Piers Faccini sat in on "Masters of War."
To Ben & the IC's,
Loved the concert in Portland. Had also seen you in Minneapolis. Brought a friend to each concert and they discovered what I had been raving about. Ever since I saw you on Austin City Limits a few years back, I have been a huge fan and no other music can compare. You are a breath of fresh air. You keep me open-minded with your music and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your music and perspective on the many facets of life. You and your band are undescribable to me.
Hope to see you again on your next tour.
(Oh, and I really enjoyed the man dancing up front in the isle at the Portland concert - he really was into the music and entertained many of us - hope you got to see him!)
Janet - Bettendorf, Iowa
This is the second time I've seen BHIC and each show was completely different and completely amazing. Ben connects to the audience in a way few are able, or allow themselves, to. His vulnerability and the emotion he displays onstage set's him apart from so many others.
Ended up having to sell my extra ticket to a woman on craigslist who had never had the opportunity to see him before and all she could do after the show is shake her head, laugh, and cry and say "thank you so very much". My sentiments exactly.
Great great show. I expected a very mellow acoustic show, but I was pleasantly surprised when he ripped into People Lead. The slide work was unbelievable last night, especially during Say You Will and Whipping Boy, which were two of the best performances I've seen him play. Everyone's already mentioned it, but the a cappella Where Could I Go (followed by the band exploding back to life) was really something I've never experienced before at a concert. Have to see it to understand.
Ben seemed truly moved by the amazing enthusiasm and engergy the crowd showed. Even though people were looking for an excuse to sit down through every song, the crowd really let loose in between songs and during the more rocking performances. There was like a 5 minute standing ovation in the middle of Use Me.
I brought two friends who had never even heard of BHIC and were skeptical at the beginning of the night when I told them this was going to be an "intimate" concert, but they left shaking their heads in amazement and asking me to send them all of Ben's albums.
Great night all around.
Hands down, that's the best small venue show I've ever been to in my life. In 30 years of going to shows I've never seen an artist connect to a crowd, or conversely the crowd connect to the artist the way we did at this show. Ben we hope you come back soon, and you'd be more than welcome to move here :-) Thanks for being so open and vulnerable, it's what allowed the magic of that show to happen!
I feel so blessed to have seen you 7 times now. This show was absolutely fabulous and nothing like I had ever seen before. A change is always so refreshing. Thank you for being who you are and standing for what you do. The band rocked it! They make me cheer for more every time. I think everyone else had a lot to cheer about too. Thanks again. Can't wait til next time.
Ben Harper & IC at long last....
Being a Ben Harper fan since 2000, moving him and those Innocent Criminal's to my second favorite band shortly afterwards, it has been a long time coming that I would actually see them in concert. It would be fair to say that, at the least, the anticipation has been mounting. It's not that they had never come to Vegas or hadn't played in neighboring cities, it was simply that everytime I would make plans to see them they fell through. So when I got that Fan Club email saying they were playing my new city of residence I knew that nothing was going to stop me. I put the pre-sale up on my calender with reminders and logged a reminder into my cell phone. When I couldn't access the pre-sale I was in a panic, knowing how hip these Portlanders are, thinking "I hope that it doesn't sell out!!!" So the day of the actual ticket sale I sat by the computer 10 minutes before the selling time logged into Ticketmaster, waiting. After a long 10.5 minutes I had a confirmation page up showing me as the rightful owner to two floor tickets, center aisle, orchestra section. Days later when I received the actually hard tickets in hand I let out a sigh of relief, my time had come!! That was 2.5 months ago!! Before I knew it November had rolled around and that excitement flooded right back.
Day of Concert
I was anxious all day!! I could hardly work. This is not typical of every concert I see. Only about 6 bands/performers invoke this surge of emotion in me, most notibly Pearl Jam. I wondered what songs he would sing, thought about a few songs I really wanted to hear and bugged any co-worker in earshot about how excited I was (Lord have mercy on them when PJ goes back on tour!). Finally, we were home, dog walked, dinner eaten, dressed up and ready to leave. I grabbed the camera and we set out for DT PDX. As I walked the 3 blocks to the venue I got more and more giddy and even more excited as I was surrounded by people who I knew came with the same excitement as me. The venue (Keller Auditoriun) was awesome, BHIC decided this tour was going to be in auditoriums and requested the audience dress up, which the whole band did as well. It was refreshing to be there in a building that houses the opera and Nutcracker, dressed up and being ushered to your seats. It felt sophiticated. They even handed out playbills, for lack of a better description. The first act was a solo singer/songwriter/guitar player by the name of Piers Faccini. He was backed up by an incredible accompaniment of bass and drums. His voice was mellow and solid.
I'm not sure how many instruments Ben Harper owns, but he can play them all equally well. It seems as soon as one song ended there was always another one awaiting him. This was an awesome show!! The crowd was in it at all moments and didn't feel confined to their seats. It was a good mix of dancing, sitting in amazement and more dancing! There was a well rounded choice of songs from all of their albums, but none of them sounded like you were sitting at home listing to the record. His voice was as smooth as glass and his slide guitar playing was, well there aren't any words for it. He boasted about Portland (and just visit, you'll understand!!) thanked the crowd after every song, commented about how diverse and great the crowd was and never once left you wanting more (ok I lie, I wanted to here Susy Blue and Show Me a little Shame and will have to settle for the recording of it :). The true highlight was when the entire auditorium went totally silent as Ben sang acappella without a microphone for an entire verse of the song. His voice sounded like it was carried on the wings of angels :) They played a solid 2 hour set with one encore and the night ended with the last of about 5 standing ovations, this one lasting about 5 minutes.
My Recommendation: Even if you aren't familiar with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals you should check them out. There is a little something for every musically taste.
Currently listening :
Live from Mars
By Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Release date: By 27 March, 2001
This show was amazing. Ben and IC, thank you for everything you do, the music you make and the people you inspire. I think everyone walked away last night with a sense of love and empowerment in their hearts. Much love, come back to Oregon soon!
WOW! Brought my 5 year old and he was so captivated. Everytime I caught a glimpse of his face he was just in AWE! In all honesty so was I... It's just a blessed thing to be able to experience such artistry! You said that we were brave for listening to your music but you are brave, in a world of conformity, to create such unique beauty.
Thank you Ben and the Innocent Criminals for all you give us! You are priceless gems.
Jenny and Noah
You truly set yourself a part from what 'pop culture' says music should be. Your style is infectious and the energy is captivating. Your rendition of Where Could I Go left me awe-struck!!! The musicianship of you and IC is second to none. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This show was incredible.
Ben et al,
Third time is a charm. The Roseland, Les Schwab Amphitheater, and Keller three different venues with three equally inspiring shows. Thanks for making time for Oregon--we'll see you soon!
Ben (and the IC),
Thank you again! I always leave inspired! "where could I turn but to the Lord" is so beautiful. We ate dinner at the table next to Laura and the Harper children - extra surprise for the night. Until next time - my friend.