Venue: Scotiabank Place
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
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
02. I Shot The Sheriff
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love*
05. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
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 Brendan Lorimer
Eric Clapton and his band played The Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa, Ontario last night, and to say he didn’t disappoint would be a very, very big understatement. Eric and his band strode on stage soon after Robert Cray played an excellent set that was warmly recieved by the audience of 14,000. Simply put, Eric’s band was unbelievable. The rock-steady rhythm section Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks pushed the band to full tilt for the entire show, leaving Eric, Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II to absolutely let loose. There were 3 moments that were particularly incredible: Eric’s solo in "I Shot The Sheriff", "I Am Yours" during the acoustic set, and, finally, a jaw-dropping solo from Derek Trucks during "Little Queen of Spades". The entire band went whisper quite and let Derek rivet you with very note he played from start to finish. Overall, Eric seems to have more energy on stage than he has for a long time and his band was nothing but top-notch.
Review by Mark Silverman
After the news that he’d cancelled in Detroit due to illness we were concerned he may do the same here, or that his voice wouldn’t hold up. But he gave a great show- highlights included I Shot the Sheriff, After Midnight, Little Queen of Spades, the encore Crossroads (with EC, Robert Cray, Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks trading guitar solos!) and my all-time favourite, Layla, which was fantastic! Seeing Eric playing with two guitarists 25 years younger than him was a real treat! He had a real top notch band- the young guitarists, great rhythm section and keyboards including Chris Stainton’s excellent piano work on the 2nd half of Layla!. Great teamwork and camaraderie displayed by the band- they really seemed to be enjoying themselves! Eric barely said a word all night, not even acknowledging the crowd (I would have been so hard to say "hello Ottawa" or "Thank You" or even to introduce the band?) Maybe he was saving his energy for two non stop hours of great songs! I was amazed that the band segued into Cocaine after ending Layla with no perceivable break between them. Where does he get the energy? I’ve never seen Eric live before, but I was far from disappointed! Keep it up, Eric!
Review by John Cosgrove
The only word to describe this show is "phenominal". Have never heard Clapton live before and hearing him any other way does him no justice, amazing performance by Clapton, Cray and other band members. Can’t wait for him to come back to town!!!
Review by Simon Volts
I just came back from Eric Clapton concert in Ottawa and boy that was A BLAST! I can’t really compare it with other shows because it’s my first time being in a Clapton’s concert. Two days after being ill, Eric was in REALLY GREAT shape for tonight’s show. Here’s my review song by song.
Pretending (Journeyman, 1989): Robert Cray just finished his set and the lights opened. We see the technicians setting the stage for Eric Clapton. After a while the lights closed…we knew what was to come. I hear Chris Stainton doing the piano intro and Steve Jordan starting the drum beat. The crowd went instantly mad! Eric was in great voice for this song. The solo was really good even thought it started a bit boring.
I Shot The Sheriff (461 Ocean Boulevard, 1974): Right after Pretending, they went into I Shot The Sheriff! It’s a great song…but hey…wait a second…where’s So Tired from Back Home???? It disappointed me a bit to have I Shot The Sheriff instead of So Tired but still, it’s best version I’ve heard!!! Clapton was in key all the way and did a really kickass solo!
Got To Get Better In A Little While (Crossroads Box Set, 1990): Then they went into a little Derek & The Dominos gem. I’ve never heard this song live but now I did and it was soooo much better than the studio version. They played a really funky version of it but Clapton didn’t play some Wah-Wah pedal during his solo but oh well, it was good enough without a wah-wah!
Old Love (Journeyman, 1989): This version was good, but it won’t beat the one Clapton played on Hyde Park and I thought that the keyboard solo that Tim Carmon played was kind of boring.
Everybody Oughta Make A Change (Money and Cigarettes, 1983): I didn’t know this song (If you did…think that I’m only 17 so…) until this concert but it was kinda good, I can’t say much about it.
Motherless Children (461 Ocean Boulevard, 1974): I was hoping to see Eric play some slide guitar and it happened! Eric switched guitar and played slide on Motherless Children. He sang really great on this one and everybody seemed to have fun except Doyle Bramhall II.
Back Home (Back Home, 2005) : The only track from his new album. The song is really good but this is one of my deceptions of the show. The tour is supposed to kinda promote the Back Home album but my opinion is that only one song won’t do it. Yeah, he played So Tired, Lost And Found, Revolution (once), Run Home To Me (once) but why did he stopped??? Anyway, Back Home was just beautiful as always and he seemed a bit down when he was singing it.
I Am Yours (Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970): The pure gem of the show…I expected every Dominos song except this one. Eric sung it with a lot of emotion, as if he’d still want to be with Patty Boyd. Great playing by Derek Trucks too! God this guy can play slide!
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Layla, 1970 and Unplugged, 1992): I have nothing much to say about this song except that it was very similar to the Unplugged version but this is the one that got people in the show. We heard the first notes and then everybody was clapping their hands to the beat of the song.
Running On Faith (Journeyman, 1989): Such a beautiful song. It reminds me of the unplugged version but with some electric guitar fill by Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall. Clapton sung it with a lot of emotion too.
After Midnight (Eric Clapton, 1970): I wasn’t expecting this one at all since it’s not one of his well-known songs but god this was good! Clapton’s solos was much like the original song though.
Little Queen Of Spades (Me & Mr.Johnson, 2004): The song is good…but this is were my big deception is. The song was good until Doyle started his solo. First of all, his guitar was freakin’ loud for a slow song and it was waaaaay too crunchy the only thing that made me forget this terrible guitar solo was Chris Stainton’s piano solo. This guy can seriously do everything he wants with a keyboard.
Further Up On The Road (Crossroads Box Set, 1990): This song never got to me but tonight, they played a really good version of it but it’s not one of my highlights…I think I’ve heard it too many times.
Wonderful Tonight (Slowhand, 1977): This is my highlight of the night…it was a song that me and my ex use to dance on to but now…I danced on it with my new girlfriend and I forgot everything about my ex. I felt like Eric was singing it for all the couples in the house tonight. If it wasn’t his intention, well thank you anyway, Eric!
Layla (Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970): When I heard WonderfulTonight, I knew that the show was going to be over soon so I said to myself: ”Like each tour…he can’t leave without doing Layla”. So here’s when the legendary riff rang from E.C’s guitar. The crowd was just blown away and stood on their feet dancing. E.C nailed the song from the beginning to the end and with a lot of power too. Now the ending part comes and all the couples are dancing but the end slowed down and surprise!
Cocaine (Slowhand, 1977) : They started playing Cocaine right after this beautiful end of Layla. Steve Jordan did an EXCELLENT job on this one. He added a snare drum hit in his drum bars and it changed all of the song for good! They were too great solos by E.C and Derek Trucks and once again, Doyle seemed pretty bored to play it. COME ON DOYLE! DON’T YOU REALIZE THAT YOU’RE PLAYING WITH GOD?!? At the end, Eric sanged She Don’t Lie She Don’t Lie She Don’t Lie, and the crowd shouted Cocaine.
Crossroads (Robert Johnson Cover): They played it as an encore but they did such a great job on it. The solo were amazing and Robert Cray’s voice was soooooo great but there was a little deception. I knew that after this song…the show was over, that I’d be back from heaven, but after it finished I was so blown out by this performance that I said to myself: ”Now I can die in peace”
For the show overall, I’m giving it 5 stars on 5 without a doubt! Waiting for another tour…
Review by Steven Jones
I have seen Eric three times before this show but I can honestly say that this was the best of the three shows I have seen. The set list was perfect, giving everyone a taste of his long and illustrious career. Eric once again proved that he is the master of his craft and is still on top of his game. The band that he assembled for this tour was nothing short of amazing with Derek Trucks and Eric pushing each other all night. The Robert Cray Band was a wonderful treat to open the show and it was great to see Robert join Eric on stage, especially for the Crossroads encore.
Once again Eric Clapton has shown everyone why he is a legendary guitar player and musician.
Review by Gary Beaudin – Ottawa Canada
Well last night I was in company of greatness. This was my first Clapton concert and what a treat it was. The crowd was pretty quiet and listening to every note that came off that stage. Eric’s band played wonderfully all night the crowed went nuts as soon as he came on stage and started playing Pretending and sat back on there chairs only after I shot the sheriff. At this point everybody was in a trance looking at the greatest guitar god ever. The crowd came back on there feet as soon as Wonderful Tonight started and the next time anybody sat down was in there cars going home.
In the last 14 months I was lucky to see Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who & Eric Clapton. What year is this? Eric Clapton had to be the best show after McCartney. I can’t wait for him to come back to Ottawa so I can see how a guitar is supposed to be played again and again and again… My highlight of the night had to be Motherless Childreen "WOWâ€ Everybody knew he was going to play Layla or Cocaine but Motherless Children what a treat.
Review by James, Ottawa
My family and I had been looking forward for months to see and hear the peerless Eric Clapton. My son (19) and daughter (15) love his music and were blown away by his standard, virtuoso performance. My wife would have liked to hear more of his ballads, but it’s tough to include everyone’s favourites from his extensive song book. Layla, his signature tune, was fantastic. I last saw Eric in Toronto in the 1970s and have the same minor criticism that I had then. His sound engineer needs to cut the volume by ten percent. Less would definitely have been more, as at times the wall of sound was almost painful. Overall though, a concert that you want your children to share so they can say that they saw the great Eric Clapton.
Review by David Gourlay
Tonight, Ottawa, Canada’s National Capital, welcomed Sir Eric after a 8 year absence and quickly embraced a renewed passion in Slowhand. While this is my 12th concert since ’87, many tonightsaw Eric for the first time including my friends Patrick, Crystal and Steven and Eric’s blistering performance not only impressed, but left them speechless.
Highlights – ripping into "I Shot the Sherrif" off the mark and solos with the faint touch of a loyalty to Marley, "Got to Get Better"….simply a gem that prevails with the rythym and focus. "Old Love" has never been a favourite for me, but the absolutely amazing solos from Eric, Robert Cray and Carmon are incredible. This is 20 minutes of adventure where Eric beams in pride for his mates….as he should.
The acoustic set is next and we’re all singing along to "Nobody" and "Faith" as we tap our feet lovingly to the beat. These tunes are spot on with the players all in synch. There is a realism for us to comprehend in "Back Home" and the soul is there in a glory not seen since the ’01 tour and "Tears in Heaven" when we were rapted with the innocence of what loss truely is.
The latter part of the concert takes us and even for a political town, people are standing and dancing for "After Midnight" – well before they need to for standards like "Layla" and "Cocaine". Congrats, mate – you have made a difference ! The crowd is very much grooving with Sir Eric and his faded jeans, pink shirt and cool tone. Then we hear "Queenie" and it becomes a standard unto itself as the new "Have You Ever…". Please be ready for this as Derek Trucks and, our old friend, Chris Stainton take the piece to new levels. Trucks is simply a treasure – through many songs tonight like this and "Further".
Eric Clapton is showing Ottawa and the world he is the man. The choices of songs tell a story of a happy soul – finally. The crowd senses this romance and joy and his confronting the crossroads and passing through it with a spirited and passionate attitude. After 8 years here in Ottawa, we see a new man complete with confidence and aspiring vision. Several times he completes solos with his back to us and it is a tribute to his band to enable them to be a part of us.
Eric – thanks for dropping in and you have 3 new fans tonight who will cherish your talent. Thanks for doing me proud and sorry I missed you at the Hall in May.
Review by Jim Murchison
Eric Clapton is a survivor. He has gotten through personal tragedies, overcome incredible pressure, conquered addictions and grown stronger because of it. The one addiction that he thankfully has never overcome is his addiction to music.
Really it was more of a virus, because it spread through Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa like a contagion, leaving no one safe from the waves of impossibly beautiful sounds from Clapton and his bandmates that infected everyone with the delightful malady called Clapton Fever. The audience, by thy way seemed to range in age from early teens to somewhere in the mid 80’s. I could go on with inferences to music being a narcotic analogies, but let me repeat what everyone else has said.
I have seen Eric 5 times but this concert has blown all the other times out of the water. By the time Robert Cray came back out for the fourth song (Old Love) I was convinced that this was going to be the greatest concert I had ever seen. Eric was swaying back and forth soaking in Robert’s playing, then rolled up the sleeve of his right hand . He played some licks and then rolled up the other sleeve when Cray took another turn. You could tell that Eric was here to work and too play. He had already churned out an extended solo on I Shot The Sheriff, and traded tasty solos with Derek Trucks on Got To Get Better in a Little While (never heard this one live before and it was a treat), but Eric and the band were really just getting started. The sit down set allowed me to hear 3 songs I had never heard live before ( Back Home, I Am Yours and Running on Faith) nor had I heard the acoustic version Nobody Knows You When Your Down and Out.
From After Midnight until the final resonance of Crossroads it was all highlights. Eric is so comfortable with this band and his playing. He was at once mentor to the band and a fan of their playing. There is always some mention from the local press about how Eric doesn’t chat or acknowledge his audience. Hogwash. He acknowledges us with every note. He said Thank you by the way (at least 5 times by my count)… and he plays his guts out. Many times there wasn’t an opportunity to say thank you Because he was already into the next song. The only other words he said were… Tim Carmon, Chris Stainton, Doyle Bramhall, Willie Weeks, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks. What else did we need to know? Nothing. The music said it all!!!
And to Eric and his band, Thank you.
Review by Linda & Victor
Just wanted to say that although we have been fans for a long time, this was our first attendance to a live concert and we were amazed. For those who have never seen Eric in concert you have no idea what you are missing. What the man can do is incredible. You can see that Eric loves and totally enjoys bringing you into his world to share his love of music.