Venue: MGM Grand
City: Las Vegas
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 Nick Oliva
Saturday night at the MGM Center 15,000 people got to hear the sheer power of the guitar by the master of rock and roll himself, Eric Clapton. Not to be undone, young Derek Trucks, Eric’s namesake, showed the master a thing or two as well, with his glass slide and finger picking technique that accurately and precisely hits the notes not only in streaming 16th and 32nd note runs, but with seemingly impossible perfect pitch. Together with the rest of the band they recreated and modified the old Derek and the Dominoes 1974 Album "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs," that fast and furious super-hot rock and roll epic dedicated to model and former wife of George Harrison and eventually Eric’s, Patti Boyd. She’s the only woman to have 2 superstars dedicate songs to her, and in her prime, her intoxicating beauty was that of a sexual siren driving men’s souls to the rocks in pure passion.
Clapton was his typical self, a machine laying out the rhythms that make all of the songs possible and allowing the younger men the solos without attitude or ego, but when Eric took over, you knew who was the dominant force on the stage. Doyle Bramhall II (guitar), Derek Trucks (guitar), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Tim Carmon (keyboards), Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Jordan (drums), played well with each other and at times melded into a sharp cohesive unit. At other times things got a little sloppy and it seemed that they were winging the solos haphazardly, but that’s the blues and having seen Eric with various bands perform since 1969, I can tell you that the energy and flow were all there as in the past. Michelle John, and Sharon White (backing vocals) did a great job providing the backing for many songs and reaching those high, high notes Bobby Whitock used to belt out as Eric and Duane Allman challenged each other in the upper register on their guitars in the old days. Clapton suffered greatly when Allman died as the two pushed each other to heights of synergy never reached before in the rock world, when they met at Muscle Shoals Studios and had Tom Dowd, (now deceased) the legendary master of multi-track recording, retrack their solos and blend them so skillfully. It’s too bad the master wasn’t digital, but that time had not yet come.
The best news of this show was the revelation of how good Derek Trucks really is and I don’t think he even knows it. His slide playing is so fast, mere mortals will find it impossible to duplicate. My only comment is that he should slow down and use the slide as a powerful tool creating expansive up and down movements instead of just "playing lead." He’s still young and due to become another guitar god before long replacing "Slowhand" in his golden years.
All in all, great new arrangements of the old material, good song selection, and a great one-of-a-kind show from a seasoned veteran and new and upcoming youngsters. Worth every penny!
Review by Gretchen
I was at the Clapton concert last night, and to be perfectly honest with you, I was disappointed. While I’ve been a Clapton fan since high school (I’m 52 now) and own almost everything he has ever made, I felt that I wasted my money at the MGM last night. Eric played only a handful of the songs that everyone would have liked to have heard and that he is known for. He turned over a great deal of the show to the other musicians, who were definitely talented, but I thought that the short time he was on stage would have been more meaningful if we had received more from Eric.
I was also surprised that he didn’t thank everyone for coming, nor did he establish any kind of connection with the audience. Often he would play with his back to the audience, facing his band. It was almost as if he didn’t even want to be there. He seemed rather sad. Perhaps he had a bad day.
Eric Clapton is a one-of-a-kind superstar with the guitar and his voice. I guess I just expected more. After 2 hours driving to the MGM (I live in Las Vegas) and 1 hour trying to get parking at the MGM garage, I just wish the concert had lived up to my expectations.
Review by Liz Armitage – Las Vegas, Nevada
What a jam session, that’s how it felt. Eric was "Wonderful Tonight". To a full house he caressed his guitar, crooned to his fans and gave the spotlight to his other guitarists, who I would love to know the names of. Eric doesn’t need that spotlight anymore and is more than willing to give it up to showcase the talent of others. Even though 15,ooo people were there to see him, they all thoroughly enjoyed the other musicians on stage with Eric. The show was as good as it could have been. Thanks for the session mate.
Review by William Marlow
Having seen this show just three nights ago in Denver, I must say I was once again amazed and thrilled. Even though I didn’t say so in my Denver review but, sometimes these Clapton shows take a day or so to really knock you over. In Denver I must say, Eric and the band looked tired at times.To see the show again days later brings a new perspective and the band did not disappiont. The set list was the expected BUT, YES THEY PLAYED ‘Why does love got to be so sad" in the place of ‘Anyday’ in the dominoes set. HOLY COW PEOPLE!! this was so fantastic. I actually heard remnants of the early Clapton solo here and the dueling solos between Eric and Derek Trucks was very simular to what Eric and Duane did on the record at the end of the song. Again Eric was dazzling and fluent on ‘Little Wing" very beautiful. As some of the reviewers have commented about Eric letting his two young guns take too many solos, I see it like this.Generally, it would go…Eric short solo, doyle next, derek and then Eric again. What this did for me was point out the incredible stratocaster mastery by Eric. When he would step up after the boys, you could just hear the absolute master at work with tone and precision. Again. this night I noticed a lot more of the relaxed fluid unforced solos from Eric.Very good show. I’m not sure how many more opportunities one might have to see Eric really gunning through an entire concert like he did in Vegas but, carry-on Govenor.
Review by Jeff Wilson
The crowd was late arriving in Las Vegas and the arena was only half full for Robert Cray’s set. It must be due to the unreasonable security at the MGM Grand Garden. Every person has to pass through an airport style metal detector and then get wanded after that. The seats were plastic and really uncomfortable- especially because the whole audience remained seated for the entire show! I was surprised how uninformed the people around me were about the current tour as I overheard comments like "I hope he plays that "White Room" song". They seemed unfamiliar with Derek & the Dominoes material. I guess it could have been that lots of people were all day out at the NASCAR track, as the race was in town as well.
Eric started out in great form, as the soundman was right on top of things for "Tell The Truth". Derek was mixed properly featured up front and I was excited to hear that. Also, all night long Doyall had an exceptional performance. His tone and solos were flowing and well composed. He did not miss any notes and was really enjoying his turn in the spotlight. The crowd reacted very favorably and his smile revealed he was happy about that.
Once again Eric was the star of the show, but did not show all the firepower he displayed in Denver. He had no troubles, but he was not quite as fluid and attacking. I really did enjoy "Why Does Love Got To be So Sad" – too bad it was at the expense of "Anyday". I was surprised at how well the 2 most identifiable hits went over. "Running On Faith" and "Wonderful Tonight" were greeted enthusiastically, as was "Layla". I would have liked to see Eric and Derek stretch out the second part of "Layla" much longer as the blending of their two styles is the essence of the number. It seemed just as they were really feeling the groove it was over. All in all another excellent show that was well worth it.
Review by Kate / Bozeman, MT
I’ve been to several Clapton concerts over the years starting in the early 70’s and this is the first time I wasn’t ecstatically fulfilled. I have to admit that Eric is my all time favorite musician. The last time I saw him was in Phoenix in 2001 with my son who had just graduated from the University of Arizona and that concert was awesome…a real mother son bonding experience! We were lucky enough to see Billy Preston perform with Eric at that one.
Eric just seemed like he was going through the motions of putting on a concert in Vegas. He didn’t seem to connect with the audience very much. He’s still and always will be an awesome guitarist but his heart just didn’t seem to be in it that night. It’s great that he gave the other artists a chance to shine but he did so to excess. I was looking forward to a taste of Blind Faith, Derek & the Dominoes and Cream. I travelled from Montana and paid Vegas prices for tickets think they were higher than most of his other venues, hotel, etc. and walked out of the concert disappointed after being jacked up for weeks to be there. Of course, this won’t stop me from seeing Mr. Clapton again as soon as I possibly can…we can all have an off night.