I was lucky enough to get tickets to see ‘An Acoustic Evening with Ben Harper’ at The Plenary in Melbourne.
I knew when Hubby bought me the tickets that it was going to be something special. I mean, how could it not be? An incredible artist, bearing all in an acoustic show, just the man and his music. But I had NO IDEA I was going to witness such an incredible musician in such an intimate setting, blow the minds of thousands at the same time as making me feel like I was the only girl in the room.
Ben Harper Bliss!
You know that moment when you are at a gig, and you are dying for the artist to play ‘that song’… and then they do, and your skin crawls with goosebumps and for a short moment, you know they were singing it to you! (wishing!!) Well, that was the entire night with Ben Harper. And to top it all off, the venue was sublime. The acoustic excellence of the Plenary, was second to none. The sound that resonated within those walls were sounds I’d never heard before. Not even the most high tech, high definition, state of the art whatever could rival this. It was pure bliss. Music perfection.
His set list was like I had hand written it and sent it to him. He nailed every possible song you wanted to hear, and then some. His new song ‘masterpiece’ is now my dedication to my hubby and son. It’s words simple, but breathtakingly brilliant.
The best part of the night, apart from being so relaxed, comfortable and warm, it was like sitting in his lounge room watching him jam. But the best part, was the stories he told before and after each song. The interaction he had with us, his audience. Who hung on each lyric, chord, movement and story he told. We were at his mercy. And you could have heard a pin drop in that auditorium, it was surreal.
He told stories of his days with Heath Ledger, and how he can no longer play Morning Yearning because of the pain he feels for him when he plays it. However, upon request from the audience, he played this very song! He had to stop right at the start and set himself straight before playing it again. You could hear the pain in his voice. The connection to Heath was strong.
He told stories of his childhood, growing up in his parent’s music shop, adventures with his grandfather. He played before us with about 15 different guitars (and the likes) behind him. Each song requiring a different guitar for the sound he wanted. He played Indifference by Pearl Jam on the freakin’ xylophone!! (at least I think it was a xylophone, could’ve been a Marimba or something else!!) This guy is insanely good!
Before he played Not Fire Not Ice he mentioned a couple he’d met the night before in a bar. They told him they walked down the aisle to this song on their wedding day. His words about marriage were brilliant and someone captured this on their phone. I’ll share with you…(not great footage but it’s not the footage I wish to share – it’s his words!) His idea of marriage being the top shelf of love is just brilliant. No one says marriage is easy, you’d be a fool to think this, and he said that is one of the toughest things to do, but it is where you learn the most about yourself, by loving someone else. These words could not have sounded more true to me in that moment.
So, after being musical mind blown for over 3 hours (yes – he just didn’t stop!!) with perfect sounds, amazing songs and a true insight into the wonderful world that is Ben Harper, I left feeling like I had just witnessed history. One of those moments that you can never get over. Never forget. Never want to forget. Want to share with everyone you love. Want to talk about forever. I hope to god that in some way there will be a live recording of the entire gig so I can re-live it whenever I need a pick me up. It has changed me. A single gig. By a single man has had such an effect on me that I am different today for seeing his brilliance.
So on that note, I think you need to get out there and see as much live music as you can, the feeling you get from it, is like nothing else. It’s pure ‘in the moment bliss’ that you can carry with you forever!
These Days Are My Days!