Venue: Gwinnet Civic 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
Although no change in the setlist this night, there was a change in electric guitars as Eric played a Gibson ES335 for Little Queen of Spades rather than the usual signature Strat.
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 Steve Carlan
Clapton was in top form. I thought he really stood out on Little Queen of Spades and he and Robert Cray on Old Love. This was a fantastic show!
Review by Gerri Penn
This was an awesome concert with extremely talented band members as supporting cast. Eric was in fine form vocally and instrumentally. The crowd was amazing and gave him a standing ovation when he came on stage. Eric really seemed to be enjoying himself. Little Queen of Spades was so incredible. Derek Trucks was a great addition to this talented band.
Review by Kirk Anderson
I have to give this review as someone who has seen Derek Trucks play since he was age 14 and who has been in the business in and out for 10 years at many different levels. I’ve never seen Clapton live.
First off, if you go, spend the USD$20 for the program. A first rate history of concert programs through Eric’s music life that plays throught he whole program as a "I didn’t know about that gig" scenario that brings one to the net to find more information. The bios ofeveryone in the band and Eric’s personal introduction give a fully rounded primer to why we saw what we saw at the concert. USD$20, sure it’s a lot for paper, but it’s what’s on the paper that sets it apart from many other programs I’ve seen over the years. The merch table had some great fare with more selectiosn fo rthe female fans than I’m used to seeing.
The Robert Cray band opened right at 7:30. In his clean blues style, Robert and his band worked through a set that wasn’t the typical no name band sucking so bad that the headliner seemed better than they are. The set whose tone was set byt he distinctive Cray vocal and guitar voice had the crowd warming up to the night of music.
As Clapton came out, a fanstastically simple but effective ligth show kicked up. innoative, if you look at that kind of stuff during a show. Vari-lights used without excess or distraction. A quick backdrop added visual texture. No poor roadie sitting on a small seat suspended above the stage pointing spots.
To give a fan description with too many spoilers: Clapton played his signature Fender’s most of the night except for the Gibson ES355 on Queen of Spades. It seemed like the action set on his guitar was not quite as hot before the acoustic set as it was for the second portion. The 3 segments blended together without intermissions I had expected. Made the show roll all of the way through instead of have 1 or 2 annoying intermissions. Eric gave plenty of his guitar style to us without overwhelming Derek and Doyle. It showed his respect for the other musicians on the stage. The space Eric gave Derek on Layla was amazing. No strong armed has to be exactly like Duane Allman played on the original. I was so surprised by this early on that Derek’s role in Layla started off sounding odd. As soon as I realize that Eric had given him the space to interpret as well as adhere to the original spirit, Derek playing slide and Eric finger fretting gave me the improv I needed. ! Sure I like hearing some things just like it is on the album. But is it not up to the fans on some level to let the musicians do what they do? Take an original song and change it from inside themselves? This night, I got both…all of the way through the show.
Doyle played his Fender for most of the night with a short change to a Les Paul. He was alittle choppy early on but as the first electric set moved on, so did Doyle. it’s almost like Doyle place nt he night was to play rhythm for Eric as the show got going. This gave us Eric in the face that i think we all were going to the show for. Then as we’re pulled into Eric’s show, he introduced the crowd to the rest of the band. Doyle’s set up had a different actiont han Erics and the two fenders gave us different textures from the same guitar bodies. The musicians personal desire for the action fo the guitar and amp combination kept us from getting tired of "one sound." that often comes when 2 guitarists play the same brand guitar.
Have 2 keyboardists seemed odd at first. But the lead/rhythm association betwen the two really added to a sound mix that was exceptional. We were sitting in the first riser section behid the sound board and floor seats. The seperation was exceptional and the voice or instrument that had the main attention of the song at the time sat just above the body of the rest of the musicians carrying the rhythm.
The drummer and bass player had two distinctively different styles which blended together. If you paid attention, the two would blend with the rest of the rhythm section and yet did their own thing. What? If you listened to them as a whole, they blended. But listening closer, each had a distinct sub timing that kept me interested all of the way through. It wasn’t like an over hyped movie where when things drag, I look at my watch andlament how much time was left until the end.
The backing singers mix was the only portion I saw lacking. Too high at times and too low at others.
Ok, so let me get back to Derek. No disrespect to anyone else on stage. Everyone int he audience came to the show for something that was important to them. I wanted to see if Eric was phoning it in, being a huge ego and how Derek had grown from his own teenage band, to the Derek Trucks Band of the present and a major force in the Allman Brothers Band. I also wanted to see how the big stage was affecting the father of one. His wife is Blues Great Susan Tedeschi. Never heard of her? If you like Eric and Robert Cray, you’l love Susan.
"Pretending" is not my favorite EC radio song. I got a kick hearing Derek play the signature licks. How could someone as big as EC not have a huge music ego and reserve all of those signatures for himself? thinking back, Derek and Doyle may have had the same amount of opportunities to these signature riffs, but I was there to see what Derek did with it. Derek played a Gibson SG for most of the night. The difference in sound between Fender and Gibson are distictive and unfortunately I don’t know enough of Eric’s history to know if he’s always had these differing textures in his music.
Derek played most of the slide riffs. Not the short, sometimes stacco jabs, but in his own mix of the way Duane Allman had his strong long slides while adding his of up the neck and back down to play the note style. It loked like Derek, Eric and Doyle, when using a slide, used the classic "coricidin" glass bottle slide instead of a steel slide.
As with all of us and with all bands, there are some songs we really just don’t like. There were 3 or 4 for me last night. But, what i didn’t like about the album(read commercial) version was the short, formulaic version meant to reach the pop crowd..ad hence sell a lot of either albums or commercial airtime. The arrangements either dictated by Eric or came together from the band, gave enough solos and interplays to still keep me interested.
As the final house lights came on and we walked out tothe car, many people said that they could not believe how god the show was and how worth the money the performances was.
I saw 5 or 6 local friends who also send the past 15 years watching Derek. We all got a little teary eyed as we talk about the growth of Derek from someone who just had the lvoe of music in his heart, to his dedication as a young teenager to being on the road and getting home schoooled. Keeping his head on straight as the temptations of the road get slammed into them. Keeping his head in the music as he stuggled with only playing what was in his heart, to learning about how the commercial music business now gives him the chance to play with quality bands that allow improvisition and the ability to put the full Derek Trucks in The Derek Trucks Band. To marrying within the music community and becoming a father. Now this no longer little boy was on the stage with Eric Clapton hokding his own with the other musicians and gaining the respect of a lot of new fans.
There are two big screens suspended high up on either side of the stage. Nice job of catching the solo licks as well as the superimposing of Eric in the forground and the major instrument playing in the open spacwe in the background.
Review by Eric Koenigsberg / Atlanta GA
I have seen many of Eric Clapton’s shows over the years, including Cream in the early years. I did not attend the Crossroads concert in Texas (my bad) but of-course have enjoyed many hours of the DVD, and have told many people about that DVD along with the other recent DVD’s that Eric has released.
But last night Oct 14 was an out of body experience. I can not remember the last time I saw EC on tour with two other guitar players (Doyle Bramhall and Derek Trucks) on the same stage, and at times last night 3 other guitar players (Robert Cray). This was a rare opportunity in person to see Eric truly enjoy himself with the band, and his playing showed it. We all have been to blues shows where each musician has a small solo during each song. I do not remember for the last several tours of EC, maybe 15 or 20 years where such a jam has occurred. Last night it happened in a large way. For Dereck and the Dominos fans you are in luck. EC has finally let loose and brought back to the stage a great guitar band to reincarnate those legendary guitar conversations (licks) that EC and Duane Allman , (curtsy of Derek Trucks) created so many years back My great admiration and Thanks to Eric Clapton for putting together such a great band-piano,organ, bass and drums. G-d I can’t forget to mention Steve Jordan. If you don’t know who Steve Jordan is, get to this tour. You will never forget him. Thanks again for the great show and I look forward to watching and listening to Eric Clapton play his guitar and produce and direct his future bands. Clapton is G-D.
Review by George Rivers / Lilburn GA
Last night I attended The Eric Clapton Concert at The Gwinnett Center, in Duluth, Georgia. It was my first concert in years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe it was the best multiple guitar playing that I have seen at the same time in my life. With Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Doyle Bramhall II, and Derek Trucks on stage and performing together I was overwhelmed. I enjoyed every song they played and couldn’t find fault with any performance. All of the other band members were excellent, as well. I was moving my body, whistling, and clapping to every song. And, I was standing for the last three and throughout their ovation. I loved every minute of the performance and they played for over two hours. I found myself happy and during the songs, which is something most unusual for me.
This morning in The Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper there was an article mentioning that Alice Cooper has a radio show and Gene Simmons, of Kiss, will be appearing at a local department store. I guess that just shows that, over time, quality and talent will overcome theatrics and showmanship. The Eric Clapton Concert was a great performance and I was completely satisfied and entertained. Great job guys! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Review by Mike Johnson / Liberty, West Virginia
Sherman may have burned Atlanta BUT Eric and his band tore it up Saturday night! Having missed him in Auburn Hills in September my wife and I made the 1000 mile round trip journey to see Eric in Atlanta and we not disappointed . From the Robert Cray in the openning act to the last notes of Crossroads it was a fullout guitar assault. Solo after solo amazed the crowd. As stated in previous reviews the setlist is static but full of adventure some guitar work . Eric trading licks with the young guns Derek and Doyle. Truly a night to remember. Thank you Eric your band and Mr Cray.
Review by T. Howell
After being a fan all my life, I finally got to see the legend himself at the Oct. 14th show in GA. I was a mere child when I was first mesmerized by the riffs of Layla. I have seen dozens of shows over the years, from Hank Jr. to the Beach Boys to ZZ Top. But no one came close to the talent displayed last night. Clapton was truly in top form and the band he assembled is incredible. I was leery about spending the 225 bucks to take my son, but it was worth every penny. The only disappointment was when the crowd wanted a second encore, but the lights came on…forcing us back to reality
Review by Christopher Kilgore
The Show was amazing. Clapton played with a lot of passion and he was great. Everyone in the band was on fire and they all played with a lot of intensity. I was especially impressed with Trucks and his ability to move in and out of different genres and play different styles. The show was absolutely amazing and my hat is off to all of the musicians!
Review by Hal Wood / Lilburn GA
We’ve seen Eric eight times going back to the farewell tour of Cream at the Fillmore East. Each show gets better and better. It was a great night for us with so many Dominoes songs which we last heard when the band played our gym at the University of New York at Albany on October 30, 1971. One of the benefits of moving to Atlanta from the Northeast is that tickets for EC are easier to get. We were glad it was a sold out show. The fans ranged in age from 8 to 68 and all seemed appreciative. At 61, you never know if EC will be here again. We’ve never seen him with more than one sideman much less two and even three on "Old Love" and the "Crossroads" encore.
Other bloggers have captured the moments of the setlist. My personal favorite was "Motherless Children" (three slide guitars!). We missed out on the Cream reunion shows but understood that this was not to be a Cream reunion copy with this band and there would be no selections. Didn’t matter; haven’t seen him do "Crossroads" in a long, long time and what better way to honor his signature tune than with 3 other great players. Visual highlight of the night was Doyle playing a vintage LP lefty. Only other one I’ve seen in person belonged to Paul McCartney (40th birthday gift from Linda).
Eric has some good players as his opening act this century (Doyle Bramhall II in 2001 and Jimmy Vaughn in 2005) so it was great to see Robert Cray again. Heads up for later shows: Robert came out at 7:20 PM (ten minutes early) and played exactly 40 minutes. The lights went down again promptly at 8:30 and they played for exactly 2 hours without a break. EC has his band running like the proverbial Swiss watch. Enjoy!
Review by Martha Blizzard White Arthurdale, West Virginia
I’m 4 days home from my trip to Atlanta & still trying to get my feet back on the ground after seeing Eric Clapton & Friends in concert. A most incredible display of guitar talent – unprecedented! I’m an oldster & had never heard of or seen either Derek Trucks or Doyle Bramhall II – what a treat! These young men are fantastic guitar players & I was amazed at how well they could hold their own on stage with The Maestro Himself – Eric Clapton. Doyle’s wahwah, Derek’s slide, Robert Cray’s clean cuts, and Eric’s trumping guitar made for the best musical show I can recall in 30 years of concerts. With such grace and appreciation for the others’ talents, Eric Clapton shared the stage and the arrangements to the extent that the audience got a great taste of the young musicians’ work. Ah, but The Maestro, as I expected, out shown them all with his smooth, polished expertise. How cool that they all could keep up with each other, compliment each other, and challenge each other to the next level. The only thing lacking was one or two more strictly blues numbers, but I got my fill of great music. The best numbers of the night for me – Old Love, and Little Queen of Spades. What a superfluous show!
Review by Rob MacNeill – Coconut Grove, Florida
I’ve seen Eric at least two dozen times over the years, starting with his 1974 "461 Ocean Blvd." tour. This was the most fired up I’ve ever seen him play.
I went to London in 1990 to see one of his all blues nights at RAH with Robert Cray and Buddy Guy, and in my opinion, this night topped that one too.
His backing band was the biggest factor in his playing style. Their virtuosity pushed him to new heights. As a matter of fact, he didn’t pull out his "standard" bag of licks he normally plays in concert, but dug to the bottom of his socks to come up with something fresh and exciting! It reminded me of how he sounded during his Derek & the Dominos period.
Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks seem like they are most suited for Eric’s rhythm section. Some of the other musicians he’s played with in the past were a little too "smooth". This section has a raw freshness to it with a driving power that propels the whole band into undiscovered territory.
Derek Trucks is an absolutely amazing student of music, always searching and absorbing new techniques to fit his ever changing virtuosity. Even though he would be too humble to accept it, he is the premier slide player out there today. Duane Allman would be rightly proud of what he has accomplished so far.
Doyle Bramhall II has that dirty Texas roadhouse sound that will curl the hair on your head. His one of a kind playing style fills in so beautifully with Eric and Derek, they totally compliment one another.
Eric was obviously having a great time playing and with his newfound vigor, should keep on playing for many years to come. God bless him and long may he run…