27 May 09
In the venue the legendary musician once likened to "playing in his front room", Eric Clapton treated his fans to an outstanding 17 song performance at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 May 2009. There were some surprises all around. "Got To Get Better In A Little While" made it’s first appearance this tour early on in the set. Also, Doyle Bramhall II of the Arc Angels took a guest spot with the band on guitar near the show’s close for "Layla," (plugged back in!), "Cocaine" and "Crossroads".
The "sit down" set – which occupies the middle third of the concert – kicked off with a lovely rendition of "Driftin" with Eric on acoustic guitar. As great as Eric’s acoustic playing was during the now-legendary 1992 MTV Unplugged show, this song and the others that followed it demonstrated that his acoustic playing is now miles above that benchmark. "Lay Down Sally" returned to the set. It sounded great on acoustic guitars and it seemed the band was having lots of fun performing it for the sold out crowd.
One concert-goer told Where’s Eric!: "It was a slow, almost pedestrian start to the show, but Got To Get Better, featuring a sublime Willie Weeks bass solo, seemed to spark Eric’s juices and off we went on a rollercoaster ride of amazing guitar solo after another through the 3 song sequence, GTGB, Old Love and Sheriff. Chris Stainton had only had one small solo up until Queen of Spades but this is his number and he followed up by bringing us home with that amazing crescendo on Cocaine, on which Andy Fairweather Low also got one of the biggest cheers of the night for his own solo. Bringing Doyle out towards the end saw us treated to the electric Layla for the first time in this Albert run. Thank you Eric – getting better each night it seems! "
Check the Tour Section for more reviews and set lists from every night of Eric’s spring 2009 tour. New reviews are added as they arrive.
Show number nine at the Royal Albert Hall happens Thursday 28 May 2009. The final night of EC’s 11 show residency is Sunday 31 May. Support is the Arc Angels.
Set List for 26 May 2009 / Royal Albert Hall
01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
07. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
08. Lay Down Sally
09. Anytime For You
10. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
12. Little Queen of Spades
13. Before You Accuse Me
14 Wonderful Tonight
15 Layla – with Doyle Bramhall II
16 Cocaine – with Doyle Bramhall II
17. Crossroads (encore) – with Doyle Bramhall II
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
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