Clapton Concert Details: Budokan Hall 9 December 2003

After a trip to north of Japan for gigs in Sendai and Sapporo, Eric Clapton and His Band returned to Tokyo for their final four nights at the Budokan from 9 December.

The complete set list on 9 December 2003 was:

01. When You Got A Good Friend
02. Crossroads
03. I Shot The Sheriff
04. Bell Bottom Blues
05. Reconsider Baby
06. Can’t Find My Way Home
07. White Room
08. I Want A Little Girl
09. Got My Mojo Working
10. Hoochie Coochie Man
11. Change The World
12. Bright Lights, Big City
13. Kind Hearted Woman
14. Badge
15. Holy Mother
16. Lay Down Sally
17. Wonderful Tonight
18. Cocaine
19. Layla
20. Sunshine Of Your Love (encore)
21. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (encore)

Band Line Up:
Eric Clapton – Vocals, Guitar
Nathan East – Bass
Steve Gadd – Drums
Andy Fairweather Low – Guitar
Chris Stainton – Keyboards

Concert Review by Jii Aoi

Back to the road for me after more than two weeks’ absence, this time at the Budokan, the RAH of the East for Eric.The first thing I noticed was a rather ravaged voice when Eric started singing. Apparently he had a sore throat. No wonder, as he had returned from Sapporo, where he played in the huge Dome which was full of an audience of 45,000 with expectation, the first time over there in twenty-four years since 1979, and the tempreture outside was below zero, heavy snow falling down all day and night. However, as the performance progressed, he recovered his voice so quickly that I didn’t bother about it any longer.

Great fast-played solo on "Crossroads" which reminded me of the Cream version. It was a real pleasure for me to hear "Bright Lights Big City" which wasn’t played in the previous shows I attended. A nice touch-good for Andy!

In the absence I was off from the road, "Kindhearted Woman Blues", which was somewhat overshadowed by the flashier and explosive "Five Long Years" played prior to it in Osaka, seemed to have been promoted to a show highlight. Tonight Chris was so into it that he played a solo twice as much, leaving behind a dismayed Eric who missed the chance to enter the solo the first time around.

It is fair to say that, of all the dates I witnessed, I could hear some of the most inspired, original and fluent solos on the final three electric numbers of the show tonight, i.e., "Cocaine", "Layla" and "Sunshine".

Despite the initial voice problem and a typically sedate Tokyo audience, the result was one of the best nights of the entire tour, an opinion shared by many who submitted comments on various bulletin boards thereafter (well, there’s always a different view).

Concert review by Tsuzuki Hiroyuki

Eric privileges the residents of Tokyo?to experience his show eight times in succession. Not few people seem to visit Budokan for several times in these 14days. The people take a seat before the show and never stand until the beginning of "Layla". The enthusiastic audience, who keep standing and screaming all the time, are very few. Such an attitude of crowd is under the influence of the style of Eric’s performance. 40 years career makes him the man who doesn’t need much praise from the audience. Guitar performance maintains its stability even though the crowds don’t cause great excitement. They listen to the show, being confident of his playing ability. On the 5th day at Budokan, Eric played as usual. The edge of guitar playing was a bit inferior to that of 3rd or 4th day. Taking his ability into consideration, it was a typical standard show.

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