24 Apr 04
Eric Clapton and His Band performed a solid show at The Point in Dublin, Ireland on 23 April 2004. Support was Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Fans who were there have generously sent their reviews to Where’s Eric! Here’s what they had to say about the gig:
Review by Gerry Byrne
I went to eric’s gig last night, his first time here in 13 years. Even though the setlist didn’t include alot of material from those 13 years it was none the less a brilliant show.
Eric played to a sold out Dublin audience. For many the opening song "Let it rain" came as a total suprise. Ive been to all of Erics gigs in ireland and it is the only time he has played this. It was absolutely briliant. He continued with "Hoochie" and "Walk out in the rain" (another suprise). Next came a blistering performance of the Derek and the Dominos beautiful love song "Bell bottom blues" which found Clapton in particullary good voice. He followed with a better than usual version of "I shot the sheriff" that contained a really good wah wah solo. Next came "Milkcow calfs blues" which in my opinion is one of the best blues performances Eric has ever done. The opening riff from Doyle on slide and then the rest of the band closing in on top of the riff is the most exciting piece of music ive heard form Eric in a long time; it would send shivers down any blues devotees spine.
He played another couple of songs from his latest album including a great version of "Kind hearted women". After this came the biggest suprise of the night, a rip roaring version of "Got to get better in a little while", Eric teased the crowd, slowly building up into one of the best solos he has ever produced in his career (40 years)… all i can say about this solo is god help the person who buys CRASH 3 after this. I dont think ive ever seen of heard a guitar being pulled apart and streched to the limit as much before this (Thanks Eric). "Have you ever loved a women" followed and again CRASH 3 was subjected to the same treatment. I didnt expect Eric to treat the audience with another masterpiece solo. "Badge" and "Wonderful tonight" where two brilliant crowd pleasers as always. Eric broke straight into the opening riff to "Layla" without any warning which took the roof off… He followed with "Cocaine" which left the crowd begging for more as he exited from the stage.
They werent left disappointed; he reappeared with the rest of the band after a short break, to play "Sunshine of your love" featuring Robert Randolph playing a brilliant solo on his pedal steel guitar. Eric also played a brilliant solo in this song and then battled it out with Randolph to the end of the song…. a brilliant end to a classic song. Eric and the band finished with "Got my mojo working". Eric done great rendition of Muddy Waters’ lip rasping which was very amusing indeed even bring a laugh and a smile from the master. This gig left me speechless for the rest of the night (Glad i can still write). I hope Eric doesnt make his wait another 13 years till we see him again.
Review by Richard Mulhall
I got to the Point Depot around 4.30, there was about 20 people already queing there. I saw Steve Gadd going out in a nice black car around 5. This was the first time I had ever seen Eric Clapton live and the exictement was killing me. I think the doors opened around 7.00. Immediately inside the money was out I was buying the merchandise, a 3 mugs(30) 2 zippo lighters (80), 2 sets of picks(20), 3 shirts(120) 2 programmes(30), two posters(10), 6 key rings(60), 3 pins(24). Yah thats was alot but the price of seeing eric clapton in concert was just priceless in my opinion.
Robert Randolph started to a half empty crowd. Quite enjoyable I thought, lack of good words in songs just made a little boring though. Voodoo Child was very good, and the crowd really liked it except they didn’t sing the words. Probably the best warm up show I’ve seen.
After randolph was over, the crew uncovered Erics equipment and put the famous carpet in. Eric came on at 9.00 o’clock exactly to a massive roar. He was wearing blue jeans and blue shirt.
Let It Rain – Not a good version in my opinion, really just lacked something, maybe a bit nervous it seemed that way anyways. Doyle played the first solo exactly like the original. Erics solo was a little disappointing, totally on autopilet. Nice ending to the song though I think
Hoochie Coochie Man – When the riff started there was a big cheer. Interesting with the girls singing during the solos. Eric really hit a great solo here, just breathtaking.
Walk out in the Rain – Nobody knew this song and there was no reaction from the crowd for it. Personally i don’t like this song at all. Nice solo by Eric again.
Bell Bottom Blues – A tear fell down my face during this one. Very very haunting. When eric sang "I dont wana fade away" the camera had this cool effect where eric was fading away. The solo wasn’t as good as I expected, it started off with a run on the b string, and then eric just bent the 15th fret up in a Buddy Guy like fashion.
I Shot the sheriff – Eric started this song by just strumming the chords in a very reggae feel. I was suprised some people weren’t recognising the song until the ususal riff. Doyle was playing the riffs that were in the studio version. Eric’s solo was sublime. Really long and imaginative. Some parts were very very fast. Half way during the solo, eric put the wah wah on and the solo just came alive. Some amazing licks were coming from him. One of the highlights of the show.
MilkCow Blues – Eric said "Were going to do some Robert Johnson for you now" Can’t really remember too much about this one.
When You got a good friend – The ryhtm section was more like "Before you accuse me" in this one compared to the Studio. Very good this one. The first solo breaks were doyle and keyboard i think. Eric’s solo was in the second break. Great solo, I think everybody was looking at the big screen with eric’s hand going up and down the maple neck.
Red Hot – The whole audience fell asleep. One of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. Doyle played the slide solo exactly like the studio again.
Kind Hearted Woman – Brilliant, great guitar work here. More relaxed than the other songs and feature just eric on his own.
Got to get better in a little while – Fast riffs, great solos, wah wah, it was all here. The crowd really enjoyed this song. It was a perfect performance in my opinion.
Have You ever loved a woman – Amazing, i think it was about 10 minutes long. Eric started with twice as many bars as usual. Everybody was soloing. The crowd really went for Billy’s solo. It looked like he was slapping the keys. Amazing. Eric put about 5 minutes in all into a solo. There was a lot of drool in the audience.
Badge – Bad soloing by eric here. I loved the slow part. The crowd were clapping when eric was doing it, and then steve came in with the drums and all the lights went up. Very good i thought.
Wonderful Tonight – Everybody in the arena sang along with eric here. Pity eric has cut the extended solo at the end. Just about 4 minutes long now.
Layla – There was no build up just straight into the riff. The crowd as you would expect went bannanas. The piano solo was shorter than normally. There was no eric solo in the piano solo either. On the last drum beat they went into…
Cocaine – Great performence, long soloing, just great. Doyle played some great stuff here. Great camera work on the big screens.
Sunshine of Your Love – Nothing special. Randolph’s solo was good. Erics solo was good too. He didnt play the usual solo he plays here.
Got my mojo working – This was my first time hearing this song. Really liked its beat. Randolph is simply amazing on the steel.
That’s it, Eric never thanked the crowed for coming, never introduced anybody. The only time he said something was after each song where he said "Thank you" and where he said they were going to play some Robert Johnson. I think 1.45 minutes was a bit short too, the Japan shows last year were 40 minutes longer. I will never forget this experience though. Erics playing on songs like "Sherif" "loved a woman", were just astonising and it was also great to hear Layla, Cocaine, Badge etc. The voice is still not back this moring for me.
Set List – 23 April 2004