Venue: RBC Center
Country: United States
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Derek Trucks – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Robert Cray Band
Clapton played a sunburst Gibson ES-335 for "After Midnight", "Little Queen of Spades" and "Further On Up The Road".
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
02. I Shot The Sheriff
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love*
06. Motherless Children
07. Back Home
08. I Am Yours
09. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
10. Running On Faith
11. After Midnight
12. Little Queen Of Spades
13. Further On Up The Road
14. Wonderful Tonight
17. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by Ben Morris / Durham, NC
Sunday night’s show in Raleigh, NC was spectacular. First off, Robert Cray was very warmly recieved by the crowd…more so than I expected. I wish he had played more than 30 minutes, but those thirty minutes sure were tasty! After about a fifteen-minute stage change, the lightswent out and Clapton appeared.
"Pretending" was a great choice as an opener, and I love that Clapton allowed for Derek and Doyle to play the signature licks. Clapton’s soloing was strong but reserved, as if he knew he was going to be ripping it up later, and wanted to stroll into it instead of open the floodgates on the first song. Once he started soloing on Sheriff, however, he seemed to have forgotten that idea. It was absolutely incendiary. "Sheriff" went right into "Got To Get Better," which was also great. Willie Weeks’ solo was the highlight, with Clapton visibly amused and impressed with the solo.
Then Robert Cray stepped out and "Old Love" began. This is one of my personal favorite Clapton tunes, and it was a marvelous version. Clapton’s solo was dynamic and well-phrased, but I think he was shown-up a bit by Cray, who’s lyrical solo was absolutely beautiful. Tim Carmon’s solo was okay, but I wasn’t terribly impressed. Then, my personal highlight of the show, "Anyday." I was hoping they would change the setlist and play this one. It was a rockin’ moment, and hearing that song live was amazing. Clapton switched to a black Strat, presumably to make the transition to slide on the next song easier. Doyle’s singing on "Anyday" channeled Bobby Whitlock perfectly. Great choice to play that one.
Then "Motherless Children." Nothing could have prepared the audience for that fireworks display of three slide guitars attacking at once. The sheer power of that intro pulled everyone to their feet. Great slide jam for the three guitarists, and they were smiling back and forth to each other. The sit down set followed. Here they used an interesting video effect, projecting close ups on the backdrop of the stage. Its difficult to explain unless you see it.
"Back Home" was beautiful, Steve Jordan’s unique drumming and Derek Trucks’ slide on "I Am Yours" was wonderful, and "Nobody Knows You" got everyone cheering. "Running on Faith" was also excellent, with Derek Trucks providing some tasty fills and solos.
Then, to my astonishment, a Gibson ES-335 was brought onto the stage for Clapton. The band tore into "After Midnight," again bringing the crowd to a standing ovation. "Little Queen of Spades" was indescribable. I was worried that if it followed other shows on this tour and went to 18ish minutes that I would start to lose interest. But I didn’t lose it one bit. Clapton was definitely hitting a zone with that 335, and I thought his solo surely couldn’t be topped. Then Doyle suprised me, and Clapton and Trucks, by one-upping the Man himself. Doyle was doing some kind of strange thing that made his notes very very deep and resonant, but it wasn’t an effects pedal because he was nowhere near his pedalboard, and he stopped doing it after a bit without going over to his pedalboard. Clapton walked over to Derek Trucks and leaned in, asking a question. Derek shrugged. They laughed. It seemed as if they couldn’t figure out how he was doing it, whatever it was. Anyway, Doyle and Derek both played fantastic on that one. Then "Further On Up The Road," which again featured Clapton on the 335. Great tune, good solos all around.
"Wonderful Tonight" was short and sweet. The crowd loved it, of course. And then "Layla." I was expecting it…I knew it was coming…but it was still incredibly powerful. A lot of people say Clapton plays "Layla" in every concert and should put it aside in favor of some other tracks. But performances like last night remind me that "Layla" can sound fresh and energetic even after being played hundreds of times. "Cocaine" followed immediately after "Layla," and was incredibly well recieved, as to be expected. I got the impression that Clapton was on autopilot for this tune, but it was certainly a rockin’ arrangement, perhaps my favorite way it’s ever been played.
The encore was "Crossroads" which was outstanding, with Cray singing the first verse, Clapton the second, and then both together for the final verse. Everyone’s solos were incredible, and Clapton was definitely quoting some licks from his legendary solo on Crossroads with Cream. Overall, a spectacular concert that reminded everyone there that Clapton is still GOD. He was a patriarch, allowing his band to show its immeasurable talent, but stepping in every so often to play something that really tore the roof off. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this tour, and if a live DVD or CD isn’t released from this tour, I’ll go crazy.
Hope this isn’t too long. Thanks for a great site and keeping everything up to date. Where’s Eric! is an outstanding resource for us Clapton fans, and I sincerely appreciate your efforts.
Review by Richard Saltz / Raleigh NC
After reading all the reviews for the tour in Europe and in the States, I was pretty stoked for the show in Raleigh. I was lucky enough to get some excellent tickets and decided to bring one of my friends who had never seen Clapton before. The last time I saw Eric was at one of the Madison Square Garden Cream shows last October and after that performance I was ready to hear the man wail again. Personally, I’ve seen him somewhere between 40 and 50 times. One of the first shows I ever saw was Delaney & Bonnie and Friends with EC in 1970. Since then I have seen Eric with every band he has put together and as a sideman (i.e. Roger Waters, Dire Straits, George Harrison at Bangla Desh).
The difference in exposure to Clapton between my friend and I put last night’s performance in totally different perspectives. He was blown away by what he saw. And I could understand that. Eric’s band was very good …. and when he stepped to the forefront, he showed all that he is the Master. But from my perspective, this band limits the amount of presenting the virtuosity of the man I have grown up with. IMHO, there were too many guitars for my taste. While I truly enjoyed the Dominos tunes, and what Derek Trucks brought to the table, the presence of the 3 guitars (and sometimes 4 when Robert Cray joins for Old Love and Crossroads) is too overbearing. Frankly, I was not impressed by Doyle who’s best contribution I thought was the Bobby Whitlock vocal parts in Anyday. On the flip side, Steve Jordan and Chris Stainton were excellent last night.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were highlights in this show. All the Derek and the Dominoes tunes were great. Eric and Derek brought back the sounds that I never thought could be created when they were orignally done by Clapton and Duane Allman. Old Love and Little Queen of Spades were phenomenal. These tunes were the vehicles for Eric to really put forth his god given talents. The blues is where he shines brightest….and I only wish that there was more of it during the set. It also appeared to me that Clapton was going through the motions during a few of the obligatory numbers like Wonderful Tonight and Cocaine. I’ve seen these two so many times, that I wouldn’t mind trading the two of them for a Five Long Years. Bottom line….this was a good show. Not a great show….not a bad show (you want a bad show, try Roosevelt Stadium in 1974) There was fire…and passion. Just not enough of it for my taste.
The Cream shows, and the From the Cradle tour were the penultimate when it came to fire and passion. Now don’t get me wrong, I will see Clapton whenever I get the opportunity. One note from him is worth the price of admission. Just sometimes, you get more for your money. At least my friend got to see a little of what I’ve been seeing for the last 35 years and I look forward to going back with him for more.
Review by Brett Englund
I probably stepped into the RBC Center with a bad attitude due to the "wisdom" of the City of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina deciding to CLOSE OFF the RBC center exit from Interstate 40 and then funnel all Clapton show folks to the same exit AND parking lots as those going to the NC State Fair!!! Thus a 40 minute ride from Chapel Hill (normally) turned into an aggravating 2 hour ride and I missed most of Robert Cray!!! So, take this review with as many grains of salt as you wish
So, after Robert Cray, Clapton hit the stage and it turned into a quite predictable show from thereâ€¦same old stuff I can hear on top 40 – Pretending, I Shot the Sherriff, Cocaine, Layla, Crossroads, Wonderful Tonight; .Going thru the motions to get a paycheck Eric. The only songs that rose to the occasion I felt were the old Dominos tunes, where actually Derek Trucks was the true guitar God of the night Boo Eric!!! I want my $85 back Been a fan for 35 years; .very disappointing
Review by Steve Kendrick
I must say that I agree in most ways with the review of the show by Ben Morris of Durham, NC. My oldest son and I were fortunate enough to see Robert Cray & Band on Friday night Oct. 13, 2006 here in Greensboro, NC at the Carolina Theatre which was absolutely fantastic! Robert took stage and after a couple of songs that prepared everyone (I think ) for what was in store; he welcomed everyone with a warm "Hello, Good Evening". He also mentioned that "We’ve been use to playing 35 minute sets, so we’re gonna just stretch things out a bit, alright?" So that being said, we were pretty much looking for a short set on Sunday night; but it was delivered with the same fervor and intensity that we witnessed on Friday night, only shorter, and with collaboration with his mates yet to come.
"Pretending" was an EXCELLENT choice to open with for Eric and Company on Sunday; as it is for its album "Journeyman". I was glad to see them perform several from that album as it is one of my favorites form the more recent days; recent as opposed to his 60’s music. I was able to catch both North Carolina Journeyman Shows; here in Greensboro, and a few weeks later in Charlotte. I have to say that "Old Love" was my personal favorite of the night, if I had to choose, but there were SO MANY great moments Sunday night! I was surprised that I didn’t miss the Strat on the songs that he used the 335 on. It was a welcome change to hear all three Gibson’s being scaled and brought to life with the warmth and growl that sometimes only a Gibson can deliver. It was interesting to see Doyle playing what looked to be an old and beautiful tobacco color inspired Les Paul; Derek mastering his standby SG and Eric on the vintage 335. The slide tradeoff’s were GREAT on Motherless children.
As an owner and frequent player of the DVD "One More Car, One More Rider" I was a bit disappointed that the acoustic numbers were rather short, as I’m a big fan of Eric and partners playing acoustic songs together. Maybe they felt that the show would run a bit long, or loose some of its’ intensity; but they were indeed very moving and powerful, and provided the rest of the band a bit of a break.
Song selection was fantastic, as I haven’t heard "I Shot The Sheriff" since the Eric Clapton & Friends Tour back in 1973 or 4. As Ben said earlier, every song was done in such a way as to allow Doyle and Derek, Willie and Steve, Robert, and each member an opportunity to showcase their own style and abilities and "feel" on particular songs.
While I still believe that Clapton is indeed still "Guitar God", and would LOVE to see the show tonight in Charlotte; I hope that they will treat the audience to maybe a bit more of an encore. I myself kept waiting for "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Badge", and "White Room", but it was not to be, not on Sunday night. Maybe Charlotte will be privy to these classic’s. But please don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to see and hear Eric again LIVE along with the new, old, talent that he brought along with him! The show DID NOT DISAPPOINT;and I too await a LIVE DVD collection of this tour with much anticipation!!!
Review by Jim Antonicello / Summerfield, NC via Jersey City, NJ
Having been an Eric Clapton fan since the Cream days and having seen him many times over the years, I was thrilled to take my 15 year old son to see him for the first time. He is a budding guitar player and was totally blown away by how a 61 year old man can play with such vigor.
I disagree with the earlier review around this being a good show. This was a great show with Eric being secure enough in his stature to allow other great musician’s an opportunity to demonstrate their vast skill sets. And they did! The guitar interplay was awesome. I was awe struck by the wall of sound and how robust the band sounded not to mention how tight. I hope we see a DVD of this show.
Highlights of this show were Pretending, Got to Get better in a little while, Little Queen of Spades and Crossroads. The rhythm section was awesome as was Chris Stainton on keyboards. I too, would like to see some of the more commercial songs replaced. I have always loved Keep on Growing and many other jewels that we never hear. I would love to see Thorn tree in the Garden performed in a sit down set also.
I too was at the Roosevelt Stadium show and can attest to that being a very bad concert. Clapton was going through a bad time. Today Clapton has the rare ability to influence and entertain you with sheer talent. My son is not an overly emotional kid but he hugged me twice during and after the concert. I was thrilled also to do this for him.
As I listened to some of the Derek and the Dominoes songs it brought me back to the 4 shows I attended at the Fillmore East. I enjoyed the show so much, I went out and purchased tickets for Jacksonville next Saturday and Auburn Hills in April, 2007!
I feel very fortunate to have grown up with Eric Clapton and enjoyed his music since 1967. It has always been a huge part of my life. Thank you Eric!
Review by Bill / Raleigh, N.C.
I would like to thank Eric Clapton for continuing to share himself and his music with us for over 40 years. I have been a fan since I drove my mother crazy, playing "Sunshine of your Love", over, and over, and over again on my little record player, in an attempt to learn all of those incredible licks!
I will not go into song selection, guitars, tone, and the other items that other reviewers have already covered. My wife and I were very fortunate to be seated second row center, and I can attest that Eric was giving EVERYTHING that he had to give, appearing extremely comfortable with his place in history, his ability to still rip, and his continued passion for Rock and the Blues. From leaning back with his eyes closed when taking a solo, to watching and smiling at EVERY band member as they took their turns, it was very evident that he was having major league FUN!! What we lacked in overall sound quality seated that close to the stage, was more than made up for by watching the facial expressions of this terrific band as they musically interacted with one another.
Having read numerous reviews throughout the European and American Tour, and having heard recordings of several shows, I pretty much knew what to expect. I have been a HUGE Duane Allman fan for the past 37 years (he died 35 years ago this month), and I have listened to Derek Trucks since he was twelve. So, hearing Eric cover the Dominos’ tunes with Derek playing slide was worth the price of admission for me. It was an opportunity so rare that many in attendance at this show will never fully comprehend or appreciate what they experienced.
For those whose expectations were not met in whatever way, I can only respond by quoting Brother Duane, who said that, "the gift of music is the greatest gift that anyone can share with you….they are sharing their innermost feelings……they are sharing their soul". Over the past few months I have been listening to the music of Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos, and I have wondered why, or how, anyone could continue after THOSE gigs?! As we all have struggled withdifferent periods in our lives, and have tried to adjust to the world around us, hopefully growing wiser in the process, so has Mr. Clapton. He has done so with his life and art continuously under the microscope of the entire world, yet he has continued to graciously wear the mantle that he earlier was so reluctant to wear. And, most importantly, he continues to share his music, his heart, and his soul with us. Thank you, Eric.