Wednesday, September 6, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - New. Student Edition - 3D
ROCKIN' IN A FREE WORLD
Wyclefs Harper and the 'Criminals' steal show
By Gautam Baksi
Daily Arts WNriter
- This review originally ran in
*he Dail' on March 31, 2000.
Singer Wyclef Jean and the
Refugee Allstars brought The Car-
nival to town last night. Didn't you
hear the 5,000 screaming fans
storming the stage at Hill? Didn't
you hear The Product singin'
"Maria, Maria"? Didn't you hear
Wyclef proclaiming himself as the
"black Dirk Diggler"? If not, he
romises to return to the University
simply because "The ladies in this
school be bangin'!"
What began the night as an ordi-
nary rap/hip-hop show at Hill Audi-
torium turned into a two hour
marathon of sampling, simulated
sex, spontaneous reggae and a cele-
bration of youth.
Shortly past 8:30 p.m., Jean
entered the stage with a tribute to
Bob Marley's slow, but immortal
.renditions of "No Womnan, No Cry."
The young Haitian wasted no
time in energizing the crowd with
his ghetto-meets-the-Bee-Gee's ver-
WYCLEF EAN "Stayin'
HtLL AUDITORIUM A It v e."
ConceDate: J a n
.Ntarrclst/,20 ami xcd
Tour Gaisspsuors .cotcJ his at-
i irerelsircekWeek. dio vers-
W es with
freestylin' rhymes as the audience
clapped their hands and waved them
from side to side, mimicking moves
of the Refugee Allstars onstage.
Stripping down to a white tank
top (which he eventually ripped
off), Jean challenged the crowd's
best to strut their stuff on-stage. A
young man and woman climbed on-
stage only to be quickly booed off.
SJean's urging, the next couple
gyrated their bodies as the Fred
Durst lookalike tried to seduce the
young, blonde girl who joined him.
Finally, a third couple accepted
Jean's challenge and nearly brought
down the house.
They proceeded to grind their
bodies to the heavy beats of the DJ
before lying down and proceeding
to thrust their hips into each other.
he audience erupted with applause
as Jean smiled with approval.
Mixing Fugee classics with
D MX, House of Pain, Michael
Jackson, Prince and even the '80s
one-hit-wonder A-Ha, Jean spent
else majority of the night acting as a
JJto the hrihly charred crowd. In
between songs, he blasted both Puff
-'Paddy for his over-used sampling
and his former friend Cannibas for
his back-stabbing lyrics.
* Mixing humor with political
activisim and his passion for his
green ftiend ganja, Jean reminded
the crowd, This ain't MTV! Fuck
See WYCLEF Page 4p
By Christopher Cousino
Daily Arts Editor
--This review originally ran in the
Daily on October 29, 1999.
"This is close. We are close,"
mused the beautiful, soft-spoken
frontman during the first pause
between songs in Wednesday night's
show, "I'm digging it." As for the
audience - well, they dug it too.
Before a packed, energetic crowd
at Hill Auditorium, the genuine Ben
H a r p e r
BEN HARPER gave a
HtLL AUDITORIUM p e r fo r -
Cocert Da te m a n c e
October 27,1999 t h a t
Tour:tIis t titheiratest s p o k e
OpenerJosephArt loud and
- - - - -- --se clear to
those listening - Harper is one hell
of a musician. Spanning over two
hours and two encores, Harper
played through countless instrument
changes and styles, ranging from
bluegrass, funk, blues and rock to
Motown and even grunge.
Treating the audience with a musi-
cal whirl of lap guitar slides and the
gentle care and intensity of his
as the Innocent Criminals.
Entering the darkened stage about
20 minutes after middle-of-the-road
opener Joseph Arthur left with his
guitar, beatbox and John Lennon
looks in tow, Mr. Harper and the
Irnocent Criminals, comprised of
drummer Dean Butterworth, percus-
sionist David Leach and bassist Juan
Nelson, sat down to play.
And play they did. After an excit-
ing opening of the smooth, fresh
groove of crowd favorite "Gold To
Me," Harper melded right into the
loud bass and funk guitar of another
classic, "Fight For Your Mind." Mid-
way through, Nelson began to shake
and bop to the beat, which lead poet-
ically into a five-minute fusion of
various chromatic bass patterns.
Nelson owned this song and the
rhythms of the crowd as he sauntered
from stage right to left, playing
directly to the cheering students in
the front rows.
After briefly acknowledging the
closeness of the crowd, the band
eased into the first song of the show
from their latest release, "Burn To
Shine," with "Forgiven." Harper's
quiet acoustic gave way to an explo-
sion of the loud, abrasive guitar-dri-
In slowing the opening of the con-
cert, Harper took a moment to speak
with the audience - yet it was sim-
ply to give a generous, poignant
recognition of all the people that
made the show possible. He gave
credit to everyone from the stage
manager to the bus driver to the
Innocent Criminals before getting
back to business.
Harper's genuine nature as a
musician comes not just in his evi-
dent urgency to play music rather
than talk and bull shit about non-
sense but in his intense, pained
screams in such songs as "Please
Bleed" or his slick twang of double
guitar in the rock swing of"Burn To
While much of the show focused
on songs off their latest album,
Harper and the Innocent Criminals
couldn't let such favorites as "Burn
One Down" and "Oppression" go
unheard. With the light, whimsical
acoustic guitar of"Down," cheers of
recognition rang out at Leach's hip,
rolling drum beats The excited,
grooviIg crowd eventually joined
Harper in singing the fun chorus.
See HARPER, Page 4D
The vibrant vocal stylings of singer/songwriter Ben Harper ring "Gold to Me."
vocals, Harper sat atop his holy chair but a full fledged musician -- and
center stage to perform as an artist, one who's backed by an outstanding
not a rock star, not an entertainer, group of musicians otherwise known
BOTTLES AND CANS, CLAP YOUR HANDS
the ILEPHOO/Dilye. n t ldnie V ltu es'LEFT: Trippy hipster
Beck and the 'Midnte ultures' tour swooies, and some of
SA I . 4nt'ex guys, scream
intoAnn 4rbo t t thwith his guitar skills
By Gabe Fajuri and bathed in a barrage of high speed light-
and Chris Kula . ing, Beck took the audience on a trip through
Daily Arts Editors the depths of his often unintelligible mind,
stopping at destinations that ineluded six
This review eriginall' iert1 in the Daily additional tracks from "Vultures, with
tare Febrnarr 4, 2000. upbeat numbers like "Milk & Honey,'
Last night at Hill Auditorium, Beck turned "Peaches & Cream" and "Sexx Laws" the
it up, and made "all the people scream." The album's current smigle, all making appear-
seminal solo artist of our generation (so far), ances.
Beck has been called loser, slacker and Though the first three songs of the evening
genius. On Thursday, he proved himself a seemed a bit tentative, as soon as the now
mastermind, both theatrically and musically. familiar opening sample of "New Pollution"
For a solid hour and 40 minutes, Beck and rang through the loudspeakers, a triumphant
Iis skin-tight backing band delivered a roes- cheer escaped the crowd's lips, and the Beck
itg mix of funk, folk and rock - transcend- train was truly off and rolling.
mg genre and warping labels. For a few moments, though, during a mid-
From the open- set acoustic portion of the show, the train
BECK ing groove of nearly ground to a halt, though Beck
HILL AUDITORIUM "Mixed Bizness.' adding harmonica to his acoustic guitar
Concertate: Beck and Co. strummi in - made every effort to keep
F.e'rhary n3,: (made up of a things energetic. Highlights of this section off
Ton:h rroithirnist three-piece horn the show included selections from last year's
<ahimmn,"hihumnc'liures" sectinon, two Mutations release: "Cold Brains, 'Sinsg it
Opener: link Wlliamsr III backing singers Again (performed with a friend named
and the typical Smokey on guitar) and "-Tropicali."
rock outfit) tore through aimishmash of The funk reared its beautiful head again
music lifted from more than four of his with a ground shaking rendition of
releases, including the latest - and greatest Odelay's" hit single and chant-along
party album of the year - "Midnite Vul- favorite, "Were it's At." Beck pranced from
tures." one side o'f,,he stage to another throughout
On stage, Beck cut a slight figure - by fa.the song, urging fans on by repeating the
the smallest member of his assembled" song's chorus of "Bottle and Cans/Just Clap
ensemble. But stature was no indication of Your hands."
the-man's stamina, voice and outpouring of The bouncing hype of "Where It's At"
energy that, once rolling, nearly over- served as the perfect musical springboard for
whelmed the sold-out crovfk "Debra " the crazy-sexy-cool soul jam that
Surrounded by industrial sized duct work closes Beck's new album and was the show-
stopper on last night. When Beck hit the
ultra-high falsetto line "F met you/At J.C.
Penney/I think your nametag/ Said Jenny,"
the ladies in the audience made no doubt that
they wanted to "get with" the man himself
Listening to Beck's voice reach Smokey
Robinson heights, one can't help but wonder
about its origin. To quote Charles S. Dutton
from the triumphant '90s film "Rudy,"
"You're five foot nothing, a hundred and
nothing." Where the hell is that falsetto
coming from, young man?
Not long after the band left the stage
following the romping, horn driven
"Sexx Laws," the cheering masses were
granted a two song encore - but not
before they were treated to a display of
turntable wizardry from DJ Swamp. The
nnix-man had supplied tasteful backing
effects throughout the show, but during
his short solo set let hi chops fly and
left the crowd gaping at his dextrous
Beck and his hockey-pad clad min-
ions returned to the stage with the ear-
numbing "Novocaine" and ended the
evening with another ferocious "Ode-
lay" selection, "Devil's Haircut." Fol-
lowing the final chords of the night,
the baJId'egenrerated into a state of
total assl-utter onstage anarchy with
Beck le&djng the charge. Horn players /
mounted stage scenery, guitarists writhed
across the floor and the-mastermind him-
self shuffled offstage, shoulders burdened
with guitar stands, set to a soundscape creat-
ed by a thoroughly entertained audience.
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