Venue: Blossom Music Center
City: Cuyahoga Falls
Country: United States
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar, backing vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Pino Palladino – bass
Ian Thomas – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Eric opened the 8th show of his summer tour with "Motherless Children" and "Key To The Highway." The set list mirrored that of the Canadian concerts earlier in the week. "Double Trouble" was the stand out song of the night.
Robert Randolph – pedal steel *
01. Motherless Children
02. Key To The Highway
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Little Wing
05. Outside Woman Blues
06. Double Trouble
07. Don’t Knock My Love
09. Rockin’ Chair
10. Motherless Child
11. Travelling Riverside Blues
12. Running On Faith
13. Tell The Truth
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Before You Accuse Me
16. Wonderful Tonight
19. I’ve Got My Mojo Working (encore) *
Review by Jim Barkett / Dover OH
Greetings from Ohio! I just witnessed Eric Clapton’s return to Blossom Music Center in Ohio for the first time in 18 years. Being a 50 year resident of the buckeye state, let me first say the weather was as close to perfect as the Good Lord allows in Ohio. The place was packed and the audience witnessed a truly great show.
I’ve seen Eric many times; each show has blown me way, and this show was no exception. The band, compared to the last few years, was a stripped down model, only one other guitarist, one keyboard player, the rhythm section and the back-up singers.
Last year’s rhythm section, Willie Weeks and Steve Jordan, were incredible. This year’s bass player, Pino Palladino and percussionist Ian Thomas were every bit as impressive. They were like a great umpire in a sporting event. They did their job so well you didn’t even know they were there. Doyle Bramhall II was great, as Eric gave him a lot of room to perform. His solo on "Running on Faith" was a real highlight, but one of many. Chris Stainton took complete charge of the keyboards. His solos were outstanding.
The entire concert was exceptional. "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Little Wing" were real highlights. Played early in the concert, a high intensity and energy was created that stayed the entire concert. The venue, the weather and the crowd was great. It was a truly memorable show, and I can’t wait for the next one.
Review by Bob White / Mansfield, Ohio
Although I knew Eric would be at Blossom Music Center Saturday night, for different reasons didn’t decide to go until 2:30 PM that day. I have seen Eric almost every time he has been in Cleveland, Blossom or Columbus since early 70s. But it kept itching at me that I needed to go, so we did. Once I sat down and Eric started playing, I knew I had made the right decision.
We missed most of Robert Randolph due to traffic and the long hike in and long wait getting out. I had been concerned about weather, but that ended up perfect. Sound and visuals were excellent. I liked the camera following all the guitar / hand work while my wife preferred the face shots. She says Eric "wears the music on his face while playing."
Quick note on the crowd. As expected, most of us are same age group as Eric with many making extra efforts to get to the venue using wheel chairs and canes – a hardy bunch truly wanting to enjoy Eric. The last time I saw Eric at Blossom we were all much younger, a smell filled the air and drinking was out of control. Isn’t maturity GREAT!!
Now about the music. Eric played great and I liked the entire set list. He made a big effort to change tempo / rhythm on some of the songs so it was like hearing them new again. The first six songs including Double Trouble made the night. I also liked Running on Faith and Tell the Truth. Eric shared the spotlight with Doyle and Chris who both did outstanding jobs with the guitar and pounding those keys. It was a small group that played big.
A couple years ago Eric said he was going to slow down. He hasn’t and I am glad for that and his music. When he hits the Buckeye State again, I will probably scratch that itch and attend to see ‘ole Slowhand.
Review by Bob Straub / Ohio
As a veteran of 20+ Clapton concerts, it’s still a great experience seeing him live. The weather was perfect, clear skies filled with the blues. Robert Randolph is a treasure to watch and you could see he was really having fun. The crowd neighbored in the 20,000 range, all anticipating a memorable night with the man who has been with them through all their adult lives. Well, no disappointment.
Highlights included a very tight acoustic set, amazing keyboards deftly played by Chris Stainton, and blistering licks by Clapton and Doyle Bramhall. Ok, I could do without "Wonderful Tonight" but I understand that song puts the ladies in the house. Clapton tore through Key to the Highway, Queen of Spades, and Motherless Children. Great show, great venue, great crowd. Three to go on the east coast, don’t miss it.