13 Sep 2000

Morrison, CO

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 at 7:00pm MDT

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals first headlining show at Red Rocks was a standout of the tour.

Ben warmed up for "Alone" with a few teased riffs of what would become "So High So Low." He also teased riffs of what would become "When She Believes" before "Excuse Me Mr."

During his introductions Ben looked back at the percussion kit then turns to crowd and says, "David's living some sort of a childhood fantasy back there, isn't he? Look at all that stuff man. I mean, who doesn't really want a gong? Every house should have a gong. I said gong, with a 'g'". (The crowd erupts in laughter).

Then the group breaks into "Burn To Shine" and comes up short with a false start. He says, "No wait a minute. Wait a minute. I'm sorry, I'm sorry you guys paid too much money for us to fuck it up. One more time!" Afterwards he thanks the crowd for being so forgiving and says, "That doesn't happen to often. Actually that was a special moment, right? Live!"

Later after "The Will To Live" Ben briefly left the stage and gave the microphone to Juan. While entertaining the crowd, the bass man recognized a physically disabled fan and brought him on stage to play bass!!

Ben also talked in detail about his spiritual views:

You know I get asked quite often about faith. I'm sure you guys are probably even tired of reading that, around what it is I do - if you ever read any Ben Harper press. It's strange to say because for me, my faith is life. I have faith in life. You know what I mean? And I have faith in human beings, and that keeps me in an optimistic spirit. You know what I mean?

And you know, I'm ready for belief systems, where I feel and seek wisdom. But I don't believe in wickedness, and I don't believe in the way people treat one another in the name of religion. And I feel that religion tends to sometimes take away from God, and God's true grace. And I'm not down on religion; I just believe in a spirit that transcends all religion, that is the mightiest God that loves all children in all walks of life. Ya dig?

But sometimes you feel a spirit, and when the spirit moves you, you gotta move with it. You can never move against the spirit, 'cause it's so much greater than you. And that spirit comes in so many different ways and forms and shapes, and it's that voice you hear in your head. The spirit is the voice inside your head that leads you to follow your dream, no matter what anyone tells you.

So you know, people say "Ahh man, are you Christian, or what's going on man? Are you Catholic? Or what's up?" I'm like, "Man, I don't want to be boxed in. Those words are too small for me." But the thing is this: Whether it's Christianity, or Judaism, or Swamanarianism... Swamafarian.. .Rastafarian... I believe in my heart in the God that has brought me to where I am in my life. You know what I mean? And I grasp ahold of my blessings in the morning, and I put them to bed and I tuck them in at night so gently. 'Cause they're the blessings that make me "me". And they give me the sight and this mind and these hands.

But when a spirit reaches to me - if it's Buddhism, or what have you - I'm gonna reach back! You know what I mean? Because I believe spirits reached everyone here tonight, and I just reach back to them. I don't try to define it or describe it. But if a spirit is reaching to me, I'm reaching back, period. 'Cause I need that strength from any spirit I can get it from.

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

with Galactic