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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Ben Harper debuts in Tucson

    Ben Harper, through a myriad of multiple instruments, wall-rattling vocals and intimate connections with the crowd, ravaged Tucson of its virginity.

    And Tucson liked it.

    Harper and his ridiculously talented band of Innocent Criminals graced Tucson for the first time in their careers last night.

    Ben Harper
    The Lifeline Tour
    4 stars!

    There was a feeling in the air that the show at Centennial Hall would be stellar from the start when Harper kicked off the set with “”She’s Only Happy In the Sun.”” The track, off of Diamonds on the Inside, sounded flawless live as Harper’s perfect vocals crooned “”Every time I hear you laughing/ It makes me cry.””

    After soothing the crowd off the bat, Harper and the Innocent Criminals jumped head first into “”Arms of Another”” and “”Say You Will,”” supercharged tracks off of Lifeline, Harper’s most recent album.

    Longtime fans of Harper got a taste of the good but older song “”Excuse Me Mister.”” Two more Lifeline tracks later, Harper busted into “”You Look Like Gold to Me”” off of Fight for Your Mind. Following the song, Harper asked the switch board to shine the lights on the crowd so he could “”take a look at everybody.””

    Harper continued to awe the audience and remind it of his endless talents when he sat down at the piano and played “”Younger Than Today”” as blue lights danced around Centennial Hall.

    An audience member kept shouting for Harper to play “”Burn One Down,”” and Harper responded, “”I remember there was a time when I couldn’t get people to request my shit.””

    The crowd was brought to silence when The Innocent Criminals brought the music down low in “”Where Could I Go”” from There Will Be A Light and Harper climbed onto a ramp in the crowd illuminated by a single light. Without the amplification of a mic, Harper belted out “”and freedom is just a place to hide,”” his naked voice resonating all throughout Centennial Hall.

    The Innocent Criminals and Harper took a break and Harper returned for the encore to play Lifeline’s exquisite slide guitar solo by Harper, “”Paris Sunrise 7.”” Harper’s voice flowed into the end of “”Paris #7″” and brought “”Lifeline”” to life, just as it is juxtaposed on the album itself.

    Harper and The Innocent Criminals closed out the show with “”Forever”” and “”Like A King,”” which seemed never-ending but left the audience wanting more.

    Many Harper fans probably left disappointed that they didn’t hear cult favorites like “”Burn One Down”” and “”Glory and Consequence,”” but the Lifeline heavy set was musically flawless and kept the audience moving.

    As Harper put it fittingly, “”These are the nights that last forever.””

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