Venue: U.S. Airway 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
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. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
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 Thomas Grills
I saw Eric and crew at the Phx show. This was a great show loaded with gems from Derek and the dominoes days, Eric opened up with "Tell the truth" with Derek trucks wailing on the Duane allman slide parts. Derek plays exactly in the style of Duane form his choice of guitars (Gibson sg) to his claw hammer finger picking style and his choice of a cordiciden bottle for slide, which has great tone on Electric but when Derek played steel national guitar the tone thinned out and he switched back to the sg Eric also played "Why does love have to be so sad "One I have never heard him perform live before in all the time I have seen him since the 70s’ Also "Got to get together in a little while", Key to the Highway, Nobody knows you when you’re down and out", Layla, of course.
Eric also played a solo acoustic version of "Drifting blues" showing that yes he can play a acoustic blues without any backup, it was pure Clapton, his technique was flawless but not flashy, then they played a rocking acoustic version of "outside woman blues" with the rest of the band Doyle Bram hall lent some fine picking and his solos and tone were very reminiscent of Stevie ray Vaughn. Doyle did a killer Albert King break during a slow blues the name of which was Robert Johnson’s Little Queen of Spades. Which bore no resemblance to the original Johnson arrangement?
Eric also did Wonderful tonight, Cocaine. During cocaine Derek Trucks played a very cool solo with eastern/Indian scales. Derek Trucks really stole the show with his solos; this kid is someone to watch the next few years. All in all it was a excellent show with crossroads as a encore with Robert Cray the opener coming out to join Eric on Guitar and vocals.
Review by Dave Ficere
This is the 4th time I’ve seen Eric, and I can only echo what others have said: WHAT A SHOW!!! Eric is definitely passing the torch on to younger guns like Robert Cray, Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks. The parallel between the guitar licks of Trucks and the late Duane Allman were almost scary. As in previous concerts on this tour, the set list was heavily weighted toward the Derek and the Dominos era, opening with "Tell The Truth" and continuing with Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad," "Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out," "Key to the Highway" and Jimi Hendrix’s "Little Wing." The guitar interchange during some of the songs was almost too much to take in especially during "Motherless Children," when Clapton, Trucks and Bramhall played triple electric slide solos, as well as when the trio brought the crowd to its feet trading licks during "Little Wing."
While allowing his young proteges to demonstrate their skills, Clapton showed that he still can play with blinding speed which he demonstrated on songs as Robert Johnson’s "Little Queen of Spades" and "Further on down the Road." The band brought the crowd to its feet again with the opening notes of "Layla," as the finale of the regular set. While Eric handled the heavy leads, Bramhall played the crying slide guitar so familiar from Duane Allman in the original recording. It was far superior to the rendition of "Layla" played during the 2001 tour.
After a five-minute standing ovation the group returned for a rousing encore of "Cocaine" and "Crossroads," with everyone taking turns soloing and demonstrating their versatility. Opening act Robert Cray joined the band for the finale, leaving everyone at US Airways Arena satisfied, but still wanting more.
Review by Jim Dolan – Mesa, Arizona
Today was a day I had been anticipating for a long time. When it was announced in late 2005/early 2006 that Eric Clapton was including Derek Trucks on his next tour, I was on board. I had seen Derek many times as leader of the Derek Trucks Band and, even more often, with the Allman Brothers Band. And when I found out that Eric was playing in Lucca, Italy in the summer of 2006, I pulled out the credit card. I had been to Lucca recently and was familiar with the setting. I loaded up the family and set out for a July vacation in Italy centered around the concerts in Lucca and Perugia (Umbria Jazz Festival). The Lucca, Italy concert was the highlight of my concert-going experience. I didn’t think it could ever get much better.
In Phoenix tonight, I saw a band that has really gotten as tight as any band can. Although the audience got off to a slow start, each number got more and more exciting. I had anticipated seeing Old Love with Robert Cray sitting in but the band decided to skip this gem tonight. But I was not disappointed with the additions of Tell The Truth, Key To The Highway, Further On Up The Road and Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad that I had not heard at the Italy shows.
It was also obvious that there’s a spotlight on Derek Trucks. He had a much bigger presence and his solos were turned up loud tonight. From the start, he got to show off his talents which blew away an audience that hadn’t been exposed to his magic before tonight. Eric pretty much gave Derek the entire instrumental coda of Layla all to himself and he delivered a gem. Doyle was also on tonight. His solo in Little Queen of Spades was electrifying – I wish it had gone on for another 20 minutes. Chris Stainton got to a chance to shine on several tunes tonight, Steve Jordan was as solid as he is every night and Willie Weeks pulled off an awesome solo on Got To Get Better In A Little While.
But the reason there were 17,000 people in this venue tonight was, of course, Eric Clapton. At first, he looked a little tired but before long he was showing Arizona that there is only one guitar master. His ability to deliver something great on every tune, no matter what the interpretation, is genius. I especially enjoyed his solo acoustic offering of Driftin’ Blues as well as the rest of the acoustic set. Cocaine was also a nice surprise as it became a vehicle for some great solos instead of the straight forward version I’d always heard before.
As Eric orchestrated the closing number, Crossroads, with Robert Cray sharing the lead, it was obvious he still knows how to be true to his roots and to show the audience what he’s assembled as probably the finest guitar talent on any live stage today. Long live the king. I’m looking forward to the next tour – hopefully I’ll get that Italy trip paid off before it kicks off.
Review by Mike Goldberg
What a great, great show. My 11th time of seeing Mr. Eic Clapton live in living color so to speak……. Superb splendid wonderfully deliscious these words don’t even really do him total justice. The show was tremendous. DERIK PLAYED A WONDERFULL RENDITION OF DUANE ALLMANS PART ON TELL THE TRUTH. his slide playing is absolutly superp. Eric of coarse is such a master at beinfg a graciuos host of an evening of live music. I play music here in town for my second job and have done this for over 36 years. I’m probably the only one in phoenix playing Eric clapton music, and it was such a treat to once again see the master with a total ALL STAR BAND. GEORGE HARRISON’S WILLIE WEEKS was wonderfull. With very strong melodic bass lines. Eric as always is so gracious and a stronfg solid player. the whole evening was ROCK SOLID.
Review by James Pettersson
Just saw Eric last night at u.s. airways in phoenix. Robert Cray opened up the show with about a 30 minute set. I have never been thrilled with his songwriting but his guitar playing was solid, he is a very underrated guitarist. After a brief intermission, Eric came out in tow with Doyle and Derek. I can understand previous reviews that felt Eric did not solo enough and left most of the heavy work to other two guitarist. In reality the leads were split up evenly and all three players were on fire. Eric especially stood out on little wing and little queen of spades where he just ripped out a stunning lead. He was using a light cream colored Stratocaster that I had never seen before but his tone was excellent over all, actually a nastier tone more reminiscent of his mid 1970â€™s tour captured on the album e.c. was here. The encore of crossroads with Eric and Robert Cray share the vocals was great with Eric channeling his cream lead near the end. Overall a very enjoyable concert.
Review by Dianna & Jordan Baker – Glendale, Arizona
I’ve been a Clapton fan for well over 30 years; I took my 19 year old son who practically worships Eric 3/11 in Phoenix. My only regret was not being able to beat the scalpers to the ‘net & get in front of the stage. Eric rocks as hard as ever, the new band members are awesome & we loved every minute of it! Please Eric tour again & drag Derek Trucks with you to Arizona!!!! Thanks for the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life!
Review by Gary Wilmot
Well, since this isn’t the typical gushing, fall all over myself, "THIS WAS THE MOST AWESOME CONCERT EVER!!!!!" review that seems to dominate this site, it will no doubt never get posted, but I still feel the need to "Tell The Truth".
I am as devoted an EC fan as they come, and I really did enjoy the concert, but all you need to do is read any of the previous reviews to see the problem I have with it. Just count the number of references to Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II performances versus that of Eric’s and you see what I mean. Yes, I appreciate the whole idea of him "passing the torch" to these obviously talented guitarists, but quite frankly, I DID NOT shell out to see them, I want to see ERIC dominate the stage, and he seemed all too content to play backup for much of the show.
Maybe I need to have a more intimate knowledge of Derek’s "Eastern Indian guitar tunings" (oh, gimme a break) as one reviewer strives to impress us with, but I found the show to be just "okay". Certainly a far cry from the "Farewell Tour" of several years ago which had a much more varied and eclectic set list than this truncated show – 32 songs(!) vs 16. This was certainly evident by the very sedate manner of the crowd, another point conspicuously lacking from any of the previous reviews.
Maybe that’s the point – Eric should have said "farewell" with that tour rather than stick around to jump the shark with this one.
Review by Jim Bentley
I have attended hundreds of concerts starting in the mid 60’s till today, including the Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith. I have always appreciated solid musicianship and lyrics as I have similarly made my selections on what to see. The Eric Clapton concert in Phoenix ranks at the top of my all time favorites. Robert Cray, selected to open and play in the finale, was an excellent choice, as he was able to convey excellent guitar work and genuine feeling in the songs he played. Derek Trucks handled the slide with deftness reminiscent of Duane Allman. Eric was at the top of his craft, pulling great emotion and speed from his guitars, while making it look easy. I usually rate a concert as remarkable if I wake up the next morning humming a song from the night before. Today, a week later, I woke up with "Why does love have to be so sad", stuck in my head. I would strongly encourage folks to catch this tour if they can.