Venue: Osaka-Jo Hall
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton– keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Abe Laboriel, Jr. – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Eric Clapton’s 2009 Winter Tour got underway on 12 February. Osaka’s Castle Hall (Osaka-Jo Hall) was the venue for opening night and was filled to capacity. The show, which lasted about two hours, included some of Eric’s best-known songs and some real surprises like "Isn’t It A Pity," "That’s Alright" and "Everything’s Gonna Be Alright."
01. Hoochie Coochie Man
02. Key To The Highway
03. I Shot The Sheriff
04. Isn’t It A Pity
05. Tell The Truth
06. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
08. Travelin’ Alone
09. That’s Alright
10. Motherless Child
11. Running On Faith
12. Motherless Children
13. Little Queen of Spades
14. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
15. Wonderful Tonight
18. Crossroads (encore)
Review by Shinichiro Yoshino / Japan
It was very warm night, feel like Spring in OSAKA. and Jo-Hall was really hot night. Eric has started Japan tour here in OSAKA with Hoochie Coochie Man. It was big surprise. And Blues lovers expect Blues Show.
First Electric set was very good mood, features fine guitar solo on evey tune, like Sheriff and Truth. Why Does Love was the first performance in Osaka since his frist appearance in1974.
Acoustic set was started with solo performance of Driftin’. This set mainly consit of Blues and closed with Running On Faith.
He had big mistakes on Layla at introduction and during song too. But, it’s OK. Because he seems to try something new in this song, but unfurtunatly just not with success. And show was closed off by Crossroads as usual. It was good show, include some never played before songs.
But I have only one complaint. Overview tonight’s setlist, Wonderful Tonight seems quite strange content in this setlist. I’m wondering who serious fan expect this song anymore since it was played more then 100 times in Japan?
Anyway, welcome back on the road Eric! Every Japanese love you and your Music. Even they said "Players only love you when they’re playing". So, Play more Guitar please!
Review by Jii Aoi / Japan
Eric and company brought warmth to the recession-ridden Osaka where the cold wind blows. What they delivered is earthy, rootsy and bluesy … a modern day laidback sound so to say. To describe the show with one word, it would be neither great nor awesome but favorable. Not in a negative sense, not at all, I have to hastily add!
Overall, the performance never showed a sign of rustiness despite that it was their first show in six months, with the only exception being Layla of which introduction Eric straggled to play, as if he had forgotten those unmistakable seven notes!
It is fair to say, though, that Eric played some intense solos in Sheriff and Cocaine, reminiscent of the 2003 / 2004 tours, something that rarely occurred in the guitar army ensemble of the 2006 / 2007 tours. His main axe this time is a newly acquired sonic-blue Strat that looked, to my eyes, a wee bit tacky.
All in all, a very satisfying first night and I liked it a lot, even though I heard some lukewarm voices from the hardcore, the seasoned EC followers, in Japan (and I am among them!).
Review by Hiroshima Jaken
The first show was almost equal as my expectation, but Eric seems to be in good condition and did very well. The set was almost from 2008 tour.
Eric wore the four pockets white shirts and blue jeans as usual, and played Daphne blue stratocaster.He played black one for slides and gray one with capo on the 3rd fret. He seemed to struggle with new blue strat, that means it sounded not so great. But, of course I enjoyed the show very much, and I thanked Eric coming back to Japan.
After he finished Motherless Children, he began to play intro of Queen of Spades with open A tuned strat though his guitar technician, Lee, did not pass the regular tuned strat for the next tune.That was funny moment and made me smile.
Doyle was given his space more naturally, sang and palyed slide great. He did good job with string bender Tele in Wonderful Tonight.
I felt Eric let Abe Jr. play so freely, even rhythm pattern was sometimes different from former drummers. And at the ending of every song, Abe could hit the last note as he liked to do, and Eric followed him.
Anyway, I love this 5 piece band, because every member plays very functionally. Chorus arrangement was well done, too, especially for Sheriff. Eric did not sing the first verse, but two ladies sang like Bob Marley’s version.
I can’t wait to go to Saitama Super arena to see Jeff Beck and Eric. And, I am wondering if I could go to N.Y.city in June to see Steve Winwood and EC.