Piers Faccini sat in on "Masters of War."
After getting slightly lost (and irritated) we arived at The Palace to an amazing venue and a night of magical music. BHIC put on an amazing show. Ben and company were dressed to impress and impress they did! Despite the annoying whistlers and the "BURN ONE DOWN!" person - the show was amazing! I was 5th row center and I felt like the Band was in my living room singing just to me. When he came to the end of the stage, sushed the crown and just sang a-capella my heart skipped a beat - I had experienced a new high. He took my breath away! Truly an experience. In The Colors is such an amazing song - got me up and dancing for the rest of the show! I did feel bad about the crowd - not a stellar crowd for the most part but the ones who were up and moving were great! Can't wait for the next show. Love the fact that Ben is also a Pearl Jam fan as am I! Makes it twice as sweet!
My friend Mary Jane and I saw Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals at the Palace in Albany last Tuesday and it flipped that switch in my head that made things go from negative to positive again. I had seen BHIC at Langerado in 2006, and I first saw Ben when he opened for Pearl Jam back around 99 or 2000, but I had never seen a full scale Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals show. The Palace is such a great venue, but I don't know that I ever would have called it "intimate" before that night. Mary and I started out in the balcony, and ended up about twenty rows back in these two empty seats that were just waiting for us. I listened, I heard (there's a difference), I danced, I cried. Some of his stuff rocks so hard, and then some of it is so sweet and tender, and all of it is deep and honest, and makes some sense out of things that usually don't make any sense at all. Or agrees that things don't make sense.
The band was so tight! They all came out in their suits, looking so sharp, and didn't miss a thing. And Ben's voice!! At one point, he quieted the band, stepped out to the edge of the stage, hushed the audience (except for that one drunk dude....yeah, you know the one), and sang with no mic or anything. His voice filled up this huge theater, and I thought to myself, "wow, this is probably one of the most amazing musical moments of my life." I'd say it ranks right up there. So, the drunk dude was probably disappointed that he didn't get to hear "Burn one down," but I think just about everybody else in the place was stoked, and realized that they had witnessed something magical! Ben and the Innocent Criminals really know what it means to be artists, musicians, entertainers- not only in the delivery of their own songe, but with cover songs as well. Piers Faccini (who also has an expressive, beautiful voice) joined the band onstage for a cover of "Masters of War." I've seen Bob Dylan play that song, and I have to say that Ben's version was at least as moving, and raw, and relevant to the situation in the world today. It was definitely a song (and a show for that matter) to get people thinking.
As and aside: after the show, Mary and I were walking to the car and noticed a small (maybe 30 people) crowd of people out by the tour buses and trucks used for the band's equipment. We have both been so influenced by BHIC music, and were so moved by the show that we couldn't resist waiting around to meet Ben and the Innocent Criminals. It was great to see the band come out and just chat with the fans, asking the fan's opinions on different things, and discussing their experiences with the tour, the new album, and life in general. Very down to earth, nice guys. Ben came out last and made sure to meet everyone standing there, sign whaetever they wanted, hug whoever wanted one (me me!!). Meeting the guys really confirmed for Mary and me the connection that we had felt during the show. They are really in it for the music, for the fans, for that shared experience.
I guess my point is GO SEE BEN HARPER AND THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS!!! and take me with you.
Your transformation has been amazing. I really admire the level that you're taking your show to. It is you who are brave, not us. Don't let the response from these Albany idiots discourage you in the fact that your fans too have grown and matured. This coming from a hippie from Greek Theatre to an evening gown at the Palace. Thanks for an intimate evening!
Thank you BHIC. What an incredible show. Please don't let the few bad apples in attendance persuade you not to come back to Albany. It was nice not to have to travel to NYC and the Palace is a great venue it really was so intimate.
Thank you for the excellent show!!!
I apologize that that the crowd was a little unruly, and that the show did not sell out.....
It was our first time, and it was really wonderful!
I catch your songs on WDST streaming, and everytime I look it seems, to see who is playing that song its BHIC.
Please come back again!!! We will tell all of our friends!
too many cities shows and years to count, but ben has never performed at this level yet, his stage transformation from a sing to a star has been a beautiful process to watch or write about let alone listen. The Palace was a gorgeous venue, set up for such an intimate show. Ben and the boys brought it hard. Piers is amazing. Unfortunatley Albany turned out a bunch of bon jovi fans just shy of acid washed jeans and hairspary. referencing the yankees sucking, had ben stopping an intor on the keys to bring the house lights up and let the crowd have their go. he then hurled a rose like a spiral and played an intimate version of an intimate song, older than today. if all you albany river rats are lucky, next time ben and the boys come rolling through, the dudes who wrote the sopranos theme song will open the show and ben can cover john bon for ya. Thanks for making it memorable. Joshua Dewez
excellent show, other than the jackass who kept yelling and the other idiot who kept whistling while they were playing
ben did a nice job of calling them out in a very polite way but i wanted to throw them off the balcony. anyway...
i enjoyed my first legit BHIC show...was a different feel than Lollapalloza, even though they somehow matched the energy. intro w/ 11th --> well well well is outstanding
great band, great new CD...look forward to seeing them again
So we just drove over 150 miles back from Albany to be the first to say...
Once again BHIC put on another great show!
(After the Radio City show which was FANtastic)
For Philly we are bringing our 4 year old who has been a Ben Harper fan for a couple of years already.
Can't wait to see you there!
Steve & Diane