Venue: Oracle Arena
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
There was a minor change to the set list as Steve performed "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" as his solo number.
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. There’s A River
11. Forever Man
12. Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
14. How Long Blues
16. Can’t Find My Way Home
17. Split Decision
18. Voodoo Chile
19. Cocaine (encore)
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)
Review by Peter Wellington / Sonoma CA
Eric and Stevie were in great form from the opening notes of Had To Cry Today – putting huge smiles on everyone’s face. The first four numbers they both played Strats. The sound quality was outstanding; a great mix with all voices and instruments coming through clearly and in balance. SW switched to a Yamaha grand piano for Sleeping In The Ground and didn’t go back to the turquoise Strat again until the encore. He alternated between the Yamaha and the Hammond B3 with a Leslie "spinning" speaker except for joining EC on acoustic guitar for Layla and Can’t Find My Way Home (another highlight).
All four of the old Blind Faith tunes were incredible, but for me the highlight of the show was Tough Luck Blues. EC’s solo was one of the best I have ever heard, live or recorded, and I think a lot of people shared my opinion because it got a huge standing ovation. If there was any part of the show that was a little flat, it was the next two songs, Pearly Queen and There’s a River. I would have preferred Little Wing or Crossroads; I’m really sorry they dropped the former from the set list halfway through the tour.
SW soloed on the Yamaha with Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, followed by EC’s solo acoustic Driftin’. After three more acoustic numbers, crowned by Can’t Find My Way Home, they cranked it way back up for Split Decision and Voodoo Chile. Overall, Voodoo Chile wasn’t my favorite of the evening, but some of EC’s guitar runs were unbelievable. Abe Laboriel lived up to his billing, both precise and intense, beating the living daylight out of his kit. They had to replace a tom-tom after Forever Man.
Of all the concerts I’ve been to over the last 44 years this one ranks as one of the very best. I had a big grin on my face when I woke up this morning and it hasn’t gone away yet. I’ll remember this one for a long time. Thanks to EC and SW for all the fine performances over the years and especially last night.
Review by Mark Bissiri
What a great show. It was the most money I ever paid for a concert ticket but it was definitely worth it. Eric and Stevie were outstanding. Watching Eric on guitar continues to amaze me. The man has not lost a step. If anything, he is even smoother. I remember first hearing him as part of The Yardbirds and later being amazed at his skill in Cream. I saw him at Cow Palace in San Francisco in the early 70s and again off and on over the years. He can play any style, play with anyone and still sound as if he had played that style all his life. I took my almost 19 year old daughter who had heard some of Eric’s stuff, Traffic and some of Stevie’s solo stuff. She was completely amazed.
The set list was outstanding, starting off hot and bringing back memories of Blind Faith. Stevie’s decision to put in Low Spark of High Heel Boys was just an unexpected extra treat. I still have that original album carefully protected in my record collection. I closed my eyes and for moment I was back in 1971. Then later, Blind Faith’s "Can’t find my way home" had me singing along. I worked for over a month to learn that song on the guitar when I was in College and get it to sound as close as I could to the album. When we finally walked out after Dear Mr. Fantasy, my only regret was that the show was over. I would have loved a second encore.
Review by Daniel Stephenson / Shingle Springs CA
What an amazing show! I cannot even explain how amazing it was. Only those who went to the others EC/SW shows would be able to explain or understand. My dad bought two tickets for this concert as a late present for my 21st birthday. What a present! My initial fear was that since this was one of the last shows, that their performances would show signs of wear – I am glad to say my fears were unfounded. EC was playing like there was no tomorrow and every lick was off the charts amazing. SW’s playing was just as good as EC’s and his B3 parts were astonishing. Neither mens’ vocals showed signs of wear. Both EC and Steve Winwood were amazing. Every single solo and note EC played was spot on and just downright amazing. As for the band: Abe Laboriel Jr. and Willie Weeks have to be EC’s best rhythm section yet. Abe is an amazing drummer and kept the beat without fail. Willie was an amazing bassist and made sure that everyone was in step (it seems to me that Willie and Abe are connected once they get on that stage). Chris Stainton played some amazing keyboard solos and just blew everyone away. And EC’s backing girls (Michelle and Sharon) sang amazing background vocals and never over-stepped as some feared.
My faves were Well Alright, Forever Man, After Midnight, and Cocaine. I was surprised by Voodoo Chile – it was not my fave tune, but it ended up being one of them by the end of the show. The crowd was amazing and reminiscing about the music. As the songset progressed, I was worried that Forever Man had been dropped but after There’s A River, EC fired off the riff we EC fans all know and love. I found myself even loving Voodoo Chile which I had not originally connected with. The solos (EC’s guitar, Steve’s B3 organ, Chris’ keyboards) on that song were truly mind blowing. Not a single song was played badly at all. I hope that EC and SW do a CD of material because this should not be the end of this amazing duo.
For all the guitarists / gearheads: EC used his Ferrari Grigio Silverstone strats with Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups and his signature Martins. As for amps, EC had two Fender ’57 Twins and his Leslie Rotating speaker with his wah-wah and his amp-switcher pedal. Steve Winwood had two light green strats with gold lace sensor pickups and a Martin EC signature guitar for acoustic tunes, in addition to his B3 organ, keyboard / piano.
It was truly an inspiring night and I am glad I got to share it with my dad. The experience was well worth the ticket price and I will have this memory forever.
Review by Erwin L.
I was blown away at the tightness of the band. I’ve been a Clapton fan since his beginnings, Winwood from the Spencer Davis days. This is a great combo which allows both to creatively excel. Steve seemingly has not changed a bit since his Traffic days. Low Spark shines as a solo, Steve’s a master on the Hammond and expressively covers the range of the song. I was fortunate to have seen Blind Faith on their one and only US tour. Now more blessed to have seen this amazing show.