Venue: Qwest Center
Country: United States
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Steve Winwood – vocals / Hammond B3 / piano / guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Abe Laboriel, Jr. – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood reached the half-way point of their 14-date U.S. Tour with their performance at the Qwest Center in Omaha. "Crossroads" was dropped from the set. As in St. Paul two evenings ago, "Cocaine" was moved into the encore with "Dear Mr. Fantasy."
01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence of The Lord
05. Sleeping in the Ground
07. Well Alright
08. Tough Luck Blues
09. Pearly Queen
10. No Face, No Name, No Number
11. Forever Man
12. Georgia On My Mind
13. Driftin’ – acoustic
14. How Long Blues
15. Layla – acoustic version
16. Can’t Find My Way Home
17. Split Decision
18. Voodoo Chile
19. Cocaine (encore)
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)
Review by Jim Toombs / Ames, IA
A fantastic concert that was heartily appreciated by the large crowd at Quest Center. High points that the audience really, really applauded: "After Midnight" with a fantastic guitar solo by Eric and great piano work by Steve; "Pearly Queen" great as always; "Georgia On My Mind" was beautiful and prefaced by Steve briefly indicating his appreciation for the audience and the opportunity to perform with Eric; "How Long Blues" on which the back-up singers (Michelle John, Sharon White) were especially effective; "Layla" although some at previous shows have complained about the acoustic version of this song it was beautiful and the audience clearly indicated that they loved it; "Vodoo Chile" had the audience on its feet throughout and enthusiastically applauding the great guitar work; "Cocaine" energetic as always with the crowd singing along and completing the last response; and the incredible "Dear Mr. Fantasy" to finish out the 2 song encore set.
The concert began at 8:15 pm and finished at about 10:25 (2 hours and 10 minutes worth of great music). The sound at Quest Center was incredible. A series of smaller screens at the back of the stage were occasionally illuminated with close-up views of Eric’s fingers on the fret board of his guitar, an interesting touch. Large overhead screens featured views of all of the band members throughout the show, mostly Eric and Steve, and also featured many close-up views of Eric’s finger work on guitar and Steve’s on piano and organ (the best views of this were during "Vodoo Chile"). Only 20 songs were played tonight, the fewest of any show on the 2009 Clapton / Winwood tour (first 2 shows were 22 songs and the next 4 shows had 21).
One of my favorite songs, "Tell The Truth" appears to have been dropped from the lineup (absent for the last 5 shows). Also missing tonight were "Crossroads" and "Little Wing", but still a great concert!
The one song that I was somewhat disappointed with was "Can’t Find My Way Home" – a sit down acoustic version. This was the only song where I felt like the back-up singers detracted from the song. At the Madison Square Garden shows last year, this songs was done with Steve on his mint green Stratocaster and that version had much greater energy. The best version that I have ever heard Steve Winwood do of this song was on his Strat, accompanied by Mike Campbell when Steve participated in the 2008 Tour with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Steve and Mike had an incredible quitar duet toward the end of the song which was absolutely amazing and brought out a huge smile from Steve, and for that matter the audience.
I believe that these two great performers just keep getting better with age. If you get the chance to go to one of the remaining shows on the tour, don’t miss out on this great opportunity. Many thanks to Eric, Steve, and the band for a fantastic show in Omaha.
Review by S.A. Millet / Lincoln NE
It was a hot humid night in Omaha – threatening thunderstorms and all, but all the energy in town was definitely radiating from the Qwest Center on this historic Saturday night. I was pretty much anticipating what the set list would be based on previous shows, but tonight had some surprises in store! After opening with "Had to Cry Today" and "Low Down" the night’s tunes included a more syncopated version of "After Midnight" that transitioned immediately into "Presence of the Lord." Really nice combination. ("Presence of the Lord" has always been one of my all time favs.) Another great tune that has been unleashed for the tour is "Forever Man." One the best guitar riffs in music history! The incredible thing about EC’s playing has always been his phrasing during solos and tonight he cut loose to the max. After the great solo by Steve on "Georgia On my Mind," the set turned acoustic and ECs solo on "Driftin’" was simply outstanding. He has been really slapping out the solos on his Martin signature acoustic. Gave it a real old-timey percussive vibe! This was my fav of the night! They are both also playing Martin acoustics on "Can’t Find My Way Home," which gives it the really folksy feel that was intended. The regular set concluded with an over 10 minute version of "Voodoo Chile." A really nice way to end the evening, given Steve’s historic involvement with the original recording of the song.
Overall the sound system sounded great! The Qwest Center, like most large arenas can sound muddy at times, but the sound and lighting are definitely to be commended. I have seen EC two previous times at the Qwest in Omaha over the last seven years and he and his band have always delivered exceptional shows. Tonight was no different! Thanks ever so much for choosing River City for this historic tour!
Both Steve and EC seemed to really be enjoying themselves on stage, wouldn’t be great if they teamed up on an album of new material? The drive back to Lincoln was pleasant indeed after one fantastic show! They are truly world class musicians!
Review by Marlin Becker / Lindsborg KA
Drove 600 mile roundtrip to witness TWO LEGENDS play 20 songs at a fantastic venue. Of course the crowd would have stayed all night to listen to Eric and Steve and the rest of the band. I saw Winwood when he toured with Tom Petty at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It was a great show — but Winwood REALLY showed his stuff at the Quest Center! Eric and Steve are a perfect fit and I feel very fortunate I got to see the both of them play together. My only regret is I will probably never see such a great concert again — How can you top Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood!!!
Review by Shawn Steward / Wichita KA
This was the third time I’ve seen a Clapton show and the second time I’ve seen Winwood in concert. Both are incredible talents, but the combination of the two is simply out of this world. Right up there with the best concerts I’ve ever seen, perhaps the best. Many in the crowd at the Qwest Center on this muggy summer night, myself included, were simply speechless at the amazing artistry and soulful sound that flowed from the stage. Clapton seemed a bit slow to get started, but by a couple songs into the set, he was in prime form, with solos that nearly blew the roof off. Listening to recordings is one thing – he sounds incredible. But not until you see Clapton live can you truly appreciate the guitar virtuosity.
There were a few things I was disappointed in. First, the concert was no where near a sellout, with certainly multiple thousands of empty seats around the arena. Very strange, but maybe it’s the economy. Well, whomever didn’t come missed out. I was looking forward to hearing "Little Wing" but it was dropped from the set. In general, of course, I would have loved to have heard more – maybe a couple more songs, and not such a long version of Voodoo Chile (not that it was bad). A 20 song set is a bit lean, if you ask me.
Overall, an incredible show. Winwood sounds excellent, and is truly an amazing talent too. I feel fortunate to have seen these two legends perform together. Anyone who is still on the fence about seeing one of the remaining shows on the tour – don’t hesitate. Get your tickets. Do it. You will be glad you did. I was.