After a successful reunion last year, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals are finally back on tour and played a great show in Zurich last Monday. Playing  a couple of new songs but also a bunch of old hits definitely helped everyone present start off into a great new week.

Once more I had the chance to pack my camera for this show at Volkshaus and take pictures from the pit during the first 3 songs. Even though this wasn’t my first rodeo, it kinda surprises me how my adrenaline level shoots up during the time in the pit 🙂

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals – we’ll forgive you for the small delay

A little after 9pm the lights go out. Of course the audience knows exactly what that means and starts to cheer. And there they are, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals appear on the small stage of Volkshaus. I have to admit, I only knew Ben Harper through rather calm and mellow songs such as  „Forever“, „Walk Away“ or „Amen Omen“. So obviously I was quite surprised when some of the songs were actually quite rocky and more up-tempo. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen such a diverse show, they went from soul-ish kind of songs to more reggae tunes and back to decent rock songs. No surprise that the audience was pretty well mixed. Pretty much all age-groups were present, male, female, hipsters, rockers and the pot heads that were pretty much high from the very beginning 😀 Especially in the rows further back, there was a lot of dancing going on. But not only… There were quite a few people up on the gallery that could not longer stay in their seats and danced all throughout the show. They were having a great time!

Thunderous applause after Instrumental Sessions

Every now and then there were little „breaks“ where the Innocent Criminals showed off their talent in little instrumental sessions – which were always followed by a great amount of applause and adoration in everyones faces.  I personally loved the parts where Leon Mobley, the percussionist, was highlighted. I mean, how does he do that? My hands would probably fall off after 1 minute of intense hammering down on the drums – actually, I probably wouldn’t even hit the drums the way he did. Very impressive! But also the bass solos by Juan Nelson were absolute gold! I love it when the band actually gets the chance to shine. Seeing the musicians light up even more and seeing/feeling that they’re really enjoying what they do – man that really does make my heart beat a little stronger! Even though I don’t have a single musical bone in my body, I really enjoy these moments!

Burn One Down!

As always, the big hits don’t come until the end… So around 10:30, we finally got to hear „Burn One Down“  as the first encore. I was a bit surprised that no one (at least around me) actually “forgot” about the non-smoking law 😉

The encore went on for a good half hour after that, luckily one of my favorites made it into the set as well: „Steal My Kisses“ ! Pretty much the perfect way to end the day. Then of course Ben introduced the band again, bowed in front of the audience while taking in the applause and cheers. What a great night it was!

Concert Pictures Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals