08.22.08 Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara Bowl with Tom Freund

I Was There
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C.C. White sang background vocals for "I Shall Be Released."

Who Went

  • roman21's picture
  • levyhit's picture
  • Big B's picture
  • jackietipper730's picture
  • Juan Pablo's picture
  • zumaron's picture
  • rybrewster's picture
  • guitaryan03187's picture
  • iBelieveinabetterway's picture


anonymous's picture

Drove up from San Diego for the show and of course it was well worth it. Juan was on fire all night long and Leon had to drag him off the stage at the end! We knew about the 10 p.m. curfew for the Bowl so we were'nt surprised at the length of the show. Highlights for us were "Better Way" and the Dylan cover of "I Shall be Released". Amazing venue and crowd. 7th time getting to see Ben and the boys live and it just keeps getting better. Thanks so much to the whole band for making it such a special experience each time. See you at the next So Cal show and I only wish we could make it to Brazil to catch one there.

cswill36139's picture

Amazing show! The last show in the SB Bowl was so compelling that I flew back to see this one-too bad he didn't play "Deportees" again-that song meant so much in Santa Barbara where the divide between haves and have-nots is so immense.
Good luck in Brazil-quer dizer, "boa sorte"-they are playing that song all over brazil so I know they will be well received.

lpstylee87149's picture

Once again Ben and the Innocent Criminals showed us why SB is one of their favorite places to play. Seeing Marley in SB as a youth Ben used that vibe starting out with Jah Work and just kept jammin 4 2 hours ending with Own Two Hands. What a special treat to see these guys at this venue. His tribute to Rex was something special and heartfelt. Give Thanks, Jah Bless

davey_dave's picture

The Santa Barbara Bowl is a perfect place to see the Innocent Criminals other than the 10 pm curfew.

The show was absolutely great. They jammed out many of the songs, it seemed as if it was a highlights reel of their European tour as the set list was similar. "Whipping Boy" and "Forgiven" were amazing. Other than one over eager photographer who seemed to distract Ben a little, the atmosphere was electric.

I was four or five people back in the center of the pit, but there isn't a bad seat in the building.

I am of the opinion that it is cool for women to hold their place at the front of the pit, but boys you need to learn to hold it. I know it is sexist, i just can't help it.

The acoustic part was skipped probably because of the time restraints (but again, the jammed so many songs to a hypnotizing point that it was understandable). I just wished that guy at the front of the stage didnt ask for a copy of the setlist so i would have never seen that i missed out on PLEASE BLEED (as well as Woman in You)

The "I Shall Be Released" was very touching as was Ben's short dedication speech to Rex. He told us how Rex had given him this funky, red velvet guitar last year and how he wished he had played it for him before he passed.

Don't expect to see it at other shows as it was special to that night i would think.

The only good thing about the early ending was that we made it to Johnnie's Pastrami in Culver City by midnight to chow down.

Wish i could find a reason to go to Brasil...

Hey Criminals! We would love a SoCal theatre show in the winter!!!

junkmailforjames21790's picture

as it has been said, awesome show but short. ben's style for many of the songs played was switched up from last year, and it was great to hear. when you have talent and spirit, its hard to go wrong. and harp stills got it and stills dont go wrong. who can trade a copy of this show for a sb bowl show from 2 yrs ago?

bobbarita's picture

Last night's set list was right up my alley, couldn't stop dancing from start to finish. Loved the impromptu crowd rendition of Happy Birthday to Juan, who kicked serious ass last night and was both the first and the last man on the stage. The I Shall Be Released tribute to Rex, a SB Bowl figure who passed away last year, was very touching. That was some crazy looking guitar.

Thank you BHIC for another evening of musical church. You never disappoint. Can't wait for the next time.

mckylelaw34853's picture

Uh... I meant "Happy Birthday Juan!!!"

(It was a late night drive back to LA after the show, sorry.)

mckylelaw34853's picture

Drove up for this show with our kids in tow (Marley - 12 weeks old, and Harper Jo - who just turned 2) and I am so glad we brought them along. Marley absolutely adored the light show and Harper (yep, named after both Ben and Harper Lee) danced the night away with new friend, Emily, and her glow sticks.

Thanks to all you right up front who indulged a little girl's desire to "go up there and and play drums". (Leon, she's gunning for your job!) She still talks about the night Ben Harper Jo (that's what she calls him) gave her a rose from on stage at the Orpheum.

I esp. am glad "Burn One Down" was played while we were getting water, otherwise, I fear the kids may have gotten their first taste of Sweet Leaf! Man you Santa Barbarans know how to "Burn One Down", don't ya?

I am also glad that "Use Me" was revisited on the set list. Only sadness was that I didn't get to hear "Excuse Me Mr." live again. But overall, what a treat of a night!

PS Happy Birthday Jose!!!!!!

johnnyoxnard27321's picture

1st time live for me. I always knew Ben was on a whole other level musically, and hes a top 3 favorite for me. We were right in front the whole time. Just when I thought Id heard most everything hes done I realized Ive never heard anything so amazing before. It blew me away. Ben Harper will be recognized as a legend and will always be an all time great. Thank you Ben!

crangress72693's picture

First time seeing you live and it was the most amazing show!! Small venue, great seats, great crowd, great music!! Only wish it could have gone on longer!! Cant wait for the next show!

cam2188's picture

The show was a little short but I guess these bowls in California all have 10:00 curfues. Anyway the show was made just by hearing him play I shall be Released by Bob Dylan for the first time!!!! Thanks Ben for another night of great music.