Concert Details

26 Feb 08 - Eric Clapton

Location:

Venue: Madison Square Garden

City: New York

State/Province: NY

Country: United States

Band Lineup:

Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Steve Winwood – hammond organ, guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Ian Thomas – drums

Support:

None

Show Notes:

Night two of three at Madison Square Garden with Steve Winwood.

Special Guest(s):

 

Set List:

01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. Forever Man
04. Them Changes
05. Sleeping In The Ground
06. Presence Of The Lord
07. Glad / Well Alright
08. Double Trouble
09. Pearly Queen
10. Tell The Truth
11. No Face
12. After Midnight
13. Split Decision
14. Ramblin On My Mind (EC solo)
15. Georgia On My Mind (SW solo)
16. Little Wing
17. Voodoo Chile
18. Can’t Find My Way Home
19. Cocaine
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)

Fan Reviews:

Review by Brian Mulkeen
Having seen Eric a few times over the past few years and watching the Crossroads DVDs and listening to the Blind Faith CD recently has only increased my anticipation for this concert. I surprised my kids with floor seats (I just got lucky). It was a fantastic, unbelievable, memorable wonderful night. Use any superlatives you want. A show not to be missed. The band was great of course, all top notch musicians. The mix of songs went very well with some surprises for me as I had sneaked a peek this afternoon. More than a few times we just said to each other this is history and doesn’t get any better than this. Steve’s voice was phenomenal and he loved being up there with Eric. As Eric gets older he just gets better like a fine wine, the emotional tones he gets out of his guitar bring you to tears and they rocked our world for 2 1/2 wonderful hours tonight. Every song was great, tight, the volume was perfect the solos were as good as it gets and everyone had to be ecst! atic seeing masters at work, Eric is still a true guitar god and Steve a great guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist I could go on and on and on, Bravo–Bravo!!!!

Review by Joel Tanenbaum
This show was Fun with a capital "F" One of the best shows I’ve ever been to. To me, EC is at his best when he is out of his box, and tonight was about as out of his box as I’ve seen him (and I’ve seen him about 30 times). EC was loose and on fire from the start; and was the only guitarist half the time. Strutting all over the stage. Even on standards like Cocaine, Forever Man, and Double Trouble he seemed to bring something new. And watching him on Voodoo Child, Had to Cry Today, Changes, and Pearly Queen was a treat. Did I mention Voodoo Child? Yikes! On Voodoo Child he stayed true to EC but also laid down some Jimi tributes. Really great. And SW rounded it out.

SW was great. I’ve only seen him once, and that was abut 20 years ago, so I don’t know how this compares to his standard. But his vocals were great, his keys great, and his guitar competent. SW took most of the vocals, even on some EC songs. (EC voice sounded kind of rough in a few spots but not bad overall.) A highlight for me was the SW solo version of Georgia. Just beautiful… SW on Hammond B3.
Definitely a Jimi nod throughout the show with Changes, Little Wing and of course Voodoo Child.

They mixed it up just a little from night 1, adding Cocaine before the encore, and having Mr. Fantasy as the encore and final song (omitting that tired slow version of Crossroads that we’ve been hearing for a while now). The only song that dragged a bit for me was Tell the Truth—it seemed so sparse without Derek Truck’s slide work. The sound was pretty good most of the time, but sometimes got muddy, especially when Chris Stanton was turned up. (I was on the floor section 3 Row U.) Show ran from 8:20-10:40. House lights were kind of bright most of the night, which I liked, because I could see the band better. If you are in the floor sections 1-4, bring your Ticketmaster printout, as they want you to have that in order to get on line at the will call window.

Review by RD
We arrived at our 10th row center stage seats seconds before the musicians took the stage. There was a sweet reminiscent smell of the sixties wafting through the air as Clapton, Winwood, Weeks, Thomas and Stanton took their desigated places on the Madison Square Garden stage and whipped the entire crowd in a wild frenzy by ripping into the beginning riff to Blind Faith’s "Had To Cry Today." The stage was set for what was to become a journey back to a time when music was sacred and there was one universal musical "God." But if we are to believe that "Clapton "was" God," then we must surrender to the fact that there is more than one, as Clapton’s collaboration with Winwood then and now reminds us that true musical beauty comes not from just one man, but from the chemistry that happens when musical angels come together as one. And this is exactly what happened when these musicians performed on February 26th.

Winwood’ vocals were inspiring throughout the entire evening, as was Claptons. The guitar work by both were exraordinary however, the highlight of the evening was unquestionably when Winwood was behind the hammond and Clapton’s guitar leads soared beyond the heavens while the inceridible band working with them this evening raised the bar. Playing songs from not only Blind faith, but Traffic, as well as Band of Gypsies, Hendrix, Derick and the Dominoes, and a rare Clapton solo gem "Forever Man," The magic was undeniable and we were more than hppy to shell out the astronomical figures to attend.

Unlike the 1st night’s performance, the Dynamic Duo and band ended the evening with "Cocaine" and then "Dear Mr. Fantasy" as an encore instead of last nights "Crossroads." It was perfect and our "Blind Faith" in music has been renewed.

Review by Banker Bill Stasinopoulos
Another fantastic concert by Eric Clapton with Steve Winwood. The Blind Faith songs were definitely the highlight. The simutaneous, dual guitar solo’s on "Had To Cry Today" just blew me away and "Presence of the Lord" nearly brought me to tears. Clapton’s guitar playing was flawless and he is really in his element when he plays the blues. The Band was tight, but a bit sparse – no backing vocals, no horns, no slide guitar. It was good to hear "Glad" from "John Barleycorn Must Die", but Jim Capaldi’s sax was definitely missed, as was Derek Truck’s slide guitar on "Tell The Truth", but I nitpick. The old Buddy Miles song, "Them Changes" was a treat to hear and the Hendrix tributes, "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Child" were just awsome.

Ok, so Eric continued his sojourn into past band incarnations. I heard he played with John Mayall in England. We had the Cream reunion (another great concert, by the way). The last Clapton tour featured some Derek and the Dominoes tunes with Derek Trucks ably sitting in for Duane Allman and last night we had the Blind Faith "reunion". So what’s left? Delaney and Bonnie and Friends? Not likely. That leaves the Yardbirds. I know they didn’t all play together at the same time, but, think about it, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck – the Holy Trinity of living Rock Guitar Gods! Beck played at Clapton’s Chicago Crossroads concert. Page may be called to duty for a Led Zeppelin Reunion (hopefully), but wouldn’t it be great if they could get together for a one-off or series of concerts at Madison Square Garden and Royal Albert Hall, preferably the former?

Review by Kathy D-Valley Cottage, NY
Best garden party ever !!!! 10th row-floor seats –way to go !!! I felt I had died & gone to heaven !!!!! Both Stevie & Eric sounded fabulous.Loved that they each did a solo-Steve did a nice version of Georgia On My MInd…very soulful. Hearing "Had To Cry Today" in person–really did make my eyes well up….THANK YOU STEVE & ERIC !!!!!!!

Review by Michael Scott
listen to me and listen good……eric clapton’s performance on "voodoo child" was worth the price of admission alone. for those attending on thursday, pay attention!!! this was the best clapton performance in quite awhile…by the way, mr. winwood was his usual gifted and talented self. these two are like tiger woods….they make it look easy!

Review by Paul Yoder / Westerville, OH
WOW! What a performance! Eric was on top of his game and Steve didnt miss a beat! The only disappointment (for me anyway) was they changed the set list and played Cocaine as the last song with Dear Mr. Fantasy as the encore instead of DMF and then Crossroads as the finale.

But that being said this was a great showcase of 2 of the most talented musicians to grace the stage. Double Trouble and Voodoo Child were worth the price of admission alone! You could tell the guys were having a blast and so relaxed that their talent just flowed. I doubt it will be available on DVD but this one was one for the ages.

Review by Brad Kelly / Belle Mead, NJ
Tuesday nights show of the Clapton/Winwood coupling put the Cream Reunion Concerts to shame and by and large those shows were great. Last night, had I only seen Clapton’s fantastic guitar work on After Midnight, Double Trouble and Tell the Truth I would have gone home satisfied, but Clapton upped the ante by laying down outstanding versions of Little Wing, Them Changes and Glad before blowing everyone away with a mind-boggling rendition of Voodoo Child. Oh yeah, and the lead vocalist just happened to be Steve Winwood, who was in fine voice and played some mean guitar of his own, even outplaying Eric on Dear Mr. Fantasy. Not sure why Forever Man and Cocaine were included when you had any number of Dominoes or Traffic songs available. But even those songs were good. Clapton’s backing band was extremely tight as usual. One of the best Clapton shows I have seen or heard.

Review by Bret Schwartz
Wow! What else can you say? I have seen both SW & EC many times over the years and both as recently as Last year, I saw SW live at the Borgata in AC and was stunned to see such amazing guitar work! He encored with Dear Mr. Fantasy and I must have been sitting in the sweet spot of the room because my jaw dropped open at the leads coming out of his strat. It was like being picked up and taken on a magic carpet ride. Also last year I saw EC with with Robert Cray and Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall holding up the band with their rythem and leads. Not to say EC wasn’t awesome, that was a given, but it just wasn’t intimate enough to see the real EC!

But last night at the garden he was "playing without a net". You can’t hide behind a band of five including EC and SW! I thought the old man (EC) had lost it a bit over the years and was turning over most of the intense leads to Derek Trucks. What I had taken for senilty was just EC being kind, gracious and humble by sharing the stage with very very talented guitarists. EC doesn’t have to prove his talent anymore and he was dialed in last night with his outstanding guitar work and spellbounding leads. Last night I was awestruck to see EC holding up the entire show playing outahand rhythem guitar when it was SW’s turn to lead. You could tell EC loved it and I did too!!

But wait! Thats not all. How bout EC and SW playing lead Guitar at the same time???? Not back and forth but at the same time and it sounded like heaven. I have seen many lead riffs before, but not two guys playing different leads at the same time and of course it sounded completely natural. They were very well rehearsed and they pulled of a wonderful show and a great memory for the fans! Forget the setlist, because it really doesn’t matter what they play. The joy of the show came from two old friends jamming out with a big smile! It felt like I was a bug on the wall watching the two of them hangin out on a sunday and playing just for the fun of it.  Both men are truly gifted musicians and I was honered to see what has easily become one of my favorite shows!

Review by Big Tom from Milford CT
I attended the show last nite at MSG. I have to say there was quite a buzz in the arena talking to people about the Monday nite show. The show promptly started at 8:15 – From the opening song of HAD TO CRY TODAY to the encore of DEAR MR. FANTASY, it was a total blast. You could see from the big screens smiles all night on the faces of Steve and Eric. It was a great volume as I was sitting in Section 9 which is on the floor in the back. Songs that really stood out last nite – FOREVER MAN actually gave me chills. The last time I saw Clapton play that live was in Hartford CT 1985. To be followed by THEM CHANGES was just awesome. I am not sure how they came up with the set list but it was a great choice of tunes. All the BLIND FAITH tunes were right on. I liked how they went from GLAD into WELL ALRIGHT. GEORGIA ON MY MIND was another highlight. LITTLE WING just set Clapton into guitar orbit. He was all over the Fender Strat as well as in VOODOO CHILE. Let me tell you, if you were thinking your were just going to hear hits last nite, you were mistaken. For me it was another great event in the life of someone who has been going to see Clapton since 1974. I hope Clapton and Winwood do more in the future!!!!

Review by Steve Markbreit / New York City
On stage were 2 friends who happen to be amongst the most accomplished of musicians on the planet, enjoying their time together and most of all the music they so skillfully perform. 2 hours 20 minutes of sheer enjoyment that I wish never ended.

Review by John DeSantis- Bergenfield, NJ
I was one of the few lucky fans able to see one of these historic 3 Winwood/Clapton shows at MSG. Having been born nearly 15 years after Blind Faith’s only album came out (1983 to be exact) this was my first tangible experience with probably the closest thing to a reunion I’ll ever see. It also was my first chance to see Clapton or Winwood perform live in general, which made the experience even more significant to me as a fan of both

I have to admit I felt a bit out of place being a 24 year old amongst a sea of nearly 20,000 baby boomers, but I have to say one moment allowed me to hold my head high following the show. A 40-something man with a hairpiece that looked about as out of place as Britney Spears at a successful parenting seminar, drunkenly and saracastically yelled out, "Hey, did you like Layla?" He was obviously misinformed at the significance and substance of these shows that someone much younger than him who was not even conceived at the height of Clapton and Winwood’s fame was able to realize and appreciate. For anyone who came to these shows expecting to see him play "Layla," "Sunshine of Your Love," "Tears In Heaven," or "Wonderful Tonight," they were probably about as misinformed as bad hairpiece guy, and don’t have the depth of musicical appreciation to even know who Steven Winwood is or Blind Faith was. These people should have stayed home and waited until Clapton goes on the road solo again, I know plenty of people who would have appreciated this show much more than these fans whose knowledge is limited to what they listen to on Q104.3 on their way to work. (And that’s not a knock on Q104, it’s a great station, but limiting your Eric Clapton listening to a classic rock station is similar to watching reruns of the Sopranos on A&E, it’s just not the same!)

The Blind Faith songs sounded amazing, especially "Had to Cry Today," "Can’t Find My Way Home," and the way they transoformed "Presence of the Lord" into a duet. Previously I wasn’t a big fan of Clapton’s "Forever Man" until I heard him rip through it with a thunderous guitar stampede last night that removed all memory of the dated studio version of this song I’ve been limited to my whole life. It seemed like the roof was going to cave in when they played "After Midnight" and the back to back helping of Hendrix they played with "Little Wing" (played more to the arrangment Derek and the Dominoes performed on the "Layla" album) and "Voodoo Chile" practically made my night right there. I also have to note that the New York Times had the absent-mindedness to say that they made "Little Wing" sound like it could have been a song by the Band, until Clapton’s solo, totally disregarding the fact that they played it to the same tune as Clapton and Duane Allman did on the "Layla" album. Sorry, just something else I had to nitpick at in order to show I can hold my own with rock fans my parents’ age by showing that a younger generation can appreciate an event like this just the same.

I’d have to say I’m more of a fan of Clapton than Winwood since my earliest memories of both differ very significantly. The first I heard of Winwood were his 1980’s hits "Higher Love" and "Roll With It" while my first memory of Clapton was hearing the back end of "Layla" play as the overture to the murder montage in Martin Scorsese’s "Goodfellas" (what kid wouldn’t remember that?). Clapton has been undeniably the more popular of the two, but Winwood stated his case to me last night as his voice still unbelievably sounds as distinct and melodic as it did on record over 30 years ago. He made "Georgia on My Mind" sound like it was his own, which was one of the best numbers of the night even though it was just him on stage, and convinced me to try to seek him out solo this summer when he opens for Tom Petty.

From what I read of the first show Monday night, it sounds as though Winwood did less guitar work and more on the organ last night, but it just added another layer to their great performance, and he took full advantage of the moments when he wielded the guitar. The way they traded riffs back and forth towards the end of the closing number "Dear Mr. Fantasy" was one of the single most mysifying moments I’ve ever seen in concert (right up there with Springsteen joining U2 onstage in Philladelphia for a cover of "People Get Ready" when I saw them in ’05).

If I had $100 bucks to spend, or if my tax return came a couple months early, I would do everything I could to see the finale on Thursday night. My only hope is that they put these shows out on DVD like they did with the Cream reunion at the Royal Albert Hall so I can blast it up on my surround sound to enjoy over and over again. Hopefully, this isnt’ the last time these two take the stage together, judging by their chemistry it certainly won’t be.

Review by Cindy Baxley / Dallas, Texas
The superlatives that I have already read in the reviews posted on this site are right on! My bit to add is that having seen Clapton many times starting in 1976, this tops the charts (including the incredible Cream Reunion tour 3 years ago @ Madison Square Garden)!
I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Clapton & Mr. Winwood @ the Crossroads Guitar Festival this past July in Chicago and the consensus of the fans sitting by me all were blown away by the Winwood set solo and with Clapton. So, needless to say when this 3 day tour was announced my best friend and I traveled from Texas to witness two of the greatest perform together again.

It was extremely special to see and hear Clapton play (command) the guitar without Bramhall II or Truks, as great as these two are, it was awe-inspiring to spotlight Clapton. Not since Clapton’s tour Nothing But the Blues have we been able to enjoy just Clapton being the Guitar God that he is. Then, you add Winwood on guitar, keyboards and vocals with Clapton and they play seamlessly and flawless together.

A night of Goosebumps is how I sum up Tuesday night’s performance, my favorites include In the presence of the Lord, Forever Man, Voodoo Chile, Little Wing, Tell the Truth, Dear Mr. Fantasy, and Georgia. I might as well just include the entire set!
Please tell us all that a DVD will be released of these 3 fantastic shows @ Madison Square Garden.

Where’s Eric!
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