Venue: Pengrowth Saddledome
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
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*
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Little Wing
05. Let It Rain
07. Outside Woman Blues
08. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
09. Running On Faith
10. Motherless Children
11. Little Queen Of Spades
12. Further On Up The Road
13. Wonderful Tonight
15. Cocaine (encore)
16. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by John Ober
The playlist was identical to Edmonton within the exception Let It Rain was played instead of Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? This was my 3rd time seeing probably the best concert experience ever. In 1988 I saw this amazing musician for the 1 st time live in concert in Calgary at the Saddledome and then again in1998 at Rexall Place in Edmonton and on March 26 in Calgary. In my time I have seen many artists play live but nobody and I mean nobody can compare to the genius Of Eric Clapton. The sound at the concert is comparable to listening to your music at home, the mix is spot on, you can hear every lick, every note, and every lyric to his music. The concert goers in Vancouver got a treat in hearing I Shot The Sheriff played live which I wish I could have heard. The beauty of of his shows is Eric Clapton let’s his music do the talking and not theatrics which can make up for any shortcomings in presentation and or showmanship. The highlight of his show by far was went played his signature songs in concert "Wonderful Tonight, Layla, Cocaine And finally Crossroads" with the incompareable Robert Cray lending support. I can only hope that I do not wait another 9 years to to see this amazing play live again. If you have a chance to see this this artist DO NOT MISS HIM as you will throughly enjoy your experince. I wish he made his concerts available for purchase like THE WHO.
Review by David Gourlay – Ottawa, Ontario
Eric two stepped into Cow Town, Calgary, Alberta, tonight at the historic Saddledome, home of the Flames. As expected, Eric exceeded expectations among the most loyal of Wrangler crowd in the audience by continuing his 2006-07 Tour with an emphasis on his brief, yet well spent time with Derek and the Dominos in 1970. Mainly positioned at the beginning of the concert, "Tell the Truth", "Little Wing" and an amazing electric rendition of "Key to the Highway" with Doyle Bramhall adding essential lead vocals puts the energy into the crowd and an efficient beginning of the evening. Theses are followed by the Dominos guitar classic, "Got to Get Better In a Little While" which gets the Calgary crowd right into the show with amazing guitar graces by Eric, Doyle and bass work from Willie Weeks. Their chemistry after a long year tour is solid and the acoustic set of simple, yet emotional, classic blues is led by Driftin’ which Eric carries alone on his mastery of the vocals. But leading the way are simply delightful versions of "Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out" and the very powerful "Running on Faith", a Clapton cover done over time from the Jerry Lynn Williams original that consistently resonates serenity and passion.
The highlight of the night is a 15 minute version of "Little Queenie of Spades" with the dark bluesy lyrics by Robert Johnson. It is the flow and interaction of Eric’s seamless guitar picking introduction, Chris Stainton’s piano solos interspersed with Tim Carmon’s organ, Doyle’s Albert King "axe" solo style that make this the most enjoyable blues intervention of the night. From there, the dominoes fall with the standards of, "Further on up the Road", "Wonderful Tonight", "Layla", "Cocaine" and an amazing cut of the always enjoyable Cream classic, Crossroads.
We wish Eric Clapton well for his "40th" birthday on the weekend. As always and for the "lucky 13th" seeing Sir Eric in concert, an honour to see him here in Calgary and again, Eric demonstrates class by sharing the stage with other talents to showcase a new generation of guitar playing and blues and pays respect to them and the audience through a graceful and meaningful performance. To see this consumate professional so in tune with his own style, confident and passionate in nature, is a pure delight.
Review by Ed Best / Calgary, Alberta
The first concert I ever went to was Jefferson Airplane in the mid-sixties. The most incredible show ever was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. I’ve been to dozens of concerts over the years but the shortest 2 hours I ever spent at any concert was last night listening to Eric Clapton play. No talking, no inane "Hello Calgary. Love to be here tonight". Just music that oozed with feeling. It’s hard to comprehend how anyone could play the same riffs night after night, year after year and still make it sound as good as the first time you heard it. Actually, better than that, because this time it was live, but studio quality, nevertheless. It’s a testament to Eric Clapton’s respect for his fans that he resists the temptation to get cute and fancy with old material, but gives the audience what they came to hear. Most were probably there to witness a legend firsthand but although he’s unquestionably a virtuoso of the guitar, I went without any preconceived expectations. So I was totally unprepared for the watery eyes and the lump in my throat as I listened to Little Wing being played as I’d never heard it before, not even by Hendrix. After that, everything else was a bonus. Absolutely fantastic.
Review by John Kearsey / Calgary, Alberta
Well, 9 years on and Eric is back at the Calgary Saddledome (another modern hockey rink with passable acoustics). Back in 1998 it was the Pilgrim tour, with Andy Fairweather Low, Nathan East, and many fine other musicians. March 26th in Calgary was my 7th Clapton show since 1990, and while he may be older, with a less diverse setlist, none of that seemed to matter to the sold out audience. Robert Cray was a most excellent warm up, and although most in the audience had probably never heard of him, the effort was appreciated and recognized. Eric came on right on time at 8:36 pm, in a casual black shirt, blue jeans, and were those orange shoes?
Of course keeping an eye on the website, I knew basically what to expect. But I had a question going in with every show being the same, will it EC coast through, or can we expect something exceptional? (which is all I have ever experienced). Launching into "Tell the Truth" got everyone signing and moving, if only in their seats. I was uncertain at first about the latest version of "Key to the Highway", it sounded a little bit off, but it did grow on me. The same could be said for "Running on Faith". This has been a personal favourite for many years, but it honestly sounded like a Top 40 version to me. However, a couple of lo-lites were far out-shadowed by the hi-lites of "Little Wing", "Little Queen of Spades", "Got to Get Better ….." and "Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out".
Watching through binoculars, or via the big screen, it was obvious that Eric was feeling the music (as he always does). And being backed by the phenomenal Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon, feeding energy to the crowd, and kudos to Doyle Brahmal II, a fine addition to anyone’s band, but with Eric, that makes for one fearsome duo (more Doyle no, more Eric no, more Doyle!!)
And kudos to the Calgary crowd, who surprised me a little bit by being very into the blues set, and appreciative of the lesser known material. The crowd reaction added to a fantastic evening with the guitar God. I enjoyed myself, it was a good show. Not the most powerful I have ever seen from our man, but my God a good effort it well worth the 9 year wait.
Review by Tara Luna / East Glacier Park, Montana
I have lived in a remote area of northern Montana for the past sixteen years. Up until the Calgary concert, the most significant experiences of my life have been hiking and climbing the northern Rocky Mountains. Eric’s music has always been an integral part of my life for the past 30 years. I never thought would have the chance to see him and his band in concert. As good fortune would have it, I was sitting in the center of the third row and would not have traded this experience for anything in the world. It is an absolute rarity to witness such incredible gifts that Eric, Chris Stainton and other members of his band possess. This was above and beyond the most extraordinary music experience of my life. I cannot thank Eric, Chris and his band enough for this gift; I shall treasure it forever.