11 May 04
Eric’s run of shows for 2004 is winding down, with only one more gig to go. The next-to-last concert on 10 May held a small surprise … a slight change to the set list with "Five Long Years" replacing "Have You Ever Loved A Woman."
Eric’s band for this tour is:
Eric Clapton – Guitar, Vocals
Nathan East – Bass, Vocals
Chris Stainton – Keyboards
Steve Gadd – Drums
Doyle Bramhall II – Guitar, Vocals
Billy Preston – Hammond Organ, Keyboards, Vocals
Sharon White – Backing Vocals
Michelle John – Backing Vocals
Two Clapton concert-going veterans sent their reviews to Where’s Eric!:
Review by Ieuan Rees
Having had some time to digest the NEC concert I was really looking forward to seeing Eric again. We took our seats and waited for Robert Randolph. He did not disappoint and ripped through a slightly different set than at Birmingham. Really got those members of the audience who had turned up ready for the main event. At about 8:40PM the man strode onto stage. He once again ripped into Let It Rain. Followed by Hoochie Coochie Man and Walk Out In The Rain. Eric was really having a good time doing his funky shuffle around his little rug. By the time he got to Sheriff it was clear that Eric had shifted up a gear from the NEC gig. In thirty odd outings to see EC this is far and away the best I have seen him play! His soloing was jaw slackening. He worked through the seated blues number and then tore into Five Long Years. He was absolutely on fire – firing off funky little runs instead of just playing the rhythm as he had in Birmingham. Badge, Wonderful Tonight then the most soulful rendition of Layla I have heard. A storming Cocaine leads us to the encores. After a short delay Eric returns to the stage jamming an introduction to Sunshine. A simply stunning solo is squeezed from the Crashocaster. Robert Randolph takes the stage just in time for a duel of stunning proportions. The two guitarists hammering out stinging flurries of notes. A foot stomping Mojo Working and EC and The Band are taking a bow.
I did not think Eric would play any better than at Birmingham. I was completely blown away by his amazing playing this evening – whether it is the more intimate nature of the RAH or perhaps he appreciates the sit down bit of the show. Whatever the reason we witnessed a man at the top of his form tonight, it immediately made sense of the "Eric is God" graffiti!
Review by Nadja Teichert
The last concert for me to see in this tour, it was excellent. I like the play list change to the earlier concerts very much. EC and the band sounded fresh and they seemed to enjoy themselves. A very good change was playing "Have you ever been mistreated" instead of "Have you ever loved a woman". Billy Preston’s solo and the way he played with the audience was fantastic. Even EC smiled. Sometimes I wonder why it is possible that he gets better from concert to concert. While it was loud, very loud (is that necessary for the RAH?) it was a great "stomping" concert. The best of the three I’ve seen. If I could chose I’d have this London concert anytime plus "Bell Bottom Blues" from Zurich and "I Shot the Sheriff" from Manchester. Eric, don’t let us wait to long for your next "un-retiring".