6 May 04
Night two of Eric’s 6-night run at the venue he has said is like playing in his front room … the Royal Albert Hall.
Set List – 5 May 2004:
Here’s what the fans had to say about the show (including one who travelled 12,000 miles for it!) …
Review by John Hinton
It is hard to recreate a night, such as this in words but I will endeavour to do my best. Robert Randolph and the family band started the night and I haven’t seen a finer support act in years. The steel pedal guitar Mr Randolph plays is an amazing sounding instrument and the instrumentals the band played livened the audience up. A great version of Hendrix’s Purple Haze was excellent. I acquired a free sampler CD of The family Bands latest album and I might well purchase the album in the near future.
On to the main event and EC took the stage with the band looking more formal than I have seen in photos from the tour so far. Maybe its being at the Albert Hall even I wore shoes and a shirt! The band opened with Let it Rain, Eric eased into small solos just warming up and getting comfortable. A re-arranged version of Hoochie Coochie man was next and the backing singers aided EC in adding a more up tempo feel to this blues song. Walkout in the rain was good. EC seemed to be moving around a lot more on solos than I have seen in the past and it shows that maybe he is enjoying it himself more.
A change to the set list from previous shows and I Want a Little Girl was back in. My favourite from the Reptile album and EC’s vocals echoed around the Hall with great guitar play thrown in. I’d was anticipating the solo in I Shot the Sheriff as the opening bars of the song began. Many reviews have said how great EC plays on this and I was not disappointed. The audience livened up more and even a few people stood up as the song progressed. The solo started very slow and just went on and on building as it went. Amazing playing by EC and the roof must have lifted of the Hall at the end as the crowd applauded.
Again there was a change to the Robert Johnson set, Me and the Devil was an addition, then onto They’re Red Hot, Milk Cow, If I had Possession Over Judgement Day, another change, and finally Kind Hearted Woman. It was great to hear these blues classics and every one was played with great feeling.
Got to get Better in a Little While was good with great guitar from both Doyell and EC, straight into Have you ever loved a Woman and possibly the best song of the night. Not only was ECs solos great but Chris Stainton and Doyle Bramhall produced spine tingling solos. This was just for starters; the wonderful Billy Preston played a truly brilliant solo on the organ. This song demonstrated what I believe is Eric’s finest band for years all playing with feeling and looking like they all enjoy playing.
I think Doyle Bramhall is the perfect partner for EC on stage and he allowed Doyle to take solos often and what a great young guitarist he is. Doyle produced throughout the night some amazing sounds from his left handed guitars.
This was followed by Badge, Wonderful tonight, Layla and then Cocaine before the band left the stage only to return for an encore of Sunshine of your Love and Got My Mojo Working, joined by Robert Randolph. EC smiled broadly as he traded notes with him back and forth each elaborating on what the other did. The concert ended after two great hours and the band took there applause.
This is my seventh EC gig in my 22 years and has to be so far the best, a great mix of songs and the playing by all was great. I have just bought a guitar and if there was ever a reason to work hard a hard and learn to play EC tonight showed that. Eric Clapton is truly a master.
Review by Patricia Harris
I travelled 12,000 miles from Australia for the experience of hearing and seeing Eric and the band play at the Royal Albert Hall and it was worth every moment of the long journey. As soon as I walked into the hall I felt right at home and when Eric and company walked onto stage I felt I was in the company of old friends and settled down to soak it all up. Highlights for me were the fabulous solo on I Shot the Sheriff – the emotion of Kind Hearted Woman and the joy of seeing the musicians working together – and seeing the man’s guitars for myself. I always knew I was going to love every moment – what I wasn’t prepared for was the way Eric playing live so surpasses Eric on any CD/DVD I have ever seen or heard.
Well, back to Australia – back to guitar lessons and hopefully one day back to the RAH again.
Note to Eric: Could you consider including Australia in your next "World" tour – I know you’d get a riotous welcome.