Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GPB Finalizing Ben Harper Appearance

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, a jazzy acoustic rock band have posted plans on their official Web site to make an April 27 stop at Georgetown University’s McDonough Gymnasium during their current tour promoting a soon to be released double live CD set.

According to Georgetown Program Board Concerts Chair Justin Barra (COL’02), GPB has placed a bid to secure Harper, but this engagement has not yet been confirmed and thus is not official in the eyes of the university.

“If all goes according to plan, we should have it settled by [Tuesday]” Barra said.

In response to GPB’s bid, Harper’s agent returned a 40-page contract, which Barra said is considerably longer than past contracts, requiring more time for approval. Before the agreement can be made official, it must be reviewed by Georgetown’s Office of Student Programs, liaisons between the university and its neighbors and finally the Program Board itself, led by Barra.

In the final stage of the process, Barra will meet with Harper’s agent and proceed to read through the band’s demands line by line. Because of GPB’s limited budget and the size constraints of McDonough, many compromises will have to be made, according to Barra.

Barra said that he has received only positive feedback from the band and its representatives.

Virgin Records, Harper’s record label, sent a marketer to Georgetown’s campus with promotional signs upon hearing news of the deal. Barra, adhering to university policy that requires GPB to abstain from promoting the concert until later in the month, removed many of the posters, but said that many are still posted.

During Late Night at Leavey, GPB invited students to choose their preferred act for GPB’s annual Spring Concert. While the first choice of the students, Bob Dylan, was unavailable, Ben Harper placed an extremely close second.

“I was surprised,” said Barra of Harper’s popularity among Georgetown students, saying that Harper had received more votes than several popular touring artists such as oby, Everclear, Dido, Rusted Root and the Stone Temple Pilots, among others.

“We really wanted to follow the will of the students,” said Barra, who soon followed up on the students’ vote with a bid to Harper’s agency. After receiving the bid, the band’s management posted the unconfirmed date on their official Web site.

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, who will be performing with the Dave Matthews Band during their summer tour, are presently promoting their new live album, a double CD set entitled Live From ars, that is scheduled for release on March 27, exactly one month before the unconfirmed concert date.

Comprised largely of college and university arenas, Harper’s tour will kick off on April 4 and continue through Atlanta’s annual Music Midtown festival on May 4. The Georgetown show is scheduled in the middle of the run, between shows at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and at Fairfield University in Connecticut, according to the band’s Web site.

This double CD will include previously unreleased songs as well as popular favorites such as “Excuse Me Mr.”, “The Woman In You,”Burn One Down,”Forgiven,”Faded / Whole Lotta Love,”In The Lord’s Arms,”Beloved One” and “Another Lonely Day.”

Live From Mars, showcasing Harper’s natural talent as a live performer, comprises a characteristically eclectic mix of ballads and grooves, jazz blues and acoustic rock, lyrical poetry and emotional delivery. The release of this live CD follows quickly on the heels of Harper’s first commercially successful 1999 release, Burn to Shine.

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