Sunday, March 1, 2009
Blast from the Past, Ben Harper + Jack Johnson @ UIC 2003
There were just days left until graduation. Our lacrosse season had ended with a marginal performances in the playoffs. My school day at this point was finished at 11:50 however I had no car and really nothing to do since most of my friends still had class in the afternoon.
I wandered the hallways as long as security would let me and would usually eventually find myself in our resource center. We were regulars in the resource center, and the supervisors hated it, but where could they send us instead? I was researching. For what no one knows. This research was usually a bunch of us playing games on Yahoo and watching music videos on Blastro or flirting with girls from other classes who had more legitimate reasons to be there. It was June 6th. My mindset had been on summer time since 2nd semester started. As we perused the internet CLO noticed Jack Johnson and Ben Harper were playing at UIC Pavilion that very night. On a whim, and a prayer that CLO could borrow his mom's car after school, we bought tickets. The details are fuzzy, although I probably could not have recalled it any better back then. I was a graduating senior, you know how that goes. At some point during that day we convinced our buddy Stone to join us.
The day ended and Colin was able to grab his 'rents car, just in time too as we almost gave up and took a cab. We sipped Beam and Coke on the way down but I recall us all being a little reserved since we were driving into the city so we didn't have much until we got down there and parked.
The show was unreal and our seats were surprisingly decent. We were on the far right side (facing the stage) 4 rows back. Our section was fairly empty so we moved down right onto the rail. Jack played great and we were loving it. We were on top of the world. Then Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals came on. The bassist, Juan Nelson, stood right above us a top an amp.
This guy could play and for us was the highlight of the night. Anytime he soloed it was like he was playing only to us since he was 2 feet away. He would go on an extended slap-fest and in the midst he would gesture to check his watch like even he couldn't believe how long he could keep up the solo. He played with great variety and seemed to just be loving it and having a blast. It made the show for us. We'd never been so close.
We drove back from the show thrilled. going on and on to each about how great a show it was. About how it was the best we'd seen. This wasn't really true of course but the show was quite good and we were on such a high at that moment it did seem that way. We made it back to Stone's house and shared stories with his mom before we went to his backyard and continued with some more substance abuse. We were up into the wee hours conjuring up illogical basketball plays and executing them and shooting lacrosse balls at each other. Some other friends met us over there but they couldn't get to our level.
I wish there were pictures, but we're probably all better off there aren't. Here is Jack Johnson's set list I dug up on googles, Im still in search of the Ben Harper and Innocent Criminals set list and will update as soon as I find it.
Times Like These
A Pirate Looks at 40 (I LOVE THIS BUFFET COVER)
Drink the Water
Posters > Taylor
Bubbletoes > Stir it Up
Never Gonna Give Up > Holes to Heaven
Mediocore Bad Guys
The Horizon Has Been Defeated
Further on Down the Road / Ramble On