Piers Faccini sat in on "Masters of War."
That's all I can say about this show. I had seen Ben once before, in an outdoor amphitheater, and it was an awesome show, full of energy, but this show was just as awesome in a different, more intimate way.
The cover of Bill Withers' "Use Me" was amazing and left me in awe. The highlight of the night, though, was when Ben stepped to the front of the stage and, without a microphone, sang most of "Where Could I Go". This shows the expertise, power and conviction that Ben holds within him. I'm also amazed that he can play songs like "Paris Sunrise #7" without a flaw, and even add some more flawless playing.
Ben Harper and his Innocent Criminals amaze me everytime I listen to and see them.
THANKS FOR A GREAT SHOW GUYS!
to levyhit's comment, from nps.gov:
"Built during the Depression and opened in December 1931, this great Art Deco movie palace was the largest auditorium on the West Coast, seating 3,476. Designed by Timothy Pflueger of San Francisco, the Paramount combines spectacular advertising with stark functionalism. With its 110' facade featuring a tile mosaic of two monumental figures, a stage 32' deep and 50' wide, a mechanically elevated orchestra pit, 20 production and dressing rooms, it serves all the arts from symphony to dance to variety shows and movies."
more on the Paramount here:
This was a special show. The setting was fantastic and the setlist was incredible. I would have loved to hear "Morning Yearning" or "Angel From Montgomery" but this was about as perfect a show as can be imagined. Personal highlight was most certainly "Whipping Boy", the most powerful and raw solo ever, Ben ripped it!! I felt truly blessed to hear "Welcome to the Cruel World", I knew that was a rare treat. "Paris Sunrise/Lifeline" brought the crow back to earth and made everyone sit back and realize how good life is and how fortunate we are to experience music that hits deep. You could tell Ben wanted to keep playing, he was as into it as the crowd was! Another concert that drives deep, thank you for playing "Where Could I Go", I definitely felt the power of those words. Again, thank you Ben.
Ben Harper - WOW! My first time, but not my last. Also, Loved, LOVED, Piers Faccini. The duet you guys did was fantastic.
Another awesome performance!!! It has been such a pleasure to watch Ben continue to grow and develop his music over the years. The Paramount was a beautiful setting, although not as intimate as other Bay area venues. The highlight of the night was Ben's heartfelt and sincere rendition of 'Where could I go (to the Lord)". He did the second half without a microphone and it was amazing. I also enjoyed hearing some of the old favorites mixed in with the new hits. Thank you Ben!
An AMAZING show!!! What an intimate, soulful performance by Ben and the IC's! I want to thank BHIC for paying $500 to play By My Side. It was remarkable! Can't wait for the next tour. Much Love from Nor Cal (Chico)!
I agree smoking was hard and would of been rude at a show like this....
But what makes the Paramount more historic than the Warfield or Fillmore?
I understand the art-deco but whats the history of the Paramount? (i tried an internet search)
Another epic show at the historic Paramount Theatre. Ben and the band lived up to the beautiful atmosphere, taking full adavantage of the theater's impeccable acoustics.
This was my first time seeing Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals outside of a festival setting, and it was even better than expected. Every song from Lifeline sounded so much better live than on record! Highlights for me were "Younger Than Today," "Fight Outta You" and "Needed You Tonight." I'm sure this album will grow on me more in time.
And as other reviewers have mentioned, their cover of Bill Withers "Use Me" was awesome.
To the previous reviewer's comment about "lighting up," -- grow up, dude. The Paramount is one of the finest remaining Art Deco theaters left in the US. Even if smoke didn't cause cumulative damage to the interior of the theater, smoking in a confined space is still inconsiderate and obnoxious. The Paramount is not Bill Graham or The Fillmore -- it's a National Historic Landmark. Next time, get your smoke on outside, before you enter The Paramount.
My 7th BHIC show, I wasn't sure what to expect from the band at this venue and promoting Lifeline (my least fave CD of his). It was a very different and sublime experience indeed.
I don't remember the full setlist, but it was very Lifeline heavy and pretty mellow mix. All the new stuff was definitely better live, with the highlights being Paris, Lifeline, Heart of Matters, and most of all Needed You Tonite (was this the one he did a capella...man, that was f'ing amazing!).
Whipping boy was totally amazing as was the Bill Withers cover of "Use Me."
The stage set is beautiful and the Paramount is a perfect setting for a DVD (hint, hint, boys). I just wish security there wasn't so damn aggro about lighting up...wtf, it's a Ben Harper show and he even mentioned his affinity for the NoCAL herb during the set.
Obviously Ben and the band are being very intentional with this tour. It's amazing how Ben just keeps getting better and better as a performer...his voice, inflection and presence are at the top of the game.
Looking forward to what they whip out next week...hoping it's a little more rockin' and less Lifeline heavy.
Brilliant! Use me was perfectly a great cover and whipping boy sent chills.
The feel was classy yet relaxed at the same time.
I would see him again if I could next week!
does anyone know who the group was that opened for Ben Harper in Oakland?
yes, another "typical (read: great)" show. excuse me mister: fabulous use me up: surprise treat whipping boy: easily the best i've ever heard. ben and the ics were totally on. david
great show as always!!! Use Me was funky and soulful. new version of Excuse Me Mr. was amazing!!!! you keep topping your game.... love it c ya next week