Concert Details

30 May 2008 – Eric Clapton & His Band


Venue: Verizon Wireless Music Center

City: Noblesville

State/Province: IN

Country: United States

Band Lineup:

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

Show Notes:

The show’s running order was changed from previous evenings. The opening number was "Tell The Truth", "Motherless Children" came later in the set and both "Before You Accuse Me" and "Cocaine" were cut. "Let’s Talk It Over" was played in place of "Drifting" at this show as Eric’s solo number on acoustic guitar.

At this evening’s performance, Robert Randolph did not join in on "I’ve Got My Mojo Working" as he did on many previous evenings. Shortly after the concert ended, severe weather (dangerous thunderstorms with high winds) moved through the area.


Special Guest(s):


Set List:

01. Tell The Truth
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
08. Let’s Talk It Over
09. Rockin’ Chair
10. Motherless Child
11. Travelling Riverside Blues
12. Running On Faith
13. Motherless Children
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Wonderful Tonight
16. Layla
17. I’ve Got My Mojo Working (encore)

Fan Reviews:

Review by Dave Gordon
We were at the Eric Clapton show last night. On Thursday night and Friday morning, the local TV stations were describing Friday night’s weather as thunderstorms, wind and even potential tornadoes.

I maintained a positive attitude all day, telling my wife and my friends that we would be fine – the rain would hold out and we would see the entire show. After work, the weather was still in the low 80’s, sunny and humid. By the time we got to the show, the skies were slightly overcast, but it still seemed like we would be in for a sprinkle at the most, although the skies did get a little grayer.

Robert Randolph and his band came on promptly at 7:30 pm and played a 45-minute set that rocked, but it seemed like either many people (on the lawn, at least where we sat) were either more anxious to see EC, or at least a little stressed that the opening act was taking time out of what may be a rain-shortened show for the main act. We love Robert Randolph and if his set had been longer, we would have been just as thrilled.

Clapton and his band started at 8:45 and the skies were a little gray. While I have not seen him in a long time, I am familiar with his music, but many of the songs, while played perfectly, did seem to be a little shorter than I would have expected. I did not keep track of song times by making notes, but I was looking at my watch from time to time. The opening "Tell The Truth" was only about 5-6 minutes, just over half what I believe it has been the last few years. and even during this tour, according to some other reviews I have seen.

Around 9:45, my wife’s daughter called my wife and said the storms were just southwest of us, and should be coming in our way in the next 10 minutes or so. If the winds really picked up, she said, we should leave. This was in the middle of the acoustic portion of the set. It started a sprinkle lightly and the winds became a little more intense. We put raingear on, and continued to jam to the music, which still sounded incredible. I think the sound on the lawn is fuller, and I have been to 100’s of shows at the former Deer Creek Music Center (it will always be Deer Creek to me!) Our two friends made their way to their seats in the pavilion before EC’s set began, so we did not see them again till much later.

The rain began to pick up, but we maintained our positions. The crowd went nuts for "Wonderful Tonight" and "Layla," which came next, was also terrific, but the closing section seemed much shorter than I would have expected. The band left the stage after Layla, and it was only 10:15. I was a little disappointed but understood the rationale.

The band returned to play "I’ve Got My Mojo Workin,’" which I could see on the video screen near the restrooms that Robert Randolph
was not sitting in. How disappointing! We were really hoping to catch that. By the end of the song, the rain was pouring down, but we were undercover near a foodstand, which had just closed it’s windows. We watched the crowd leaving but we waited to see if we would get another encore, but that was it . . . they were done.

As we walked out, the lights at the pavilion were on, and there was no more music. You can always hear it as you make the way to your vehicle on the walk-out.

Eric Clapton and his band’s performance was terrific, but my friends and I felt shortchanged (especially with the price of the tickets!) in the length by about 30 minutes, or 25% of the show, both in number of songs played and song length. I’m glad to have gone, and I would do it again for sure. Clapton still has the chops.

Review by Tolin Jr.
We were front row for Eric’s concert at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana. Eric came out in a maroon golf shirt, Levis and his pewter Fender Strat. First electric concert start of the tour. Severe weather had been rolling in during the opening set with Robert Randolph. A huge bolt of lightning lit up the sky just before Eric took the stage. From our perspective, up close, we could see the look of concern on Eric’s face as he launched into his opening number Tell The Truth.

All during his set, the weather was a factor. The band sounded great but seemed to rush through each number, with Eric giving a short "thank you" at the end of each number. Miraculously, he was able to run through nearly all of his set, which included his acoustic blues pieces, before turning up the amps for the last third of his set.

Eric managed a quick comment late in the gig "pleasant evening isn’t it?" between songs. Suddenly, off stage, a roadie gave Eric a hand signal and Eric turned to his band and shouted Wonderful Tonight (seemingly cutting the concert short). By now, lightning was constantly flickering in the sky to the west. At the conclusion of that number, Eric turned back to his drummer and shouted again, raising one finger and then whipped around to begin Layla. Before he could hit that opening riff, a giant bolt of lightning pounded the parking lot, blistering the sky with blue light. The entire crowd roared in anticipation as the band blasted into the song. The wind was now a near gale, making the smoke machine clouds dissipate almost instantly as they blew from stage left to right. Wham, the song was over and Eric was rushed off stage … only to return for a quick Mojo encore while lightning was striking all around us and the skies opened up. Incredibly, the band played while the storm pounded us.

We ran out to the car in a monsoon and were among the first to pull out of the lot. Eric and his band pulled out in front of us in three Suburbans with a police escort. The storm was so bad that all of us (including Eric) could manage no more than 35 miles an hour down Interstate 69 into Indianapolis. Later, we learned that Indianapolis was being devastated by tornadoes that were spinning all over its northern suburbs. The next morning, much of central Indiana was destroyed by the worst storms of the year. Eric can feel fortunate that he was able to squeeze that gig in, considering the circumstances.

Review by Ken
Great show! Robert Randolph and his band were fantastic. Eric’s showing his years, as am I, but hasn’t lost a lick. Towards the end of the night, Doyle and Eric could be seen checking out the light show that mother nature provided. Cocaine was not performed, probably due to the severe storms moving through. I paid through the nose to get a seat 5 rows back from the stage…it was worth every penny!

Review by Julie Sage / Indianapolis IN
Eric Clapton fans defy description. Yet every single one of them look like someone I would like to hang out with! The age range must be something like 5 to 75. I joined my old timer friends on the packed lawn last night.I have to trust you with the set list. I am sure no one on the lawn would have been able to write anything down and keep it dry. The show was wonderful and by the way so was "Wonderful Tonight!" But I have to be honest, for the thousands of us on the lawn the rain, thunder and lightning completely stole the show! As the concert ended the sky broke open and we were left running for our cars (some a mile away!) The exits were jammed and we all huddled together for safety and warmth! I wish I could have taken a picture of the Clapton faithful, but would not risk damaging the camera. Eric, I hope you witnessed our love for you as we stood out in the worst storm of the year and listened to you play!

Review by Derrik Trump / Noblesville IN
Myself and two friends didn’t decide to attend the show until about four hours prior to show time. Severe weather had been forecast for late afternoon / early evening yesterday throughout Central Indiana. By late afternoon the severe weather had been pushed back until close to when the concert might end so we decided to go for it.

Even before Eric came out we could see lightning streaking across the sky to the north and west but the rain had held off. Finally, the sky totally opened up during Wonderful Tonight and never let up. He played Layla, then left the stage. He came back for the encore and played I’ve Got my Mojo Workin’ then left the stage again. At that point the house lights went up and Happy Trails was played on the house PA. To my knowledge, Cocaine was not part of the set list. Everyone headed for the exits as the rain was coming down in buckets!!! When we arrived home the NBC station in Indianapolis had reported that the folks who ran the venue had cut the show 15 minutes short due to the weather.

Anyway, probably more than anyone wanted or needed to know, but it made for a memorable concert experience. The show itself was flawless. The sound was great, the show was great and the crowd was great! We didn’t know what to expect as the three of us had never seen him before, but we were all in agreement that he’s as good as everyone says he is and the band was also in top form. We were lucky to have him stop in Indy and, despite the fact that my car still has water standing it in, we had a great time and don’t regret a single minute of it!

Review by Cindy Howell / Bardstown KY
Last night, I was in the presence of true greatness. We drove about 3 hours to get to Noblesville. Rain, lightening and dark clouds threatened before the show. My only thought was "please, let the show go on!". I have been an E.C. Fan for about 25 years and this was my first opportunity to see him live.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band put on a good show. They looked like they were having a good time on stage.
Finally, with sprinkles and lightening becoming more frequent, Slowhand took the stage!! I was in awe. Amazed. What talent! He looked relaxed.

"Key to the Highway" is my theme song for any road trip, so I was glad to hear that one. The crowd, including myself, was really into "Hoochie Coochie Man". "Motherless Child" and Running on Faith" are two of my personal favs, so I was thrilled to hear those two.
From my seat on the lawn I could see lightening was causing sparks and electric trails to shoot out from the sides of the metal pavilion, next to the screen monitors. The effect caused eruptions of elated screams from the other fans on the lawn. I was afraid the power would go out and the show would have to end. I pushed that thought from my mind.

The storms hit full force somewhere around Little Queen of Spades. I donned the poncho, put on my sunglasses to keep the rain out of my eyes and the rest of the show was amazng. The encore of Eric and the band doing "I’ve Got My Mojo Working" were well suited to the frenzy of the crowd and storm. Somehow, it was all perfect! It was a night I will never forget.

Review by Connie Norris / Loogootee IN
My husband and I attended the May 30th show as a 10th anniversary present to ourselves. We had to drive from southwest Indiana and the traffic to get to the venue was horrific! But when we finally go parked and got our Will Call tickets and finally got to our wonderful, pricey seats the warm up band was great, the whole 2 songs we got to hear. I guess we should have left home at noon and not 2:30.  I had heard the weather forecasts and had prayed that we be able to enjoy the show without being cancelled. Well… it wasn’t cancelled but it should have been! Eric and his band were terrific but….. for seats that cost us $200+, I expected alot more. I wouldn’t have been half as disappointed if the whole thing had been called off! I know that the bad weather is the cause of the "hurried" show but why not cut some of the newer numbers for the classics? I liked the new ones and enjoyed them but…. I expected and paid to hear the classics. I have attended concerts for the last 34 years and I can say I have never been so disappointed as I was last nite.

Eric knew they were going to have to leave….. why not wind it up with Cocaine? Like it or not, it is a tune you and you alone are known for. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of my hard earned money! I saved up for these tickets and surprised my husband for our anniversary, I even told him not to get me anything as this could be our present to each other. Well…. thank you Eric for the performance you gave but I will bet that it was probably one the worst concerts you’ve ever given. You are a professional and I know you are the greatest guitar player ever, it showed last nite, but I can say this was my first and last dollar spent on your music. My disappointment and that of several others, I overheard last nite, is profound.

Review by David Buckel / Louisville KY
I was at the show in Noblesville Indiana on May 30th. Being a guitarist myself, I was floored to be in the same part of the world as EC and watch him demonstrate the virtuosity I have loved through the years. To be in the presence of such a legend was inspiring and Eric brought the "fire" during the rain storm! It was rather intense to watch EC and his band tear through Layla as lightning flashed across the evening sky. Just amazing and very primal.

Doyle Bramhall II played a tearing slide guitar which countered and complimented Eric’s playing. Motherless Children had all of the intensity I would expect from EC and I was in blues heaven. EC played a short acoustic set that spot on. You would think he would tire of playing after all these years, but he proved that the blues do indeed get in the blood and remain.

On an amusing note, I saw a fellow in the crowd that had a wonderful shirt that read, "Don’t talk to me. I’m here to see God." Well that summed up my feelings to a …..tee.

The only disappointment for me was EC didn’t play Bell Bottom Blues and Old Love. I’m almost certain the show had to be cut short due to the storm that raged during the latter part of the show. I knew I needed to be there because I get the feeling that EC won’t be touring much after this year. No concrete evidence just a gut feeling. Eric has a family now and has his life together, so I don’t blame him if he doesn’t tour much anymore (but it will make my heart sick to be sure.) The people at the Noblesville show may have witnessed part of Eric’s closing chapter of his life on the road. Thank you Eric making making my life better with your music.

Review by Katie Gates / Tulsa OK
What a fantastic adventure the EC concert was in Noblesville, IN last night!! It was my very first time to see Clapton, and my dad and I came from Oklahoma to be a part of it! Luckily for us, we didn’t know about the weather threat, so we didn’t start to worry until the beginning of lightning!

As a young Clapton fan, I think that it was the biggest treat to get to hear songs from the "Layla" album, definitely one of my favorites. I hadn’t expected him to start the show with "Tell The Truth", and I would have preferred for it to have been later in the set, when the momentum was stronger. "Little Wing" was definitely my favorite of the first half- it gave me goose bumps! Eric and the the rest of the band was phenomenal!

I really loved the change of tempo with the acoustic portion of the show, with the highlight being "Running On Faith". Words can’t even describe how amazing that was!!

At this point, the weather was starting to get pretty dicey, our seats were covered, but when the rain started it didn’t really matter. It did seem as though the band was rushing through some of the songs, which was a little disappointing. We stood through "Wonderful Tonight"
(fantastic!) and "Layla" (the highlight of my life!) while being pelted with rain from behind. Because of the previous set lists, I was ready for "Cocaine" and the encore, so when Eric walked off after "Layla" I almost cried!! I wish that he had done "Cocaine" as the encore, but "I’ve Got My Mojo Working" was performed with such soul…it was the perfect ending to the concert! The band played their hearts out on this one, and contrary to the rest of the show, it did not feel rushed at all.

The weather only got worse from here and we stuck around for about an hour afterwards waiting for the dangerous lightning to let up and then finally made the half mile jog to our car. Although the weather didn’t cooperate, I’m glad that we got a fairly full length show – it was one of the best nights of my life and I can’t wait to see Eric when he comes back!

Review by Ken Simpson / St. Louis MO
I made the four and a half hour drive from St. Louis, Missouri over to Noblesville, Indiana for Eric Clapton’s concert on Friday night. Unfortunately, for the first time ever, I was somewhat disappointed in my Eric Clapton concert experience. I think Eric’s playing was fine, though his solos rarely seemed to really "take off" as they have on so many nights. "Little Wing" was not as strong as it was with Steve Winwood as Eric didn’t do any runs during the conclusion of the song. Like Eric’s, Doyle’s playing was fine and Chris Stainton was his usual strong self on keyboards.

My main complaints were with the pace and length of the show. "Before You Accuse Me" and the obligatory "Cocaine" were both dropped, "Little Queen of Spades" was dramatically shortened and "Got My Mojo Working" lacked the usual sit-in from Robert Randolph. I know the weather was terrible, but if EC can’t play during a storm outside, then he should confine his shows to indoor venues such as the nearby Conseco Fieldhouse. Indeed, the storm was terrible, as my program was destroyed thanks to the vendors not supplying shopping bags when requested.

The highlights were "Key to the Highway" and the opener "Tell the Truth" was surprisingly strong. I’ve never been a huge fan of the song but during my excitement I found myself singing along. It was fun to see "Don’t Knock My Love" and "Layla" was great as usual. If you have a chance to see Eric indoors on this tour I would do it as he seems to be right at home during a predominately Blues set. Here’s hoping that "Voodoo Chile" or "Them Changes" from Madison Square Garden return for this tour at some point.


Review by Peter Chapman / Indianapolis IN
I have seen Eric in concert since I was in college in London in the late 60s and always take the opportunity to see him if I can reasonably get there. I must have seen him nearly 20 times, first with Cream, then Blind Faith, and then as he started touring solo. I had just seen him in Tampa for the opening show of the tour, and was delighted to see that he was finally coming to my adopted home town of Indy again. The Tampa show was one of his best performances, and I was dying to see him play it again.

So now I can’t believe I am going to make a critical review. While Robert Randolph is a great player of the slide guitar, his music with his band seemed muddy, with no sense of progression and overly loud. Only one number closer to the end, which really showcased his technique seemed appropriate as a warm-up for Eric. Given the looming weather, I think the opening act should have stayed off the stage to let Eric start early.

EC was masterful again. The riffs just get smoother. So effortless. So simple, and yet so emotional. The band was tight, and the bass player never moved! But they seemed to have one eye on the sky, as we all did. Compared to the Tampa show, it seemed rushed. And the sound management was off. During one number there was a lot of feedback and towards the end, there seemed to be lot of booming from the amps. At one point, his people handed him a new guitar, forgot to plug him in, and then were slow in turning up the sound. Still, the professional carried it off well, and kept his annoyance well hidden.

While disappointed that the show had to be cut short, the weather was ugly by that time. We were under the roof, but those behind us were getting soaked. I can’t remember seeing lightening that intense and for so long. Public safety demanded that it be shut off early, as intense lightening strikes were all around us. The drive home around I-465 was one of the scariest I have ever made. Intense rain and no visibility.

So yes, I will see him again, maybe as soon as the end of this month in Hyde Park, in London. But I hope he keeps Indy in mind, especially as his wife is from Ohio, and makes a date to come back here soon, to finish the show!

Review by Bob Motley / Kansas IL
Here is the set list with my comments for each one:
Tell The Truth: Eric and the band just walked out on stage and promptly started with this number. Our seats were left of the stage and in the upper pavilion seats. This song is a great tune and the band sounded good.
Key To The Highway: A different version of this song than what I am used to. Different time signature but it worked quite well. Eric does this to keep the song fresh and to give the audience a little something different which is what he does as well as anyone. One of Eric’s signature tunes.
Hoochie Coochie Man: Wow is all I can say. Eric’s vocals were very passionate with loads of attitude. Muddy would have been so proud! Chris Stainton was another highlight on this blistering number.
Little Wing: This is a beautiful song and I could tell by the way Eric sings this that he still misses Jimi very much. So do I!!
Outside Woman Blues: Good song, good version, very different from the Cream version but came off quite well.
Double Trouble: There is a note that Eric always hits in the solo where he is covering two strings with one finger up the neck that just sets this song on fire. Slow bends and then blistering single note runs highlight the emotion he puts into this song every time. Great to see this song back in the set list.
Don’t Knock My Love: For some reason I am not familiar with this song (and I have listened to Eric for 20 years now). Good tune and glad he included it.
Let’s Talk It Over: Start of the acoustic set with Eric and his beloved Martin all by himself. Very intimate, single-note solo with melodies that soared into the atmosphere. He touches a guitar like no one else. Period. Many people left to get beer and to empty their bladders. Very disappointing and pretty characteristic of at least half of the crowd that night. I don’t understand it at all.
Rockin’ Chair: Good tune and another one that I am not too familiar with.
Motherless Child: One of my favorite songs but it seemed that the rhythm section had a little bit of an issue with this one. Didn’t quite come off like I thought it should. Maybe it was just me. Eric played a twelve string acoustic on this song.
Traveling Riverside Blues: Eric played a signature strat set up for slide on this number. Vocals were very good and the band seemed to groove pretty good.
Running on Faith: One of his best songs off of the Journeyman album. EC played a Martin acoustic and Doyle was on electric slide for this one. A great song and Eric played a very simple, melodic solo that was plucked from heaven and perfect for the song.
Motherless Children: The band stood up and Eric again grabbed a strat set up for slide and ripped into this song from 461 Ocean Boulevard. Great to see this one in the set and was one of the highlights of the evening.
Little Queen of Spades: Highlight of this song was Chris Stainton’s piano solo-out of this world!! Doyle and Eric were just laughing and enjoying the moment. Storms were getting quite heavy and active at this point in the show. I believe this is where some of the numbers were cut out, Cocaine being the most obvious one to not be played on this evening.
Wonderful Tonight: Simple, beautiful singing, short solo, very melodic, almost perfect.
Layla: The whole crowd stood up when the opening riff was played. My 16-year old son said that this is maybe his favorite opening riff of any rock song of all-time. I have to agree. This song has that intangible something that makes it timeless and you never get tired of hearing it. Kind of an abrupt end, not a lot of major soloing here but they did complete the song. Weather was horrible at this point.

Encore:I Got My Mojo Workin’: Eric and the band came out for one more number. We were probably lucky to get this one because of the weather. No Robert Randolph tonight in this spot but the band probably sounded as good on this song as they did on anything the whole night. Rhythm section tore it up, Chris Stainton really let it all hang out, and Clapton’s attitude and inflection on the vocals was simply outstanding. Clapton wouldn’t say so but he seems to really grasp the little nuances of Robert Johnson and Muddy Water’s music and because of his deep admiration and respect for these two men, he plays these songs better than anyone but the artist’s themselves. You have to tip your hat to Doyle, too. All of this music happened before his time but he fits in soooooo well that you think he grew up playing with Muddy himself, which I don’t think he did. Stellar work and a fitting end to the night. The band waved and rushed off of the stage and that was it.

Weather was definitely a factor and that was a shame for the band and for us. My son and I still had a great time and wouldn’t have missed it. Very good band and I have to say once again that Eric is simply the best for my money every time. Doyle Bramhall II could have played in Derek and the Dominoes without a doubt as a second guitar player and made that band even better. He nails Eric’s old tunes really well and he is a joy to watch and listen to. I will remember this night forever. I hope to see Eric again soon. The last show I attended was on the Journeyman tour in 1990 in St. Louis and Eric is every bit as amazing as he was then. Maybe even more economical and tasteful, if that’s possible!! God bless you Eric and band!!!

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