29 Jul 07
The Crossroads Festival at Chicago’s Toyota Park on 28 July 2007 was an unprecedented success, with great acts, great organization and great weather enjoyed by an excited, good-natured crowd.
Eric Clapton surprised everyone by joining Bill Murray on stage to open the festivities and jammed on Van Morrison’s "Gloria" – the only song Bill Murray claimed to know how to play on guitar. Eric also stepped out with Sonny Landreth, the first performer of the day at the end of his set. Bill Murray, who emceed the day’s event, would appear in costumes throughout the day, recreating Eric’s various "looks" throughout the years including the Rainbow Concert and several phases of his permed look in Cream, including an appearance with a psychedelic Gibson SG.
John McLaughlin, Alison Kraus & Union Station, Doyle Bramhall II entertained the crowd early on. The Derek Trucks Band had some special guests in Susan Tedeschi and Texas blues legend, Johnny Winter who treated the crowd to a blistering version of "Highway 61.". Robert Cray served as the "house band" for blues legends Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan and BB King. John Mayer, who over the past several years has grown into a serious player from pop-idol, played a crowd pleasing set. The "country set" lead by Vince Gill band treated the crowd to not only some of Gill’s own material, but the country-pickin’ of Albert Lee and the jazz-tinged stylings of one of the icons of American country music, Willie Nelson. Vince and his band also backed Sheryl Crow for two numbers. Eric stepped on stage with Sheryl for a surprise "Tulsa Time". Jam band Los Lobos was followed by an hour long set by Jeff Beck, with Jeff treating the crowd to stellar versions of "’Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers" and "Day In The Life".
Then, it was time for Eric’s solo set. His band not only featured his 2006 / 2007 tour lineup, but added Ian Thomas on drums in addition to Steve Jordan. The set list was heavy on Dominos tunes including "Tell The Truth" and "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad". Eric also floored those in attendance by playing a stunning "Isn’t It A Pity" (George Harrison). Robbie Robertson stepped out for Bo Diddley’s "Who Do You Love" and "Further on up the Road" – reminiscent of their appearance in The Last Waltz. Steve Winwood was EC’s final guest for some classic Blind Faith numbers including "Had To Cry Today" and "Presence of the Lord." The highlight for many was "Dear Mr Fantasy" where Winwood blew the crowd away with some blistering guitar work.
The show closed with an appearance by Buddy Guy and his band. For their final three songs, they were joined first by Eric, and then by many of the guitarists who had performed throughout the day.
Check in to whereseric.com for more reviews and photos later. A complete detailed article with photo spread will appear in the next issue of Where’s Eric! Magazine.