Venue: Kurhaus-Bowling Green
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar, backing vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Abe Laboriel Jr – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
With only three shows left following this performance at the Kurhaus-Bowling Green, Eric revised the setlist in a surprise move. Two songs in the set list were dropped in favor of two fan favorites: "Little Wing" replaced "Isn’t It A Pity" and "Got To Get Better In A Little While" replaced "Motherless Children."
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Here But I’m Gone
05. Outside Woman Blues
06. Little Wing
07. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
09. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
10. Motherless Child
11. Travelling Riverside Blues
12. Running On Faith
13. Got To Get Better In A Little While
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Before You Accuse Me
16. Wonderful Tonight
19. Crossroads (encore)
Review by Jean-Yves / France
The concert in Wiesbaden, Germany was the one and only EC show I attended this year and I managed to remain uninformed of any setlist content prior to the show. It was a seated outdoor concert. It was cloudy and there was a bit of wind but it turned out to be not too cold. It remained a dry evening although it rained earlier in the day. The ticket said 8 PM, but at that time the support act Jakob Dylan had already performed most of his set. Eric took the stage toward half past eight and played a bit less than two hours.
The opener Tell The Truth left me with great expectations, so as a European I can at last attend Eric performing this song. First impression, Doyle Bramhall II is really a great complementary guitarist to Eric and to my ears it worked well even without Derek Trucks slide licks.
Key To The Highway – In 2001 it was a migificient acoustic opener, now it is an electrified version so that sounded for me a bit like being a "new" song.
Hoochie Coochie Man – Close to the 2004 version and still enjoyable.
Here But I’m Gone – I did not know the song, but I liked it instantly. This track ended being half and half performance by Eric and Doyle.
Outside Woman Blues – I am not particularly fond of it, although when came the time came for EC’s soloing, it blew me away.
Little Wing – When the first notes arose I could hadly believe it, but the powerful chord that followed left me without a doubt. I was worried not to have been able to witness it in 2006. I am not anymore. The performance itself was great even I still wonder how it sounded with Derek Trucks in the band on the previous tour. The only small downside is that Eric dropped the song "Isn’t It A Pity" this night for "Little Wing".
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad – I don’t remind this one being played a lot in 2006 but I was lucky being at the Royal Albert Hall then and heard it. One positive note of this song is again the interplay between Eric and Doyle on the end of the song. Derek Trucks was not in the band, but I did not care on this one.
Driftin’ – Seated and half acoustic, blues, blues, blues.
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out – Another one of the many high points of the evening.
Motherless Child – Eric on the twelve string guitar. With so many high points in the setlist, this one sound a bit of a filler. It was still enjoyable, although not on my favourite list.
Travelling Riverside Blues – I would not put it in my favourite list but it remains a great blues tune and performance.
Running On Faith – I have mixed feelings on this one. First, I really liked the Phil Palmer parts back on the Journeyman tour on this song. Second, I was at the show in Le Canet, France in 2006. Eric’s electric solo from that night is still ringing in my head. That said, it was still a nice version in Wiesbaden.
Got To Get Better In A Little While – With only Chris Stainton on keyboards, the organ licks that I was used to in 2004 and 2006 were missing, but for the rest this is one the highlights of the show.
Little Queen of Spades – The now classic long slow blues of the show. Without second keyboard nor a third guitarist, it now clocks in at 12 minutes or so. It was a bit longer previously. Chris Stainton had already done fine playing all through the show and his full spot in thos song was not an exception. His solo had great cheers from the crowd.
Before You Accuse Me – Another one that I would not include in my fave list. What I mean is, if it is not played no worries, but when Eric does perform it, I enjoy the song. Tonight sounded like a solid rendition.
Wonderful Tonight – Short drum intro, four minute version, short ending solo and that’s it. A real crowd pleaser and after all these years, still sounded fresh.
Layla – Back to the no Derek Trucks version. I am never fed up with this one. But, the feeling that we are on the motorway racing towards the end of the show for good after the great "newbies" earlier in the setlist I don’t mind to be in the "predictable" zone, but it tells me that the end is coming fast.
Cocaine – This song has been played over the years in different grooves, I had been stick with the 83 version for years and especially the Bremen version with fantastic Albert Lee solo. But in 2006, and again tonight, confirmed that this one was back in my fave list. Eric, Chris Stainton and Doyle shone on this song.
Crossroads – I really liked the 2006 three (and some nights even four) guitarists version as this song is great for that. Tonight, there were only two guitarists, but the song still seriouly rocked even though Steve Jordan was not on drums (he was EC’s drummer on the 2006 / 2007 tour). It was great for closing the show but way too short as an encore!
Having witnessed Eric at least once on every European tour since 1998, I have to deal with the "better than last time" syndrome. For me, the sum up remains the 2004 tour with the late Billy Preston. My overall impression of the Wiesbaden concert was that it was far from being disappointing, just a bit under 2006 mainly due to the fact that Abe Laboriel Jr. had the difficult (impossible?) task of replacing Steve Jordan on drums in my opinion. To a lesser extent, the absence of an organ player. Someone such as Greg Phillinganes would have been perfect for the job. And of course, the Derek Trucks licks were great additions in the previous tour.
The highs are Eric is still at the top, a band that is working well, a well-balanced and strongly bluesy tainted show without a real weak part nor a song that I really prefer not to be performed.
I left the venue without regret of attending only one show. Now that I know what songs I missed from other 2008 shows it is a little different, but not much complaint when you got "Little Wing".