Venue: Yokohama Arena
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
David Sancious – keyboards / guitar / vocals
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
Nathan East – bass / vocals
Steve Gadd – drums
01. Key To The Highway
03. Got You On My Mind
04. Tears In Heaven
06. Bell Bottom Blues
07. Change The World
08. River Of Tears
09. Going Down Slow
10. She’s Gone
11. I Want A Little Girl
13. Hoochie Coochie Man
14. Five Long Years
16. Wonderful Tonight
18. Sunshine Of Your Love (encore)
19. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (encore)
Review by Jii Aoi
Three weeks passed till I caught Eric again, this time at the Yokohama Arena. In the meantime, a Fab was gone. Exactly ten years ago, he visited this country to perform with Eric. It was November 30th on this side of the Pacific. No comment from Eric on stage at the Budokan that night, reportedly.
The first of the final two nights of Eric’s Japanese tour, or, for that matter, his final world tour, duly started.
On the previous two nights in Tokyo, Eric dropped the unplugged "Layla" from the set, and revived "My Father’s Eyes" instead. Tonight the former reentered, and the latter disappeared to my disappointment. The result was a two-hour plus set of nineteen songs.
The arrangement of "Going Down Slow" had been considerably changed since I had last heard it in Osaka and Nagoya three weeks ago, now with special emphasis on syncopated rhythm patten which generated "bouncing" feel, as well as featuring an almost break-like guitar solo. Some things never stop evolving, another example of rejuvination more often observed on this tour than EC’s previous ones.
As regards Eric’s playing tonight, of the six shows I attended, this was the least autopiloted one–on a number of occasions, Eric managed to spin out some of the most unusual solos I heard through the entire tour, weaving an array of inventive phrases, notably on "Badge", "Stormy Monday" and "Layla". The sometimes ragged, rather than flowing, guitar solo gave almost abstract, even expressionistic flavour which was atypical Clapton, thus very refreshing. The long, meticulous solo on "Stormy Monday" was carefully constructed, culminating in the use of wah-wah pedal in full throttle, making this tonight’s highlight. At the same time, this conscious approach towards the performance took its toll–the general impression of the show was not so much passion-driven as a cool, slow-paced affair.
Such was the nature of the show that may have caused the rather negative acceptance by the die-hards. In short, the collective voices raised by them afterwards were not a favourable one, to say the least.
I am firmly opposed to them. If the Nagoya show is overrated a little bit, this one is opposite. Of the shows I witnessed this time, cirtainly this was among the better, if not the best. It may not have been an energetic performance, but quality was there to be appreciated nonetheless. Eric just painted a different picture, a beautiful still life instead of, say, a wild horse (22/11, that is).