Ben Harper and the Relentless 7

09/17/09 – Fox Theatre: Oakland, CA

Words/Photos by Jhallead

Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 - Oakland, CA 09/17/09

Ben Harper is my favorite.  I have been a fan of his since he opened for Pearl Jam in 1995.  I have always loved the fact that although he is an outstanding person and musician, he did not get incredibly big in the music world.  This means that I can typically get very up close and personal at his shows.  This show was the closest I have ever gotten which was the 2nd row. 
Ben Harper - Oakland, CA 09/17/09
I had a feeling that Ben was going to play his new album because he is touring with Relentless and not the Innocent Criminals.  I made sure to listen to it 10 times before the show so I would be familiar with all of the songs.  I really did do the right thing because he played his ENTIRE new album.  The only other song he played was Walk Away. 
 Ben Harper - Fox Theatre 09/17/09
He got a little annoyed with the crowd and told people to keep the noise level down during the slower songs.  I was annoyed too because way too many people were talking.  He said that in all of his career, he has never had to tell a crowd to show some respect.   I actually almost got into a fight with some gal and her Aquanet hairdo.  Not to mention, the show was in Oakland and I had never been so scared in my life to walk 5 blocks to the car.  The Fox Theater is beautiful though, they just spend a few million dollars on the remodel.  I highly suggest anyone in the Bay Area to check it out if they have a favorite musician coming to play.  The venue does not fit that many people and there were like 8 bar stands.
 The Crowd at The Fox Theatre - Oakland, CA
If I was a so-so fan, I would have been a little bit disappointed that he did not play any of his radio tunes.  A couple of my friends were dying to hear “Steal My Kisses” and I was secretly glad he didn’t.  But, because Ben is so great it really doesn’t matter what he plays, because he plays it so well.  I could watch him read the telephone book and I’d be happy…but hey, that’s just me.
 Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 - 09/17/09

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