Venue: Sun Fest
City: Palm Beach
Country: United States
Sheryl Crow Band
Sheryl Crow headlined the opening night of Sun Fest 2008. Also on the bill were Michael Franti & Spearhead and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Eric Clapton joined Sheryl Crow and her band for one number – Higher Ground. Sheryl’s complete set list is unknown.
Review by Sally Rosen / Florida
Under brilliant stars with tropical breezes on a picture perfect South Florida evening, Sheryl Crow and her band kicked off SunFest Music and Art Festival on 30 April. Held annually in West Palm Beach, SunFest 2008 had a diverse power line up of top talent including The Black Crows, Fergie, Little Feat, Little River Band and Stephen Marley.
Sheryl opened with “Detours” album songs God Bless This Mess, Babylon and Love Is Free followed by some of her standards like A Change Would Do You Good. Then, Sheryl took some time to talk honestly and openly to the audience about her past years’ challenges with relationships, breast cancer, and the joy of her adopted son. From there, she infused her passion for environmentalism with Gasoline and its poignant lyrics, quasi-rapping, chanting vocals and mesmerizing rhythm reminiscent of some of her earlier work from “Tuesday Night Music Club” and “The Globe Sessions”.
To the audience’s complete surprise, Sheryl introduced "a longtime friend of mine who I admire so deeply" two thirds into the concert. Everyone was on their feet cheering as Eric Clapton walked on stage. People were in total shock that this level of surprise could happen as a guest star of this magnitude is unheard of at SunFest.
Eric, with his black signature Stratocaster, performed Stevie Wonder’s classic Higher Ground with Sheryl. He had previously recorded Higher Ground on “Conception: An Interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s Songs” (2003).
As Eric’s licks lead into a solo, the facial expressions of Sheryl’s band showed they were in complete awe of Eric’s guitar virtuosity. After all, it was Eric Clapton – guitar legend! A guitar legend who made the front pages of the local newspapers the next morning for his flawless execution and element of surprise.
After just one song, Eric left the stage as elegantly and seamlessly as he arrived. It was a night that will not be forgotten in West Palm Beach for years to come.