Ben Harper And Jack Johnson
(Meadowbrook Music Festival, Auburn Hills, MI - June 24th, 2003)
On a beautiful Tuesday evening, both Jack Johnson and Ben Harper and his Innocent Criminals played before a sold-out crowd at Meadowbrook Music Theatre. Starting at around 7:00pm, quite amazingly the show didn't finish until almost midnight! Kicking off their summer tour in Auckland, New Zealand and getting nothing but great reviews from fans and newspapers, this tour will be pulling into the station at the end of June in Toronto, Canada. Though often said to be stylistically similar, the two artists could not have been more different performers on this wonderful evening. There was nothing better to do then enjoy the great weather, hang out with friends and watch Ben Harper and Jack Johnson do there magic.
Jack Johnson was first to take the stage and for those who don't know who Jack Johnson is (Brushfire Fairytales, and On and On), Jack Johnson is a three man group that also includes both Adam Topol (drums / percussion ) and Merfo Podlewski on bass. After there debut album, Brushfire Fairytales, Jack Johnson has proven to only get better and better. After playing a number of songs such as "Times Like These", "Fortunate Fool", "Flake" and the well known radio played "Please, Please, Please, Don't Pass Me By", you could tell that Jack Johnson's music is more about mood than message. Jack Johnson's 90 minute performance set a romantic atmosphere, perfect for an outdoor summer show.
After Jack Johnson's opening set, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals (Welcome to the Cruel World, Burn To Shine and Diamonds on the Inside) were not afraid to turn up the volume, mining rock and roll-style riffs in their charged closing set. "Excuse Me Mr", "Brown Eyed Blue", "Steal My Kisses", "Faded", and "Burn One Down" were among a few of the many songs that were played. Ben Harper (vocals), Juan Nelson (Bassist), Leon Lewis Mobley (Percussionist), and Oliver Charles on Drums put on an amazing performance and the crowd was definetly enjoying every moment. Not a single person was sitting during their performance.
When both set's were done, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson performed an amazing encore together, with the song "High Tide or Low Tide". Both artists complemented each other and judging by the crowd's response, both found their own way to please the crowd.
Reviewed by Amy Markowski