Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals

November 9, 2007

Orpheum Theatre

By Ryan Colditz

On a night when everything was still all too complicated and lacking in humanity, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals rolled through town and brought smiles to the faces of everyone in their path and left a tap in our toes, sure to last for weeks to come. Dressed up for the intimate show, Ben and band took full advantage of the Orpheum Theatre’s elegant setting and delivered a knock out performance, from its mellow beginning to dance-party conclusion. Each song built on the previous, and by the middle of the set it seemed we would be giving standing ovations the rest of the night. We had no choice. He was delivering one amazing performance after another. It almost seemed like a dream when the lights came up, the band hit the stage, and how everything came together perfectly in a beautiful culmination of music and an appreciation for everything it means to us all.

From people dancing up the aisles just like a Benny Hinn revival, to an awe-induced silence for “Lifeline” and “I'll Rise,” the honest urgency in Ben’s voice and the power of the Innocent Criminals behind him brought the house down. At one point even Ben was caught up in it all. When for close to five minutes the crowd took over, bringing the stage show to a halt as Ben could do nothing else but appreciate the crowd's response. In return he gave everything he had for the remainder of the night. Describing each amazing song as a separate highlight would not do the show justice as a whole. If you were there, you understand what I am talking about. If you weren’t, I’m sorry for you. You really missed out.

Photos by Timothy Norris. Click here for more.

Perhaps it was the venue itself that served as a main component in the night’s transpiring events. The Orpheum Theatre’s sense of naivety to the outside world (and $5 beers) leaves something to be learned by newer, over-produced musical establishments more concerned with how bright the lights shine than the concert experience it is delivering.

On a side note, a good sized audience were treated to opener Piers Faccini who got the night off to an amazing start and set the stage for the rest of the evening. From the first song on, gasps could be heard all around the room from unsuspecting onlookers not prepared for the beauty and power coming at them. Faccini won over everyone quickly as he was promoted from just an eye-opener to the ranks of jaw-dropper, and by the end we were sad to see him go. Quite a powerful set by a musician who gets what its all about. I predict good things for Mr. Faccini.

Photos by Timothy Norris. Click here for more.

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