05.11.06 Melbourne, Australia

Rod Laver Arena with DJ Evil Vince, Scott Thomas of Ringside

I Was There
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Triple J recorded the concert and broadcast highlights in their "Live at the Wireless" program. Tracks included "Homeless Child", "Gold To Me", "Waiting For You", "Black Rain", "With My Own Two Hands/War", "Pleasure and Pain", "Morning Yearning", "Burn One Down", "Steal My Kisses" and "Better Way."

Who Went

  • sansabastian's picture
  • Just_acex3's picture
  • jebbs's picture
  • Moocheroni's picture
  • ChantalP's picture
  • yoshi111's picture
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Henny's picture


A few weeks back, my Dad took me to see Deep Purple & Status Quo. I was watching TV when I saw Ben Harper on a local program. Logic dictated that if he's on a show, he's in the country. So I rang Dad & told him he was coming to see him with me.

I saw him on TV on Tuesday night & booked the tickets for Thursday night.

From the very first note played I was in awe.

I've never seen such a humble performer. I've seen musicians play so joyously, and proud to share their music with the audience, but he was playing a PART of him. His performance went beyond the emotion of any I have ever experienced. He took us into his soul.

The connection between he & his band was one of such unity. The connection between the stage & the audience was so strong, almost as if we were up there with him, twirling around through My Own Two hands, doing what I could only describe as a rain dance.

To not only witness, but to be a part of such raw, unrefined energy, and to have it blessed upon me is a feeling I shall never forget.

I could go on for hours about each song & what it meant to me, but it means so much more than just a concert, or a performance.

Thank You Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals.


dafezines49876's picture

Hi BHIC AND all you people around the world being inspired by the inspirers! Could a concert get any better! It has been months since the concert but I can still feel the emotion, passion, vigour and energy of that night. I was in the standing area on ground level with friends but all that mattered was the music. I could look around the entire crowd and no matter where people were, we were all into the music so intensely. I loved the respect given to him during his acoustic plays, like when he played Walk Away... the crowed hanging on every word. And if not singing along, singing in heart, eyes closed in the moment. And another part that stood out to me, and I will never forget, was when Ben paused part way through a song... no music, just energy! Like he switched the show around. The whole night we were watching him, but for a moment, he watched us, abrorbed the energy and thanked us for it!!! WOW. For those of you who where there, I know you just hot chills remembering that. So humble in thanking us for his great show. We were all part of the unique Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals experience! Thank you for a an amazing and unforgettable experience. Keep inpriring through amazing words, music that moves and personality that captures. :)

anonymous's picture

What a performance! I did a 'drug trial' to make some extra cash while studying (like the thing those poor buggers in London were in on when they almost died recently) . I heard u had announced a tour to Aus but not to Christchurch, NZ. I was pretty gutted but decided to spend my money on taking my g/f over to melbourne for it. Money so well spent. Even when i heard you were doing an acoustic set in Auckland (which i tried to get to but had no money) it was so worth skipping the ditch for. Since the first time i saw u live with Jack Johnson back in 2003 in Christchurch i've been hooked. You are the man and i can't wait till the time is right or i have the money to see u again in concert sometime. ps i hope Piha treats u well too.pps Juan and Leon, u guys r awesome too!

frank_chops75399's picture

Ben i was so excited to get a ticket last time you came to aus i was in another country and my boyfriend phoned me from aus when you were playing angel. Now i could go myself and actually hear youlive. you are the best performer. i wish there were more shows-id go to everyone of them!! your music gets me through everyday ups and downs, every word has a meaning to everyone.Who knows where wed be without music!
We respect you here!!

ngratian36354's picture

Ben Harper thank you so very much for a performance that I can only describe as phenomenal! It was by far the best concert I have ever been to and I am so greatful to have been there to experience it! You and your music are such an inspiration to me and so many people around the world. I couldn't help but become overwhelmed with emotion as you serenaded us with Walk Away and loved your fantastic encore of Steal My Kisses, Burn One Down and Better Way. Don't ever stop doing what you do, as it makes so many of us happy because of it! Love you Ben! Come back soon!!

anonymous's picture

It was unbelieable!!!! The best concert i have ever been to. Last time he was here, i saw him at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, but i thought this concert was much more intimate and wondering.

When Ben did that mini acoustic set with pleasure and pain and walk away i felt so touched and amazed how music could touch your soul like that.

The vibe of the concert was amazing, it had a really soft and relaxing feel. Very personal and a general vibe of happiness.

Thank-you so much Ben and your wonderful band for one of the greatest nights of my life! Will see you back in Melbourne soon. We love you here.

matonguitarist17109's picture

brilliant concert ben! best live performance i've ever seen, i enjoyed every song, and seeing you and the band enjoying yourselves and having extended jams during songs was awesome. i really appreciated the fact that you played songs from every single album you have released, and playing for over 2 hours and a half, that was cool, many thanks for a brilliant, touching and emotionally charged performance, 20/10!!
by the way, do you think you could write a song with the name 'jane' either in the song itself, or as part of the title? perhaps for the next album? that would be awesome!! anyways, God bless,

ilovebob's picture

The concert was absoloutely amazing!!!! I loved it so much. I was almost crying in every song. Benny was incredible and so were the innocent criminals. It was the best night of my life and I will never forget it, ever!!!!
It is all I can think about. Every song was just amazing. Seeing Benny and I.C meant everything to me. Benny if you read this I had a sign saying 'marry me benny' and i think that you saw it cause you pointed to it and that was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I cant wait to see you next time you tour in Aus (hopefully not to far away). Thankyou for such an incredible experience.
Love, Peace and Happiness

lady_jane3942's picture

I loved the show so much, i shed a couple of tears during one song. I cant explain how much you moved and touched me along with thousands of others im sure.Absolutely AMAZING and SPECTACULAR!!!
No need to thank us Ben, THANK YOU!
Please come back to Melbourne...we love you!!!!!!

julia1gulia96889's picture

such a beautiful, exciting, uplifting, fun, explosive and heart wrenching performance. Never have i seen a group of artists so in touch with the audience and so gracious to a crowd. - nuthin in that room but love! I was real close to the stage and i will never ever forget this experience - thankyou ben! - your music is your gift and you share it- cheers

emwappa89333's picture

I was mocked all day for non stop talking about you, even interpreting your dancing for everyone. And yes I even went so far as singing all day, not good! But, oh man. You move people. I cried, couldn't breathe, still can't and felt so jubilated and couldn't think of anything to say but "It was SOOOO GOOD!", which is so unsubstancial but i couldn't explain it! i didn't even mind my friend trying to mouth the slap bass to me, it was so brilliant and you're all so incredibly talented to make people feel and want to change the way things are and know and relate... I can't speak either! But only scream the words THANK YOU to you and the innocent criminals whom we all love dearly and we hope and pray you return to our sunny (okay maybe not melbourne so much, but...) shores and find all your friends waiting down here for you.

candi_rae42690's picture

Wow is a word that doesn't quite cut it! What an amazing show! I've never been somewhere there were so many people, it was amazing that so many people from all over Australia took time out of their lives and organised to come see this amazing man preform. I love that he could silence the audience with one song, then raise everyone to their feet with another. It's an amazing power he has. I loved the meaning behind the songs, and the electric atmostphere, and the little American guy who was so appreciative to be able to play for Ben's crowd. He didn't speak to the audience much, but when he did, it made an impact! Ben, you should be proud of what you have accomplished in your life, you are making a difference for good, making the world a better place with your own two hands. You are accomplishing what you are trying to make others see. Respect to you!

italia_italia100080118's picture

the concert was INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are unbelieveable!!!!! thanks heaps champ for the best night ever. it was wiked as. come back soon harps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

anonymous's picture

BEN HARPER, YOU ARE TRUELY AMAZING, been to both of your lastest tours and words cannot express how absolutely incredible you are!!!By far the best concert ive ever been to.I really hope you come back to Melbourne, Love you Ben your an absolute legend. Please come back soon!!!THE CONCERT WAS BEYOND BRILLIANT!!!WOW!!!what a champion!!

sina_stevens26917's picture

ok..i love the guy and the band(this is my 2nd concert)....but...last night's concert for me and a few others seemed a lil bit too..whats the word?..i dunno, he chose really obscure songs to play. He could have gotten the crowd much more into the vibe if the songs had been more upbeat and 'singalong' type ones...but hey..thats my opinion..i loved the show tho..hes a legend!!..(scott thomas rocked too)

anonymous's picture

Just amazing. Music the moves you. Music that challenges you to think. Music that restored my faith in the music industry. Beautiful melodies, believable soul searching lyrics and fantastic band camaraderie. You were right Ben, it's all about giving the music life. Thanks for a memorable night.

anna.face53298's picture

BHIC, you are amazing! You gave so much passion and energy! Song choice was stunning! I couldn't have asked for a better night! 'Please Me Like You Want To' was so beautifully expressed! You brought amazing life and sponainuity to all the songs that I've loved! Ben, you hit me over the head with your songs every time! Thankyou!!
I can't think of a time when I've felt so hyped and overwhelmed! Thankyou!!

tmaxturner96591's picture

The single best concert of my life so far. Everything I've ever dreamt a Ben Harper concert could be.
I was front row centre and I could see the look on Ben's face at the end of "Where could i go but to the lord" and I know he felt it too.
When he played "Lonely Day" the 15,000 strong crowd was so quiet i completely forgot anybody else was there.


michael.voskresensky34506's picture

Words can't describe how good that concert was. Easily the best I have seen.

Ben was able to take everyone to the next level, especially during 'with my own two hand/war' you could feel everyone just latch onto his emotion.

He was also able to control the emotion and bring it down to almost a haunting respectful silence in 'pleasure & pain' and then pick everyone up with 'burn one down'. Everyone sparked up their jozza and followed him to the word before he closed with an amazing performance of 'better way'.

So stoked to have been there!!! Be sure to see you again next time.

anonymous's picture

After last night's concert I just wished I could tell Ben how much he and his music can change people's lives. He absolutely mesmerised me - again! I was so glad he did "Please, Please Me" and "Another Lonely Day" as these 2 songs got me through a very difficult time in my life. Ben, there is no need to thank people for coming to see your shows. We are privilaged to be able to experience your music, your inspiration and the person you are. A HUGE thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

sistersoulshine's picture

Rod Laver Arena, Thusrday May 11. 730pm....
The room filled slower than i thought. I was worried there wasn't going to be a full crowd, true melbourne style, to welcome ben to our world.
I was on the floor. The smells were interesting, but the people were lovely. As the lights dimmed, there was a rush of people. We mover about 5 metres to be as close as we could, without invading other peoples personal space too much.
As the band walked out, the crowd began to roar. Out comes the man himself. Ben Harper. What a sight! I have never had the priveldge to see him before, so this was quite a treat. The pressence on stage was amazing. He captivated me, and the people around me as soon as he walked on the stage! You could see all through the concert, he was so happy to be there, so greatful. One highlight for me was in "To the Lord", he graced us with this amazing almost 1min long note, that got under my skin. The emotion on his face was so intense, i had tears in my eyes. I could feel every emotion he was feeling, then he paused. The crowd went wild. The song hadn't finished yet, but he just stood there, listened to the audience screaming and yelling. he looked out with great intent.
My heart nearly jumped out of my chest!
About a minute later, he ran to the mic and said, "To the Lord"! Man, I hear ya!!

"With my own two hands" into "War" got me a little teary too. Getting everyone in the place to raise their hands, high to the sky! it felt quite liberating. It was amazing.

To think, that one little person, can make all these people feel so amazing, just by singing his songs and playing his music. It blows me away. Imagine what could happen if people were that liberated on a daily basis. Imagine what we could do! I'm a singer/songwriter much like ben, and to see him, and His support act Scott Thomas (who was awesome!) get up there and make people happy, make people cry, play with people's emotions so much that they change their ways, i couldn't think of anything more liberating!

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.
I too believe in a better way.
Any person that can change my world with his words get 5 stars in my book!!

ally.doherty35015's picture

A big big Thankyou to Ben and the Innocent Criminals for the best concert i've ever been too by far. It was so overwhelming and words can't describe the way i, and many others felt last night! Thanks for the tunes Ben..!

nathan.ackland95416's picture

Thankyou so much!! The concert was awesome. It meant so much to be able to hear and feel my favourite songs live.

sba8057148970's picture

Totally awesome concert! A great set and encores featuring the old and the new. The best live concert I have seen to date. The band was tight and Ben, as always, the consumate professional. Too bad there is only one show.........I wouldn't hesitate to grab a ticket to a second show! Come back soon! Juan Nelson ROCKS!!!

phoebsf8518's picture

absoulutly unbelievble.. ben is amazing.