and raw energy. The entire band was phenomonal. The greatest live act around.

Hearing him perform Amen Omen, Glory And Consequence and Please Bleed was out of this world. One song after another, pure perfectionl. The energy was amazing. The only thing that could have topped it was if I got to meet him like I did back in 03 at Meadowbrook.

I was like 2 feet from the stage, at the end he gave me 5 so that was cool.

Such an amazing set list. I loved the version of How Many Miles. Aint to proud to beg: Great to hear him do motown in motown.

The only annoying thing was the people who could not shut up during the accoustic set. But like someone else said I think it was the energy of the crowd that had them going all night long. I do not know how they could ever top a show like this. Ben Harper is the most amazing and real performer around and everyone who got to see him last night is truly blessed.

Thankyou so much Ben for a night we will never forget.

hippiemom's picture

Words can't begin to describe this show. Everything about it was absolute perfection, from the choice of the beautiful venue down to the very last note they played. The crowd was electric, and the band was obviously having a blast. Leon especially was ON FIRE!!! The most amazing version of Please Bleed that I've ever heard ... it was about the only time all evening that I stopped dancing because all I could do was stand there in awe. Thanks to everyone in the band and the crowd for a perfect evening.

anonymous's picture

I can't believe they broke into Pressure Drop halfway through Steal my kisses. One of my most favorite songs... Nice to see Ben pay homage to some old reggae cats (Toots and the Maytals). I think I was one of only a few who knew what song that was, and I was singing like a crazy man.

merrifielderic17845's picture

Last night was one of ther most incredible shows I've ever seen,...and I've seen hundreds. The chemistry between the band and the audience was amazing, and I feel very priveledged to have been there to witness it all. To all those there dancing with me and screaming at the to of our luings, I agree wholeheartedly, and hopefully we'll dance together again. To Ben and the Criminals, ...I'm in awe...You're obviously really enjoying playing together!! Have a blast!!!...like the rest of us did. Thank you for one...if not THE most amazing shows I've ever seen.

brn2shn84's picture

Absolutly amazing show. I was happy just to hear Ground on Down and then Amen Omen and Glory & Consequence back to back rocked. It was my 4th Ben show and by far the best. The drum parts in Breaking Down were awesome. It was good to see Ben let the Innocent Criminals strut there stuff and prove why they are the greatest band out there. Micheal is a great addition as well. The two new songs are great and can't wait for the album. Thank Ben and the guys for the greatest night of my life.

anonymous's picture

We drove up from Pittsburgh the day of the concert, picked up a good friend friend in Detroit, and then went to enjoy my eighth ben show. This show was one for the ages. Harper never lets down a the crowd but this one blew the roof off the house.
Detroit thank you for being a great host. The Royal Oak theatre is a phenominal venue.

anonymous's picture

WOW!!! this was my second time seeing Ben live and i thought it would be hard to beat the first time but he did and than some. I want to know where i can get a copy of the new song dressed in black, the energy with which they played it even though it was one of the last songs of a 3 hour set was amazing. Ben and the rest of the criminals are more than welcome in the D anytime they want and i will be there.

anonymous's picture

Unreal show! We had to regroup after that stellar 3-hour performance. Royal Oak made metro Detroit proud.

Gurillavideo's picture

I think this was my 5th Ben Harper show, and I would say that were it not for my lucky chance to go backstage at the Claremont show in '02 that this would definitly have been the best. The setlist was AMAZING, and the stamina of everyone on stage was incredible! The crowd was electric, and even though they had a tendancy to yell at the quiet parts in some of his solo songs during the encore (an annoyance) I think it was the crowd's energy that fueld the 3+hr performance. I wouldn't have missed the show for the world, and am glad that I did not.

Opening with Ground on Down set the mood for the entire show, If I had to use a word to describe the performance, I would use, unrelenting. Every time you thought that they had given everything they had, they came with even more.

Highlights for me included: Suzie Blue, Wicked Man, Gather Round the Stone, and the interjection of, War into Two Hands...

A+ all arround!!!

privateryan83397's picture

thank you thank you thank you. that was incredible. they blow the roof off that place last night. best show i have seen yet. thanks for picture out back. i wish i that on tape. it was my b-day too. see you next time. much love from canada.

hannahfurman45816's picture

Sorry Chicago....Ben knew it was my birthday and saved the best performance for me!!!

plfurman's picture

Over a three hour performance... truely amazing! It was a great birthday treat for my sister and I. First concert seeing Ben for the both of us, and i dont think the two fo us or anyone else in D-Town would of asked for it any other way! Sorry Toronto, he might not have anything left to give to you. Ben and company... come back soon, we will all be waiting!

liam01's picture

My friends and I came from near Chicago and waited outside of Royal Oak from 12 in the afternoon on thursday and camped out over night for the show and ended up being there over 31 hours - and I couldn't imagine a better way to spend even a second of one of those hours. We had such a great time talking and waiting in anticipation. The show was absolutely amazing and unlike anything I've ever experienced before. What an amazing set list and performance. Thanks again.

anonymous's picture

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals were absolutley amazing last night, I can not wait to see you live again.


LonelydayDREAMER's picture

Where to begin. Our first Ben Harper show as well. PHENOMENAL. 3 and some odd hours of bliss. Every song I wanted to hear kept comin. AINT TO PROUD TO BEG at the end in MOTOWN was just killer. Thanks a million to Ben and company. Crowd was great. Best thing someone could witness. Really thanks for a 1000 smiles!!!!!!

detwngfan160047's picture

i think i should apologize now to toronto for tomorrow nights show in case ben and the boys have nothing left to give . THEY LEFT THEIR SHIT IN MOTOWN. this was my first Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals concert and i am now ruined for any other shows i ever go to . 3 hrs are you kidding me . talk about bang for the buck . couldnt have asked for anything more . break out the oxygen i need it so they must too . thank you boys for a night i will never forget .

daveanguish's picture

An amazing performance. Easily the best I've ever seen. Ben and the band let it all hang out in a truly epic 3 hour + performance. Just take a look at the setlist. Thank you Ben and the Innocent Criminals!

anonymous's picture

absolutely AMAZING...............Ben and the band took the stage sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 and played non stop till after-midnight.

What an energy..........could'nt have been better