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Innocent Criminals Last Stickup: Ben Harper Review

by Sophia Van Gent

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are without-doubt among the worlds best blues’n’roots performers. At their sold out concert at Kings Park Botanic Gardens, the craftsmanship of each musician shone during performance, making their last Australian show a spring evening to remember.

Support act Pierce Brothers were an energetic duo, who, were able to pull off the sound of a full live band with a small assortment of drums, an acoustic guitar, didgeridoo and a harmonica between them. Performed to their biggest Perth crowd, Pierce Brothers set the scene for the evening ahead.

Joining percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates and guitarist Michael Ward, Ben Harper brought the sounds that make Harper who is – blues, reggae, folk and rock.

Combining classics like “Diamond On The Inside,” “Better Way” and “Oppression” with new songs of the band’s first new album release in eight years, Harper effortlessly entertained the crowd throughout the evening.

One of the highlights of the evening was undoubtedly bassist Juan Nelson’s solo during “Fight For Your Mind” that segued into a jamming session between Harper on the slide guitar and Nelson.

Closing the night with “Amen Omen,” “Steal My Kisses,” “Walk Away,” “Waiting On An Angel,” his beautiful rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Cover Me,” and “With My Own Hands,” Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals ended a remarkable performance on a beautiful springs night – one that won’t be easily forgotten.

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