BEN HARPER – concert review

by Ezra Marcos
There are two things that I like a lot, photography and music! I was given the awesome opportunity to photograph Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 thanks to the awesome EU crew! So I wanted to share my experience, but I want you to understand that I’m not music critic, I’m just a photographer…who likes music!
This was my first Ben Harper show and rumor is, his shows are amazing. I concur but you have to be a die-hard Harper fan or else you might not understand.
I had several reactions during the show but the strongest reaction was, “Wow, here we are in Jacksonville, a place that has certain tendencies (that I won’t bother discussing) and during A Better Way the entire crowd is standing and cheering and possibly worshiping Ben Harper.” That to me was incredible and gave me a nice warm, fuzzy feeling!
Now, I can’t remember what songs he sang (heck, I hadn’t even heard some of the songs he sang) but he did some of the favorites; Better Way, Walk Away, Oppression, and In the Lord’s Arm. I did expect him to play other classics, but Ben Harper was rocking with a new band – the Relentless 7, so I couldn’t expect him to go back into the archives and rock out Excuse Me Mister but a Bob Marley cover or 2 would have been substantial (and fulfilled my expectations according to those rumors) but he didn’t deliver those either.
He did do an encore totally solo, hence, an acoustic encore. Perhaps because of Ben Harper’s tendency to break curfew and absorb the fee, the more toned down acoustic finish just might be the perfect segue to calming the crowd and sending everyone home feeling nourished (and less buzzed)!