27 Jun 10
Hot as the day was, the music at Crossroads Festival Chicago was even hotter. Starting with a sizzling duet between Sonny Landreth and Eric, the festival was a fusion of eclectic guitarism, underpinned by top production, sound, and a festval that stuck impressively to its tight timetable.
The sun shone down but the stars were out to play. Where else could you get John Mayer and Sheryl Crow alongside Earl Klugh, Citizen Cope and Stefan Grossman? Bridgeview Chicago, from whence compere for the day, Bill Murray, intoduced acts with his usual variety of costumes and dry wit – "you guys take it easy out there because passing out (in the heat) will NOT get you backstage!" Sadly the remark was lost in translation on some of the crowd who suffered from too much hot Chicago sun, but at least the threatened thunderstorms stayed well away.
Early highlights included Robert Randolph and Joe Bonamassa on stage together, ZZ Top, who piled in with hits and glitz and the John Mayer trio, who had the tightest rhythm section of the day in EC allumni Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino. This reporter particularly enjoyed the Derek Trucks band featuring Susan Tedeschi who elevated Leon Russel’s Live Together into anthemic status.
Surprise guest Ronnie Wood, who earlier in the day was avidly watching the USA sadly crash out of the football World Cup to lowly Ghana in the artistes’ lounge, was clearly enjoying himself on stage alongside local hero Buddy Guy and the eternally youthful Jonny Lang.
Eric’s own set, had Jeff Beck and Steve Winwood reprising their recent collaborations and guitar work on Voodoo Chile that reminded the crowd who was the host of the day.
In a somewhat subdued ending. BB King led an all star cast, which at one point included all 94 guitarists on stage, in some familiar blues classics.
Watch this site for more reports over the next few days plus an exciting new contest. Of course, there will be complete coverage in the next issue of Where’s Eric! with exclusive reports and photos. As soon as the WE! Team wings their way home, a complete section dedicated to the festival will be created with fan reviews and photos. If you were there, send your photos or review of the event to [email protected].