Clapton Opens European Tour In Barcelona: 24 March

Eric Clapton and His Band were at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain on 24 March 2004 for the opening of the European Tour. Where’s Eric! staffer John McIlroy was in attendance. Check out his show review – and that of long-time fan Siro Garrido – below.

Complete Set List:

  1. Let It Rain
  2. Hoochie Coochie Man
  3. Bell Bottom Blues
  4. Walk Out In The Rain
  5. I Shot The Sheriff
  6. When You’ve Got A Good Friend
  7. Milkcow’s Calf Blues
  8. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  9. They’re Red Hot
  10. Hellhound On My Trail
  11. Change The World
  12. Got To Get Better In A Little While
  13. I Want A Little Girl
  14. Badge
  15. Wonderful Tonight
  16. Cocaine
  17. Layla
  18. Sunshine Of Your Love

Band Line Up:
Eric Clapton – Guitar / Vocals
Doyle Bramhal II – Guitar
Chris Stainton – Keyboards
Nathan East – Bass
Steve Gadd – Drums
Billy Preston – Hammond Organ
Michelle John – Backing Vocals
Sharon White – Backing Vocals

Concert review by John McIlroy / Where’s ERIC!

No, the above is not a misprint. Eric Clapton not only tweaked and played with his traditional set list on the opening night of his European tour in Barcelona yesterday evening – he practically ripped it up and started again.

Yes, the finale of the show still featured a ´greatest hits´package comprising Wonderful Tonight, Cocaine, Layla and Sunshine of your Love. But up to that point, you´d have been hard pushed to pick any regular favourites in a line-up that blended revived tracks from 30 years ago with totally fresh material from the new Me and Mr Johnson album.

From the moment EC walked out with an electric guitar (no acoustic openers this time, folks) and chimed into Let it Rain, the raucous 18,000-strong Spanish audience were taken aback by a band that was plainly enjoying a shot of fresh material. It benefited, too, from the inclusion of Doyle Bramhall II on backing guitar, as Eric´s preferred young gunslinger threw in tasty fills and some superb slide work, egging his band leader on all the while.

Let it Rain (not heard live since the 1980s) was a great opener, but even more eyebrows were raised when Walk out in the Rain, last played on the Backless tour of 1978, was thrown in between Bell Bottom Blues and a juicy I Shot the Sheriff.
The highlight for many, though, would have to be Got to Get Better in a Little While – easily the funkiest track of the evening and one that showcased the talents of EC and Bramhall superbly. The message from the WE! team in Spain is simple – if this show-stealer gets dropped at any point during this tour we´ll eat our sombreros.

The central section of five tracks from the Robert Johnson tribute album might lose one song in the shows to come, but we´re hoping it´s not They´re Red Hot, which licked up to a nice groove and also gave Bramhall another chance to shine.
A fresh beginning, then, in more ways than one. If the Palau Sant Jordi show is but a starting point for the weeks that lie ahead, then there´s many a treat in store between now and the last night at the Royal Albert Hall in mid-May.

Concert review by Siro Garrido

Having attended at least one show from every tour since 1995, I think I can say last Wednesday’s gig in Barcelona was, if not the best, one of the best ones I have ever witnessed.

Maybe it was because I was expecting the usual show with the usual acoustic numbers at the beginning, and the usual electric songs. The first chords of Let It Rain were like a breath of fresh air … At that point I knew that would be a different show. Hoochie Coochie was as good as always though I have to admit I couldn’t get used to the backing vocals on it then came Walk Out In The Rain, I just couldn’t believe my ears. Bell Bottom Blues sounded great with Doyle on electric guitar, the Sheriff intro has been changed and featured a good solo at the end.

Then came the Robert Johnson tracks … four blues numbers which gave all the band members the opportunity to take their own solos and then came some chords which I first thought belonged to She’s Gone … I mean, it didn’t sound like She’s Gone and sounded more like Got To Get Better but it could NOT be GTGB … how could Eric perform that song ??? Last time he played that song was 1971. That was before I was even born!!! My heart was telling me it really WAS while my head was saying "no, no, no… it can’t be, it can’t be…" The suspense was killing me but it lasted just a few seconds. I went mad when Eric sang the first verse! I loved the feeling….

I have been praying and praying for years Eric performed live sometime both this song and also Tell Me That You Love Me. You see he dug up GTGB and he played Walk Out from the Backless album. At this point I won’t say Clapton is God…but he must be….. He couldn’t have heard my prayers otherwise!!!!!

Change The World was the only song which saw Eric with an acoustic guitar and then, once in electric mode again, came Little Girl and the classics Badge, Wonderful, Cocaine and Layla.

The whole band seemed to be in a very good mood … that’s no news for Nathan. I could see Doyle changing smiles with his guitar technician once and again, would have loved to know what was going on.

Two things I didn’t like much 1) the encore still is Sunshine… was good but I think even that one deserves a break. It wouldn’t have been too bad if at least a Billy Preston song had followed and 2) GTGB was shortened from its 13 original minutes live to just 6 😉

Reviews were excellent next morning both in TV and newspapers. "God showed up at San Jordi" one of the headlines said.

Where’s Eric!
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