Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood Wrap Tour in Istanbul

British rock legends Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood wrapped their 16-date tour at Turkcell Kurucesme Arena in Istanbul. The open-air venue, situated on the banks of the Bosphorous, played host to a 20 song set that lasted more than two-hours. It was one of the most beautiful settings for a gig imangineable … tour boats cruising past, Turkish flags fluttering across the water on the Asian side. There was a great, lively crowd, up for a big Istanbul night out.

Since 18 May, the duo have been doubling up on the star-power as their co-headlining tour criss-crossed Europe. The concerts have garnered rave reviews from those attending and the final concert on 13 June was no different. The concert – which started at 9:13PM – was pure music – no opening act, no interval, no banter. The set list was no rote progression of radio-friendly greatest hits, either. Instead, it was carefully constructed by Clapton and Winwood to highlight their common history in Blind Faith (the entire A Side of the album was performed), their love of the blues, some signature songs plus some personal favourites tossed in for good measure. One Clapton fan who has been following the tour told Where’s Eric! by email, "Concert just finished. It was an energetic and powerful gig with one highlight after another. Voodoo Chile was the ‘firework’ song of the night, despite the real fireworks that happened over the Bosphorous during the gig. Highlights? ALL songs. Crowd favorites were Georgia, Layla and Cocaine. Sadly, this tour is over. For the final night of the tour, EC, SW and the band pulled all stops for a sensational gig."

Where’s Eric! Staff were in Istanbul for the concert too, along with staff from Coloured Rain, The Steve Winwood Fanzine. Here’s what the WE! Team reported soon after the show ended: "After a few glitches right at the beginning (vocals only from the stage monitors during "Had To Cry Today"), the show took off. Great sound too for an outdoor venue. Chris’ keyboard solo during "Glad / Well Alright" was a bit Tim Carmonesque. Eric fluffed the intro to "Tuff Luck Blues" (more like Fluff Luck Blues ha ha), but more than made up for it with an absolutely blistering solo mid-song. Paul from Coloured Rain was a happy bunny during "While You See A Chance," which was followed by a raucous "Key To The Highway." "Midland Maniac" was interrupted by a fireworks display on the Bosphorous so Sharon and Michelle got the crowd clapping to drown out the noise. The band turned up the volume during "Crossroads" as the fireworks continued. "Georgia" caused Paul to comment, "Steve’s got some pipes!". During "Driftin’," there was a long organ solo by Winwood which was top drawer. Massive sing-song by the crowd during "Layla." As the show started nearing the end, Michelle and Sharon had their showcase during "Gimme Some Lovin’." It also had a nice EC solo that ventured into unfamiliar territory. Voodoo Chile – nuff said. "Cocaine" had a lovely guitar solo from Steve and quite possibly the loudest crowd shoute of "cocaine" ever at the end. They wrapped things up with "Dear Mr. Fantasy." There were one or two shouts for Sheriff and Wonderful Tonight but nobody left disappointed. The next issue of Where’s Eric! (#42) will have full coverage and exclusive photos of the 2010 Eric Clapton / Steve Winwood European Tour.

Throughout the tour, Clapton and Winwood were supported by a band of five musicians on stage: Michelle John (backing vocals), Sharon White (backing vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Willie Weeks (bass) and Steve Gadd (drums). There were no changes to the set list on the final night.

Next on Eric’s agenda is the third Crossroads Guitar Festival on 26 June (Steve Winwood will be just one of the many other artists performing that day). Following that, Eric will perform four solo shows in America with Roger Daltrey, who will kick things off with a solo set. Those dates are: 28 June 2010 — Marcus Ampitheater – Milwaukee Wisconsin (US)
30 June 2010 — Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati Ohio (US)
2 July 2010 — Verizon Wireless Music Center – Indianapolis Indiana (US)
3 July 2010 — DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston Michigan (US)
Tickets available from Ticketmaster for all four U.S. Eric Clapton dates.

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Set List – 13 June 2010
Turkcell Kurucesme Arena, Istanbul (TR)

01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence Of The Lord
05. Glad
06. Well Alright
07. Tuff Luck
08. While You See A Chance
09. Key To The Highway
10. Midland Maniac
11. Crossroads
12. Georgia
13. Driftin’
14. How Long
15. Layla
16. Can’t Find My Way Home
17. Gimme Some Lovin’
18. Voodoo Chile
19. Cocaine
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)

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