Venue: Toyota Park
Country: United States
Allman Brothers Band (cancelled due to Gregg Allman’s liver transplant surgery)
David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band w/ Allman Brothers Band/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes
Doyle Bramhall II
Gary Clark Jr.
This single-day event served as a fundraising endowment for Crossroads Centre Antigua, a drugs / alcohol rehabilitation clinic, founded by Eric Clapton. Starting shortly before noon, it wrapped more than 11 hours later.
Help fill in the blanks for band lineups and set lists. Send details to [email protected]
Warm Up – Kirby Kelly (Guitar Center’s 2009 King Of The Blues Winner)
Event Host – Bill Murray
Set List: Not Fade Away (Bill Murray with Eric Clapton)
US Actor / Comedian Bill Murray again served as the event’s emcee. He greeted the crowd shortly before noon. For those who had already made their way to their seats or spots on the field at that early hour, they heard Eric Clapton jam on “Not Fade Away” with Bill (who said he’s learned a few new songs since the last festival!). Unlike 2007 when Bill impersonated EC throughout the day, this time he appeared as Buddy Holly, Elvis (70s-era jumpsuit) and Jimi Hendrix (groovy)!
Set 1: Sonny Landreth
Band Lineup: Sonny Landreth (guitar / vocals), Doug Belote (drums), David Ransom (bass)
Set List: Details needed. Promise Land (with Eric Clapton) / Z Rider
Set 2: Robert Randolph & The Family Band with Joe Bonamassa & Pino Daniele
Band Lineup: Robert Randolph (steel guitar), Lenesha Randolph (vocals), Marcus Randolph (drums), Danyel Morgan (bass / vocals) with special guests Joe Bonamassa (guitar) and Pino Daniele (guitar)
Set List: Details needed. Traveling Shoes / Further On Up The Road (with Joe Bonamassa) / Blues Deluxe (with Joe Bonamassa and Pino Daniele) / Going Down (with Joe Bonamassa and Pino Daniele)
Set 3: Robert Cray Band with Jimmie Vaughan & Hubert Sumlin
Band Lineup: Details needed. Robert Cray (vocals / guitar), Tony Braunagel (drums), Jim Pugh (keyboards), Richard Cousins (bass) with special guests Jimmie Vaughan (vocals / guitar) and Hubert Sumlin (vocals / guitar)
Set List: Chickein In The Kitchen / You’re The Reason I Can’t Fall / You Don’t Have To Beg Me For My Lovin (with Jimmie Vaughan) / Six Strings Down (with Jimmie Vaughan) / Sitting On Top Of The World (with Hubert Sumlin) / Killing Floor (with Hubert Sumlin)
Set 4: Bert Jansch
Band Lineup: Bert Jansch (guitar)
Set List: Details needed. Blackwaterside
Set 5: Stefan Grossman with Keb Mo
Band Lineup: Stefan Grossman (guitar), with special guest Keb Mo (guitar / dobro)
Set List: Details needed. Mississippi Blues / Roll And Tumble Blues
Set 6: ZZ Top
Band Lineup: Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass), Frank Beard (drums)
Set List: Waitin’ For The Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago / Future Blues / Foxy Lady / Brown Sugar / La Grange
Set 7: Doyle Bramhall II with Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi
Band Lineup: Details needed. Doyle Bramhall II (guitar / vocals), Sheryl Crow (guitar / keyboards / vocals), Gary Clark, Jr. (guitar), Derek Trucks (guitar), Susan Tedeschi (guitar / vocals), Tommy Sims (bass), Justin Stanley (drums)
Set List: Details needed. Gypsy Blood / In My Time Of Dying (Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed) / Bright Lights / Long Road Home / Our Love Is Fading / Everyday Is A Winding Road (with Sheryl Crow).
Set 8: Vince Gill with Albert Lee, James Burton, Keb Mo, Sheryl Crow, Alex Lee
Band Lineup: Vince Gill (vocals / guitar), John Hobbs (keyboard), Pete Wasner (keyboard), Billy Thomas (drums), David Hungate (bass), Tom Britt (guitar), Jeff White (guitar),Dawn Sears (backing vocals), Russ Pahl (steel guitar), Albert Lee (guitar), James Burton (guitar), Keb Mo (guitar)
Set List: One More Last Chance / The Door (with Keb Mo) / Mystery Train (with James Burton) / Luxury Liner (with Albert Lee, Alex Lee, James Burton) / Soon As I Get Paid (with Keb Mo, Albert Lee, James Burton) / Whenever You Come Around (with Keb Mo, Albert Lee, James Burton) / Lay Down Sally (with Sheryl Crow, Earl Klugh, Albert Lee, James Burton)
Set 9: Citizen Cope with Sheryl Crow & Doyle Bramhall II
Band Lineup: Details needed. Citizen Cope (guitar / vocals), Sheryl Crow (? / vocals), Doyle Bramhall II (guitar)
Set List: Sideways / Bullet and A Target / Son’s Gonna Rise
Set 10: Earl Klugh
Band Lineup: Earl Klugh (guitar), Joseph Patrick Moore (bass), Yonrico Scott (drums)
Set List: Details needed. Angelina / Vonetta
Set 11: John Mayer Trio
Band Lineup: John Mayer (guitar / vocals), Steve Jordan (drums), Pino Palladino (bass)
Set List: Who Did You Think I Was / Vultures / Ain’t No Sunshine / Wait Till Tomorrow
Set 12: Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang & Ron Wood
Band Lineup: Details needed. Buddy Guy (guitar / vocals), Jonny Lang (guitar), Ron Wood (guitar)
Set List: Forty Days and Forty Nights / Five Long Years / Let Me Love You Baby / Miss You (instrumental)
Set 13: Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band with Warren Haynes, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Chris Stainton, Sheryl Crow, & Johnny Winter & Chris Stainton
Band Lineup: Details needed. Derek Trucks (guitar), Susan Tedeschi (guitar / vocals), Warren Haynes (guitar / vocals), David Hidalgo (guitar), Cesar Rojas (guitar), Sheryl Crow (guitar / keyboards / vocals), Johnny Winter (guitar), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Oteil Burbridge (bass), Doug Belote (drums)
Set List: Details needed. Midnight In Harlem / Coming Home / Live Together / Don’t Keep Me Wondering / 300 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy (with David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas) / Soul Shine (Warren Haynes) / Red House (with Johnny Winter) / Space Captain (with Chris Stainton)
Set 14: Jeff Beck
Band Lineup: Jeff Beck (guitar), Jason Rebello (keyboards), Rhonda Smith (bass), Narada Michael Walden (drums)
Set List: Hammerhead / Dirty Mind – Big Block / Rhonda Smith’s bass solo / Somewhere Over The Rainbow / Rollin’ And Tumblin’ / I Want To Take You Higher / Nessun Dorma
Set 15: Eric Clapton & His Band with Jeff Beck, Citizen Cope & Steve Winwood
Band Lineup: Eric Clapton (guitar / vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Walt Richmond (keyboards), Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Michelle John (backing vocals), Sharon White (backing vocals), Jeff Beck (guitar), Citizen Cope (guitar / vocals), Steve Winwood (guitar / keyboards / vocals)
Set List: Crossroads / Key To The Highway / Hands Of The Saints (with Citizen Cope) / Tough Luck Blues / I Shot The Sheriff / Shake Your Moneymaker (with Jeff Beck) / Had To Cry Today (with Steve Winwood) / Low Down (with Steve Winwood) / Glad (with Steve Winwood) / Well Alright (with Steve Winwood) / Voodoo Chile (with Steve Winwood) / Cocaine (with Steve Winwood) / Dear Mr. Fantasy (with Steve Winwood)
Set 16: B.B. King with Robert Cray Band, Eric Clapton, & Jimmie Vaughan
Band Lineup: Details needed. B.B. King (guitar / vocals), Eric Clapton (guitar), Jimmie Vaughan (guitar), Robert Cray (guitar), Tony Braunagel (drums), Jim Pugh (keyboards), Richard Cousins (bass)
Set List: Blues Jam (while B.B. walks out) / Rock Me Baby / Key To The Highway / The Thrill Is Gone
Set 17: All Star Finale
Guitars: Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, James Burton, Ron Wood, Vince Gill, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Vince Gill, Jimmie Vaughan, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Jonny Lang, Hubert Sumlin, Sonny Landreth, Cesar Rojas, David Hidalgo, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Clark, Jr., Pino Daniele
Pedal Steel: Robert Randolph
Keyboards: Steve Winwood
Keyboards: Jim Pugh
Bass: Richard Cousins
Drums: Tony Braunagel
Vocals: All but verses mostly sung by Buddy Guy, 1 verse by Keb’ Mo’ who did not bring out a guitar
Set List: Sweet Home Chicago
Ernie Ball Stage / Guitar Clinic Schedule:
(30 minute sessions, including Q&A, from 10:15AM)
Ryan McGarvey Band*
David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Hubert Sumlin
* Winner of the “Ernie Ball Play Crossroads Contest”
All concertgoers are invited to send their reviews of the festival and their photos to [email protected]
Review by David Gourlay / Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)
We took in the Crossroads Guitar Festival at Toyota Park coming to Chicago from Ottawa, Ontario to enjoy a simply briliant day of music, the blues with the best guitar players in the world and loved every minute. Crossroads is not just a showcase for the music, but also demonstrates the genius behind the vision for it by Eric Clapton. Crossroads has absolutely amazing music, but it is also the accentuation of the guitar and the blues that makes Crossroads the complete experience while raising the profile of the Antigua Center. The Guitar Festival Village offered many interesting insights into the genre most notably the Guitar Centre “Legends” tent with the very original “Blackie”, a chance to strum on a Fender and to learn more about the Crossroads Treatment Center. Crossroads reminded us, act after act, throughout the hot sunny Chicago day that the blues is a genre articulated by amazing talent – at all ages. There are so many highlights to flag, but they include a great version of “Further on up the Road” by Robert Randolph and Joe Bonamassa, Hubert Sumlin’s “Killin’ Floor”, Vince Gill’s amazing set, starting up as the stage turned to face the crowd, with a vast array of guitar players from Albert Lee to the very impressive Keb Mo….and what a version of “Lay Down Sally” !! Of course, no Chicago trip is complete for any blues fan without the man, Buddy Guy. We went to the new Legends on Wabash S on Friday night for a pre-Crossroads warm up and caught Buddy play and true to form, his personality resonated on “Five Long Years” and “Let Me Love You Baby”. Then, the navigator for Crossroads played for us and brough out Jeff Beck (“Shake Your Moneymaker”) and Steve Winwood playing their repetoire from the past tour and always wonderful to hear THE standard, “Crossroads” with Chris Stainton’s piano. The last act was the best – BB King sitting down with Eric, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan. The casual banter and smooth rhythm of “Rock Me Baby”, the always enjoyable, “Key to the Highway” was amazing and different – simplicity to let BB King shine as the King of the Blues with his confidence in playing Lucille so purely. Thanks to Eric Clapton for this vision of aligning a day-long experience celebrating blues, the guitar and great blues at Crossroads…look forward to the DVD and of course, Crossroads 2013!
Review by Steve Kiener
This years festival was simply outstanding, Eric’s band was sounding so tight it was insane. I have to give a special shout out to Jeff Beck, he sounded terrific and his band has evolved into something very special. His take on Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Nessum Dorum literally brought tears to my eyes. John Mayer and his trio were also a special treat, it is one dangerous little trio. They kicked it out with Who Did You Think I Was and played a seriously kicking set. Speaking of trios, ZZ Top brought their Texas sound to Chicago and sounded great. I could go on and on, Buddy Guy, Johny Lang with Ronnie Wood kind of showed how everyone how to play the blues. Their take on The Stones Miss You was a treat to behold. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks were also a outstanding set, with Warren Haynes, Johnny Winter and Los Lobos were terrific. A special shout out to Doug Belote on drums with both Sonny Landreth and Susan & Derek was killer. I must also mention how wonderful Steve Gadd sounded with Eric, him and Willie Weeks is the best rhythm section I have ever heard with Eric. There is so much more to say, but I have to go play a gig myself!
Review by Paige Schector / North Brunswick, NJ (USA)
Best Use of God-like Powers: In opening the festival, Eric “Is God” Clapton declared that the rain and storms forecasted all week should stay away. And they did! Not a drop.
Best Intro: Bill Murray did a phenomenal job introducing the acts throughout the day, sometimes costumed up head to toe as the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Holly. In probably his best line of the day, he brought on ZZ Top with praise for them “never buying into the whole goatee thing.”
Best Unexpected Pleasure: Stefan Grossman and Keb Mo. We’d been on an acoustic run that was lulling the overheated crowd into a slight state of coma, but when Keb joined Stefan, the result was a sweet little blues stew with echoes of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. (EC was seen at the side of the stage enjoying it just as much.)
Best Debut by a New Band: Now I thought this category was going to be taken by the new Derek Trucks-Susan Tedeschi band. And they were fabulous, even if the rumored collaboration with Doyle Bramhall II did not develop. The winner was Doyle’s own new band Faded Boogie, very funky. The set got slowed a bit by Sheryl Crow, whose new album Doyle produced, but guest spots from Trucks, Tedeschi and Clapton livened things up quite a bit.
Best Use of a Non-Guitar Instrument at a Guitar Festival: Susan Tedeschi’s voice. Susan kicked major ass (especially Sheryl Crow’s). Lest anyone fear, this girl can play the axe too. She basically kicked Sheryl’s well-toned ass on that also, as well as quite a few of the guys in tow.
Best Teaming: Buddy Guy with the Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood and Jonny Lang. On the surface, that grouping sounds like it could be: a.) spectacular or b.) a train wreck. It was definitely a. All the songs were winners, but the funkified “Miss You” with Buddy eventually taking vocals was a festival highlight.
Most Awkward Teaming: This was going to be for the cavalcade of musicians (Warren Haynes, Johnny Winter, members of Los Lobos) who gamely rolled in and out during the Trucks-Tedeschi set due to the absence of Gregg Allman, who underwent a much-needed liver transplant, but it’s really gotta go to Citizen Cope as part of the Clapton set. If EC came out during CC’s set, it mighta worked. Here, it just let the air out of the tires.
Worst Use of the Outdoor Environs: Clapton and Jeff Beck aren’t that far removed from their joint tour in which they played several numbers together. The number chosen for Crossroads? Probably the most ill-suited of the lot, “Shake Your Moneymaker,” a tight, small rocker better served in a confined space.
Best Use of the Outdoor Environs: Who would have thought that Blind Faith — the supergroup that was deemed to be overhyped when they formed — would become this timeless entity? Clapton and Steve Winwood had lots of practice together on their recent short tours, and the material sounded amazing cascading across the cloudy Chicago sky.
Best Use of Props: When Clapton, Winwood and company started “Voodoo Chile,” the full moon peeked out from behind the clouds and then darted back in. As wonderful as this song sounded in an enclosed arena, it might have been even more resonant when played to the sky. A perfect song, as evidenced by the fact that the onlookers backstage quadrupled over the course of it.
Best (and Worst) Stream of Consciousness: Don’t know if it was the late hour, the heat or his 84 years, but B.B. King was even more off the beaten path than usual when he sat down to mix his storytelling with guitar playing. Just as entertaining were the reactions coming from Eric Clapton (knowing amusement) and the usually non-emotive Robert Cray (borderline horror). Jimmie Vaughan just seemed to ignore it in favor of focusing on his riffs. And we STILL want to hear the end of the story about meeting Eric in a club with Janis Joplin that got interrupted when all the artists came back on stage for the finale. How about as an “Easter egg” on the DVD?
Review by Jim Barkett / Dover, Ohio (USA)
Crossroads Guitar Festival was like a dream coming true. I expected it to be great, but it exceeded any expectations. First, Eric joined Sonny Landreth and his band for “Promised Land” and the place is rocking. Then Joe Bonamassa joins Robert Randolph and his band for an incredible rendition of “Further on up the Road”. You wonder how it can get better. Then Robert Cray and his band play. Then Jimmy Vaughn and Hubert Sumlin join them. Hubert played sitting down with a breathing apparatus on a scorching day. He played with the authority of a bluesman 50 years younger. You can’t believe it. Then another of my favorites, Keb Mo performs an incredible acoustic set with Stefan Grossman. After this, ZZ Top steps on stage and takes over the house.
And this was nothing compared to what was to come. Eric, Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crow and Doyle’s great new band “Faded Boogie” perform. The guitar playing is off the charts. After that Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Keb Mo, Earl Klugh, and James Burton play an incredible set. John Mayer, Steve Jordan, and Pino Paladino follow with a scorching blues set. Say what you want, but Mayer is a great blues guitarist.
We’re six hours into this show, and then Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang and Ronnie Wood bring the house down. I doubt I will ever see a more dynamic stage presence than Buddy Guy. He matched a much younger Johnny Lang (who was fantastic) lick for lick. Buddy was completely in his element as a premier bluesman. I’ve seen him perform before, but never like this.
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi were next with a tremendous set. Susan sings like an angel. Derek is in his element as a band leader. He is a truly great guitarist. His set was highlighted by Warren Haynes joining them for one of my favorite songs “Soulshine”.
Then Jeff Beck performs. Once again, he features a brilliant bass player, Rhonda Smith, who also adds blistering vocals on two of his songs. You have to see Jeff Beck live to truly appreciate the incredible sound he brings. His set sparkled. He also joined Eric in Eric’s set for “Shake your Moneymaker”. Eric and Steve Winwood were dazzling as usual. As the reviews from Europe revealed, Hendrix “Voodoo Chile” was beyond description. It’s hard to understand playing “Cocaine” in a concert that supports a world-renown substance abuse treatment center and not playing “Layla” but we’ll assume Eric and his people know what they are doing.
The concert concluded with Jimmie Vaughn, Robert Cray, and Eric paying homage to B.B. King. The encore was stunning with most of the performers retuning to the stage for a rousing rendition of “Sweet Home Chicago”.
Thanks to Eric Clapton and his crew for a truly memorable day. The opportunity to escape the chaos and pressure of our everyday lives with an experience like this event was truly priceless. I doubt if I will ever have a more enjoyable concert experience.
Review by Seth Bryant / Dallas, Texas (USA)
I live in the Dallas area and managed to make it up to Chicago for the festival this year. Though it left me exhausted, I’m so glad I went! Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, ZZ Top, Robert Cray…all in one day. It doesn’t get any better than that! I had general admission floor seats and considering that I wanted to be right up front, my day started early. I woke up at 4:40, made it to the venue by 6:40, waited 3 hours for the gates to open and then another 2 hours for the music to start.
Kirby Kelley, the winner of Guitar Center’s 2009 King of the Blues competition (also from the Dallas area), opened up the show with a quick one-song performance. I’ve met him a couple of times, and he’s a great guy and guitar player. It must have been such a joy for him to be a part of such an incredible music festival. Next, Bill Murray came out to introduce the first official act, strumming an old Buddy Holly song on his way-out-of-tune strat. When it came to the lead guitar part, Clapton came out and rescued him.
Sonny Landreth was the first official set, and what a way to start the show! I had not heard much of his material before but he sure knows how to play. Clapton came out and joined him at the end of the set and it was unbelievable! At that moment, I knew that the day would be full of great surprises.
Next was Robert Randolph, and he was great! His band really knows how to groove, and it was fun to see an awesome pedal steel guitar player in the mix. Joe Bonamassa and Pino Daniele joined Randolph for a couple of songs which turned out to be really jamming. There were a lot of people down front who were huge Bonamassa fans. I had seen him once before, and I don’t quite understand the mass obsession with him. However, he is undoubtedly an incredible guitar player.
Robert Cray followed, which was a joy of course! He is such a talented blues guitarist but so unique. It was good to see him perform again. Then Jimmie Vaughan joined him for a several songs, with Hubert Sumlin jumping in few minutes later. All I’ve got to say when it comes to Mr. Sumlin – what a trooper! He is 78 years old and had an oxygen tank onstage with him so that he could play with Robert and Jimmie. I had never seen Hubert play so that was a real treat for me.
A couple of acoustic sets followed, one by Bert Jansch and one by Stefan Grossman who was later joined by Keb Mo. I was not familiar with either musician but they were fantastic nonetheless. Both are incredibly talented guitar players. I felt bad for Grossman because there were severe sound problems during his set, but they were eventually fixed. Keb Mo sounded fantastic with Grossman!
Next up was that little ol’ band from Texas, ZZ Top, and they put on a show, as always. Being from Texas, I have always been a huge fan of these guys and have seen them a couple of times before. They knew their place at the festival and steered clear of their MTV-era hits, playing their early blues-based rock material. They did a great job of getting the crowd into the performance. Another job well done by the Texas trio.
The next set consisted of several different line-ups, with Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Gary Clark Jr, Sheryl Crow and even Clapton onstage at one point or another. The only other time I had seen Bramhall was on tour with Clapton back in 2007 and I wasn’t too impressed then. However, I realized at the festival that he is quite a good guitar player. Derek Trucks is one of my all time favorites, so naturally I was excited to see him play before his scheduled performance. And of course, Clapton is Clapton. The Best.
An awesome jam followed with Vince Gill, Albert Lee, James Burton, Keb Mo, and Earl Klugh all playing together. Such a legendary line-up of musicians obviously produced an brilliant set. They even closed with a cover of “Lay Down Sally” which was well done. I had never seen any of the guys before (other than Keb earlier in the day) and I thought they were all amazing.
What followed was basically a joke. Citizen Cope? His place at this festival made absolutely no sense. The entire day was full of talented guitar players, mostly blues, but Citizen Cope was just a lame acoustic pop-crap waste of time. Fortunately, his set only lasted fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes too long…
Bill Murray dressed as Elvis to introduce the next group of musicians – the John Mayer Trio. Mayer is an unbelievable guitar player, but it’s hard for me to care much for the guy with all the pop crap he puts out and a lot of the stupid things he says. However, with the Trio brought the blues to the festival, leaving all the other junk behind. John has certainly proved himself to be one of the best of his generation. And as a bonus, he managed to keep his mouth shut between songs. Miraculous.
Up next was a lineup that would change the pace of the day – Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, and surprise guest Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones. Their performance was one of the biggest highlights of the entire festival! Buddy is one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time and he showed it during this set. I have always been a fan of Ronnie Wood so seeing him perform unexpectedly, and with Buddy Guy at that, was a real treat. And for a young guy, Jonny Lang is a heck of a guitar player. A jamming version of “Miss You” was the best part of the set, maybe even the entire festival. This portion of the festival is what really got the train rolling.
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s band took the stage next, and they did not disappoint! I’m a huge Derek Trucks fan, but I was not familiar with a lot of the material that he played with the new band. Nonetheless, he was a genius as always. Warren Haynes, Johnny Winter, and the guys from Los Lobos joined Derek and Susan at one time or another during the set. Johnny really struggled through Hendrix’s “Red House” and the crowd genuinely felt bad for the guy. However, everyone cheered out of appreciation for the legend as he left the stage. During the last song, there was an insane amount of energy flowing between the band, Derek and Susan in particular. It was pure greatness.
Jeff Beck came out next to do what he does best – put the entire crowd in awe. The man is a musical genius and his new band is absolutely incredible! I saw him for the first time back in April and was honored to see him again. He played a lot of his new material, omitting classics like “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers”, “Led Boots” (personal favorite), and his cover of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life”, but he still managed to put on one of the best performances of the day. He’s just incredible.
Next in line was the man of the day, Eric Clapton. The set started out a little slow, including a collaboration with Citizen Cope (what was Eric thinking?), but Clapton really hit his stride when he brought Jeff Beck out for “Shake Your Moneymaker” and then Steve Winwood joined for the remainder of the set. I love seeing Clapton and Winwood perform together! They compliment each other so well and should continue playing together in the future. The highlight of the set would definitely be “Voodoo Chile”, which was much more powerful than when I saw them in Dallas last summer. Another fanastic performance. Unfortunately, the festival didn’t stop there.
The King of the Blues himself, Mr. B.B. King, was the last act of the festival. This was my sixth time to see the King. Usually, I love watching him perform and listening to him tell stories at his shows, but it seems that he did not fully understand his place at the festival. Every act had a strict time slot to perform and everything was on schedule until B.B. came out. I believe he was onstage for about 40 minutes, twice as long as he was supposed to, and only played guitar for about 5 minutes. He also called Clapton out by mentioning that he had not been in contact with B.B. for three years, basically saying that the last time they talked was at the Crossroads Festival in 2007. Clapton, Cray, and Vaughan, who were all onstage with the King, seemed very irritated. After 12 hours of music, the crowd wasn’t too happy about his pointless rambling either. Despite my huge disappointment in B.B. at the festival, I still love the guy and will probably continue to see him every time I have the chance. He was cut off when many of the day’s musicians walked on stage for the grand finale. It was a sloppy ending too say the least, as there wasn’t a solid beginning to “Sweet Home Chicago”. After most of the guitarists got on the same page, Buddy Guy took the lead guitar role and then jumped in to the verse. After that, it sounded great. Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, and Susan Tedeschi each took on lead vocals for a little while as well. There were 21 guitarists on stage in all, I believe. One heck of a jam.
It was the best day ever! Certainly a day I will never forget!
Review by Rev. Dr. K. Bill Dost / UK
As an all day festival it was amazing, there were wristbands again this year but unlike the last time they weren’t available all day, only the first 3000 got them, it was disappointing that this was the first Crossroads that I wouldn’t end up on the dvd!
Anyhow highlights of the show were the intense heat! The show was really well really well run unlike in previous years it was completely on time until EC showed up 10 minutes late.
The acts were great with highlights being – Johnny Lang playing with Buddy Guy and Ron Wood. It’s easy to see why this guy made a name for himself so many years ago and hope he re-establish that again. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi continued to remind us why they truly are the premier blues family and of course continued to inspire. Jeff Beck and Rollin and Tumblin, seems that Mr. Beck cannot keep a bassist, but he always has a good one Eric playing with Jeff Beck and then Steve Winwood was inspired, I was a little disappointed that Eric didn’t take advantage of some of the others on stage all day and play a song or two, a Dominoes number with Derek, Susan and Warren would have been nice, so would a early jam session with some of the blues heroes early in the day as they have done in previous Crossroads.
Robert Randolph, who had a decent performance on the main stage, had an amazing performance / Q&A on the Ernie Ball Stage. Both he and Doyle should have been playing later in the day and acts such as Bert Jansch and Stefan Grossman, Citizen Cope and Earl Klugh could have gone much earlier.
It was nice to hear Eric say there would be another Crossroads. Hopefully we’ll see some additions like Brian May, Mark Knopfler and others.
The biggest show stopper was BB King – while I love and respect the man I think he may need to take some meds – he completely killed the vibe and groove of everything happening on stage and brought the event to a halt TALKING for a minimum of 15-20 minutes and playing 1 -2 songs. If the team in the back hadn’t brought others out on stage in a hurry the finale would have been completely lost. You got the impression that if they could they would have rolled the credits across the monitors to get everyone out!
Review by Bob White / Mansfield, Ohio (USA)
The concert was hot in more ways than one. How hot? I went to the bathroom before setting down at 11:45 AM and didn’t go again till 1:30 AM next day at friends home. I followed Bill Murray’s suggestion of drinking beer and lots of water–valued at about same as cost of concert seat.
All that said, it was better than a thunderstorm or rain all day. Not that us baby-boomers need a “wild crowd” to have fun, but figure heat took a lot out of crowd’s energy. I had wanted to attend one of the “Crossroads” since they started in 2004. Made it this time and it full filled one of my dreams. I am the reason my wife and another couple went, so very happy with end results except couple small items.
I felt bad for Gary Clark Jr. and the sound issue. I saw him in Austin when he was 19 and knew he was a keeper. I hope others give him a listen. We sat on opposite end of stadium and “forgot” binoculars. I would have liked to see bigger screens and the one above center stage be a big screen and not the light show and mini screens. Now my next issue will probably make others unhappy with me. That was the BB King “I’m 84 and can do what I want plus Dr. Viagra” I don’t know what to hell was up between Eric and BB but BB handled it wrong!. He dressed down Eric, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughn and overstayed his welcome. The crowd was running out of the stadium. My wife and I saw BB in Columbus, Oh couple years ago and he was fine–except he is an old horn dog. I like looking at attractive women myself–but there are limits to good taste.
I respect BB as a Blues Icon, but felt his “handlers” should have helped Eric move on with the show. While saying that, I have an 84 yr. old Mother that does things her own way!!!! Back to concert positives.
I had seen Eric, (over dozen times) Robert Randolf, Robert Cray, Jimmy Vaughn, Doyle Bramhall, Gary Clark, Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, and BB live over the years. So I got to see 23-24 new people. I think a concert like this gives the players a reason to be “on their game”. I saw why Eric invited these different types of artist and realize some probably would be even more fun in a small intimate setting. The mixture of people was cool and gave them a chance to perform with others they had just met. Some individual notes.
Sonny Landreth gets with it. I just have hit on Joe Bonamassa and his Albert Hall concert. I could have listened to more of him. ZZ Top got the crowd going with their “show” and music. Sheryl Crow was cool and conservative in her looks—like a new mommy. John Mayer made the women hotter than they already were and yet his music made me want to listen another hour to him. My wife like the Wood, Guy and Lang set saying Guy had a great smile and face, Lang played out his heart and Wood reminded her of seeing the Stones in England decades ago. We were impressed by Susan Tedeschi singing and obviously Derek Trucks playing is awesome. I have been watching the You-Tube selection of Los Lobos this last year and wished they had played a return with the whole band. Mas Y Mas
Jeff Beck, where did you hide out in my life of music enjoyment? I got hooked from videos of 2007 Crossroads and loved his set. I don’t know what music area to plug him into, one song he is sounds like a symphony, the next song it is Big Block and outer space. His backup team rocked and was funky. His new bass lady could put on her own show. Winwood and Eric showed both their talents and some good old Blindfaith—neat.
So couple years ago I was at the Crossroads in Clarksdale, Miss. and now at Crossroads at Toyota Park. The DEVIL didn’t teach me how to play guitar, but he sure has me watching and listening to the blues.
Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival Returns to Bridgeview for a Hot Day of Great Music
e-News Park Forest (re-published with the permission of Associate Editor and article author, Rosemary Piser)
Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival returned to Bridgeview’s Toyota Park Saturday, June 26. The day-long love fest featured legendary guitarists and artistic collaborations by Eric and his friends for the benefit of Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua. The Crossroads Centre, founded by Clapton in 1997, provides quality, affordable treatment for alcohol and other drug dependencies and has become recognized as an international Centre of Excellence for addiction treatment.
People have often questioned me as to why I would travel to Europe to see a concert. The answer is simple. Americans primarily go to concerts for the party while our counter-parts in Europe go to hear the music. The Crossroads Festivals have been the closest thing to hearing music in Europe and this year’s event in Bridgeview kept the 27,000 people in attendance barely wanting to leave their seats on this scorching hot June day.
Bill Murray once again served as MC and started the event promptly at noon. For almost 12 hours, those in attendance heard the ‘best of the best’ from musicians of all genres ranging from blues, rock, country and even a Puccini classic.
The many highlights included Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, and Ronnie Wood wailing an instrumental version of Mick Jagger’s ‘Miss You,’ solos by bass guitarist extraordinaire Rhonda Smith during the Jeff Beck set which included Puccini’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ from the opera Turandot, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood’s 15+ minute version of the Jimi Hendrix classic ‘Voodoo Child,’ Winwood’s performance of ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy,’ and the finale consisting of BB King, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughn and Clapton.
While many in the crowd were looking forward to seeing the Allman Brothers Band, they had to cancel due to Gregg Allman’s successful liver transplant surgery that occurred last week. The Allman’s were replaced by the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band who along with Warren Haynes, Sheryl Crow, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rojas, and the legendary Johnny Winter, filled the void with some of the hottest music of the day.
Personally, I looked forward to hearing Clapton’s set. When I had the opportunity to attend the Eric Clapton/Jeff Beck concerts at London’s O2 Arena in February, Eric looked a bit frail as this was his first concert appearance since his 2009 surgery. But the old Clapton was back in Bridgeview in fine form.
This was the second Crossroads Festival I have attended. And just as was the case in 2007, the magic of the day is not only the music, but the sense of respect, love and musical joy the artists clearly have for each other, along with the respect and admiration they all have for Clapton. Clapton in turn, looks like one of the fans. The best camera shots are those showing Clapton back stage watching the show as intently as we are with that ear-to-ear smile on his face looking amazed that his peers have once again answered the call to help this wonderful charity. It was a day filled with great music, and lots of love for one of the greatest guitarists of our times. Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to do it again in a few years.
Review by Chris Diggins
My friend Steve and myself travelled from S Wales UK to Chicago for the festival, it was the best musical event we have ever attended and certainly worth the effort. After regularly viewing past Crossroads festivals on DVD I finally kept a promise to myself that next time I would be there. Every performer deserves praise for the quality of the entire event however determining the best is difficult, it was great to see line ups like Buddy Guy with Ronnie Wood and Johnny Lang, Robert Randolph with Joe Bonamassa, ZZ Top, John Mayer did a terrific set Derek Trucks Band were great likewise Doyle Brammal. The performance from Jeff Beck was outstanding as always followed by Eric and Steve Winwood and finally BB King bringing everybody onto the stage to perform together it was just awesome.
Review by Heidi Widmer
I woke up early in the morning. Heavy rain was pouring down followed by thunder and lightning. Only minutes later my stomach was rumbling, too: Montezuma’s revenge! It was a nightmare and I could only hope that the pills I swallowed would stand the test. By the time we got to Midway Airport it was sunny again. The public bus to Toyota Park ran once an hour until the extra buses were due at 10.30am. Equipped with 1 bottle of water (official allowance), a box of Ricola herbs, sun lotion, a hat and a rain poncho we waited to enter the stadium at 10am. It was a little chaotic, as the ticket scanner didn’t work in our line. Once inside we got a blue wristband for the pit.
Before the official start of the festival Guitar Center King Of The Blues winner Kirby Kelley performed a single song. At 11.45am MC Bill Murray appeared with a guitar strapped around his shoulder: Hello Bridgeview! He told us that meanwhile he learnt to play more than one song and tore into Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away. As 3 years ago, a smiling Eric soon appeared to his rescue! Eric greeted the crowd and asked to quietly pray for no rain and no thunder. In totally relaxed manner he wished a fan holding up a banner a happy birthday (I think he even asked how old she was!) and introduced Sonny Landreth who had the honour to open the festival again with a set that was as hot as the scorching sun. Eric joined him for Promise Land and contributed a blistering solo. What a spectacular start!
Due to a rotatable stage breaks between sets were extremely short. In the afternoon during intermissions there was world cup live footage on the screens. USA played (and eventually lost) against Ghana in the round of 16, however they refrained from letting us know the final score.
Pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph & his Family Band invited Joe Bonamassa and Pino Daniele for fantastic renditions of Blues Deluxe and Going Down. Bonamassa also played along in Further On Up The Road. Unfortunately I didn’t get to witness any of the performances in the Guitar Center Village, (e.g. Bonamassa), as I didn’t want to leave my spot in 2nd row. My husband stood a little further back to get a full view of the stage.
At 1pm Robert Cray and his band took to the stage with Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin making an appearance. The latter had an oxygen tank with him to help him breathe but he was amazing in Sitting On Top Of The World and Killing Floor. Then it got quiet and intimate with an acoustic set by Bert Jansch. Most people in the pit sat down to listen to his beautiful folk ballads and he got much applause for his captivating performance. I had never seen him nor Stefan Grossman before and it was great these artists got invited. Unfortunately Stefan Grossman encountered a severe sound problem. Keb‘ Mo‘ joined him for two songs (Mississippi Blues and Rollin‘ & Tumblin‘) and it was a fine acoustic collaboration that Eric watched close by. It was nice of him respecting his peers that way and we often saw Eric enjoying the music like a fan.
Bill Murray dressed as Buddy Holly then introduced the little ol‘ band from Texas, ZZ Top! They got an early slot as they were scheduled to perform at Milwaukee Summerfest in the evening.The sharp dressed bearded men (even Frank Beard was now wearing a beard!) entertained the crowd with a couple of great songs, amongst them Jesus Just Left Chicago, Foxy Lady and La Grange.
Before Doyle Bramhall II appeared Bill Murray showered us with a waterpistol and threw countless water bottles. Doyle presented some new material with his band Faded Boogie and was romping about the stage like a tiger! He invited Sheryl Crow to perform Every Day Is A Winding Road and Long Road Home for which Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi joined in as well. A revelation for me was the talented Gary Clark Jr. who was guesting in Doyle’s band. Two nights ago he played at Buddy Guy’s Legends and stole the show! At the festival there were some sound issues but Clark’s performance was very catchy again. Eric played along in the final song (Our Love Is Fading) with Sheryl Crow switching from acoustic guitar to keyboards. They were having a lot of fun and Eric almost burst with laughter at one point!
At approx. 4pm country star Vince Gill entered the stage with Albert Lee, James Burton, Keb‘ Mo‘ and Earl Klugh. Mystery Train featuring James Burton was superb. Albert Lee’s daughter Alexandra also made an appearance as a vocalist in Luxury Liner. Keb‘ Mo‘ shone in Soon As I Get Paid and Whenever You Come Around and Sheryl Crow provided vocals for the final contribution, Lay Down Sally. The Crossroads Festival stands out for unique collaborations and this one was indeed a fantastic one.
Sheryl Crow then announced her favourite singer/songwriter, Citizen Cope, and accompanied him for one song. Eric was standing in the wings with one of his daughters who mouthed all the lyrics, so Citizen Cope’s music must get played a lot in the Clapton household. I felt sorry for Cope as his acoustic set (Sideways, Bullet And A Target and Son’s Gonna Rise) wasn’t that well received by the crowd and press. I quite liked his mellow folk songs but he seemed intimidated by such a large audience. Earl Klugh was next and his short jazz and latin influenced performance was amazing.
Bill Murray in an Elvis suit introduced John Mayer and unfolded a Chicago Blackhawks flag which he tossed to the crowd. It was approx. 5.30pm. We had shade from the stage almost all day but for an hour or so we got full sunshine and meanwhile my water bottle was almost empty. I was never much of a John Mayer fan and didn’t know whether it was the heat affecting me but he really sounded great with Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino as his powerful rhythm section. Mayer swapped guitar for each song (Who Did You Think I Was, Vultures, Ain’t No Sunshine and Wait Till Tomorrow).
My husband got me a bottle of water just in time before I felt too dizzy and I thoroughly enjoyed the brilliant set of Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang with surprise guest Ronnie Wood. Forty Days And Forty Nights, Five Long Years, Let Me Love You Baby and an instrumental Miss You were the highlights. They all played with lots of fire and during Miss You Buddy broke a string which made for lots of banter until his roadie replaced the guitar with one of the famous polka-dot strats. Buddy is a cool cat and his big smile must have reached the furthest corner of the stadium! Top-class!
Around 7pm the MC explained why the Allman Brothers Band had to cancel (Gregg Allman had to undergo a liver transplant) and held up a plastic cup with an indefinable something inside (Gregg’s old liver!) which he declared up for auction to benefit the Crossroads Centre. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi stepped in for the ABB with an all-star lineup. They performed at least one new song (Midnight To Harlem) and a great version of Delaney & Bonnie’s Comin‘ Home. Warren Haynes, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas were featured in a few songs, a very frail Johnny Winter in Hendrix‘s Red House and a brilliant Chris Stainton in Space Captain. Bill Murray much later said that Gregg’s liver only fetched $67! He was a riot all day!
So far not a single raindrop fell nor did I need a toilet break which I was most grateful for. Towards 8pm free bottles of water were distributed to the dehydrated fans in the front rows, a wise decision to keep people from passing out, and better late than never. At the concession stands a water bottle cost $5 and prices for beer varied between $7 and $11. Considering the cause it seemed odd that alcohol was available at all, but it was no different at the previous festivals.
Jeff Beck’s set included an amazingly distorted rendition of Rollin‘ & Tumblin‘ with vocals by bassist Rhonda Smith who was just as incredible as Tal Wilkenfeld in 2007! Other highlights were Hammerhead, Big Block, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, (I Want To Take You) Higher and a beautiful version of the Puccini aria Nessun Dorma. Jeff Beck and his band were dynamite!
At 8.45pm Bill Murray appeared in a Jimi Hendrix costume introducing Eric Clapton and his band. He was going on about Winwood, Stainton and then Clapton, very groovy!, a statement to which the crowd roared its approval. Eric started with Crossroads and Key To The Highway and then brought out Citzen Cope for one song (Hands Of The Saints). Tough Luck Blues and I Shot The Sheriff followed with great guitar solos. Jeff Beck guested on Shake Your Moneymaker before Eric introduced Steve Winwood. The performance gained momentum, as soon as Steve Winwood joined in, and we witnessed a superb set that included Had To Cry Today, Low Down, Glad/Well All Right, an epic Voodoo Chile that took our breath away followed by Cocaine and Dear Mr. Fantasy.
10.30pm. After his band left the stage Eric took to the microphone saying this was going to be the last festival but somehow he doesn’t think it will be…they’re gonna have to do it again but he needs to ask his crew first. He was joking he would immediately write the names down of those he forgot to invite and send the letters out tomorrow! No need to say the audience loved Eric’s decision and it even made the breaking news the next day! He announced there was one more act to follow and we should not leave yet.
15 minutes later Eric returned with Jimmie Vaughan and the Robert Cray Band in tow and announced BB King who made us all chuckle when he sat down in the wrong chair (Robert Randolph’s). So BB got up again and was warmly greeted by Eric, Robert and Jimmie. Once in his proper seat BB started talking while the others were noodling on their guitars. After a while he asked Eric whether it was ok if he was continuing to talk and Eric respectfully gave his agreement. They played Rock Me Baby and finally agreed on performing Key To The Highway and The Thrill Is Gone between more lengthy talking. I love and respect BB King however after standing for almost 13 hours in the same spot I quickly grew tired of his ramblings and the great atmosphere had gone as well. Even in Eric’s face I could see a change of mood. All of a sudden the entire lineup sauntered on stage interrupting BB and leading into a fantastic Sweet Home Chicago.
That’s how the 3rd Crossroads Guitar Festival came to an end under a beautiful full moon. It was a great experience for fans and artists alike, a celebration of the guitar that has lost none of its fascination and for a worthy cause that is very important to Eric. Good-bye Bridgeview, until next time! Hopefully!