Venue: Valley View Casino Center
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Venue name change – formerly known as San Diego Sports Arena.
01. Key To The Highway
02. Going Down Slow
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
07. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
08. River Runs Deep
09. When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful
10. Same Old Blues (song by JJ Cale)
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Before You Accuse Me
15. Little Queen Of Spades
Review by Brian Frankel / San Diego
Eric’s solo on I Shot the Sheriff was particularly appreciated and brought a long and loud round of applause by the audience. Although the audience naturally liked Layla (the unplugged version, but played by Eric on electric guitar), the audience didn’t give a standing ovation as I would have expected. It wasn’t until Badge was played that the audience finally got up on their feet and gave a long, standing ovation. Many people were standing and dancing (or least swaying) for Crossroads, the encore.
Review by Steve Morgan
I’ve been following Eric Clapton’s tour on whereseric.com and was really looking forward to the show. I took my 24 year old daughter and we had awesome seats. Honestly, Eric did not seem tired or run down in any way as some people have said. In fact, the whole band was playing great, very tight, and they really seemed to enjoy putting on this concert for us. Eric played that powder blue Strat everyone mentions; it was just surreal, mesmerizing at times and you know you are experiencing something very special! We got killer versions of Badge, Crossroads and many others. Even "I Shot the Sheriff" had an amazing solo, I thought wow, what was that all about! My wife was sick and couldn’t go tonight so I called my daughter and she jumped at the chance…Take your kid!
Review by David Dell
Eric, as usual, was in awesome form. Sound qaulity for this show was excellent. The entire show was stellar but the "best of the best" for me was Eric’s incredible solo on "Old Love", it soared to the very heigths of passionate musical expression. The plugged in "unplugged" version of "Layla" was a new twist on the song that worked well. The intro to "I Shot the Sheriff" was quite a change from any other live performance of the song I’ve heard and a delight. Eric’s singing was as good as I’ve ever heard him. He has grown SO much over the years in that area.
The set list was unchanged from San Jose with the sole exception of substituting "Crossroads" for "Further on up the Road" in the encore. I noticed Eric used his turquoise Strat throughout, except for the sit down electric songs where he used a black Stratocaster. I also noticed how much Eric has employed expressive finger picking even on many of the electric licks which adds an interesting percussive tone to many of the songs.
Thanks to Eric and band for an unforgettable evening of incredible music!
Review by Dennis B. Schell
This venue can be difficult for music as it is the old San Diego Sports Arena. Billy Joel calls it the Boom-Boom Room since it has a metal roof that makes sound reverberate back and forth.
Los Lobos opened the show, and played one high-energy song after another. They are truly a fine band, but with no variance with song tempos and the sound from their instruments all running together, unfortunately tonight they sounded more like a bar band.
Then Eric and Co. casually strolled onto the stage and began with Key To The Highway then followed the normal set list. Despite the venue, Eric and his Daphne Blue Strat sounded amazing. I mean absolutely amazing! However, I noticed how tired (or perhaps he was ill) he looked on the video screens, and he was flattening some of the vocal melodies to preserve his voice.
I knew that Old Love would be a treat, and thankfully Tim Carmon showed more restraint with his highly-processed keyboard gyrations than he has in the past with this gorgeous song. Then Eric yet again puts a different spin on I Shot The Sheriff that really impressed this old superfan and delighted the crowd. Things were starting to cook by now.
The sit down set was predictably pleasant and well executed, and E.C. switched from his signature model Martin acoustic to a dark gray signature Strat for the later numbers.
Standing up again, the band launched into Badge, and the crowd went wild. The magic so unique to an Eric Clapton concert was in the air. Wonderful Tonight was just that, and then on to Before You Accuse Me which had people on their feet and swaying to the groove. I noticed in the last few years, Eric has absolutely killed it on Little Queen of Spades, but after another jaw-dropping solo by Chris Stainton (one of several that night), Tim Carmon and his B-3 Hammond organ brought the house down with a raucous solo, and I thought to myself that all is forgiven, Tim. I wanted to go find him after the show and offer to come over and wash his car and mow his lawn for him. Spectacular playing…
Cocaine kept everyone on their feet, and was the perfect song to close the show.
As E.C.’s backup singers for so many years, I used to really enjoy Tessa Niles and Katie Kassoon, but in recent years Michelle John and Sharon White have done a great job, and they are class all the way.
The rhythm section of Steve Gadd and Willie Weeks may not get the spotlight, but they are as rock solid as the rest of the band.
I couldn’t help but notice how very effective and simply gorgeous the lighting was on this tour, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many younger and attractive ladies were standing up and dancing in their seats through the last half of the show. (Despite being a now-happy family man, it seems that Eric still has game with the ladies.)
After the show, I kept running into people who went to the show too. I would tease the younger ones about how I saw a concert by one of their dad’s (or grandfather’s) favorite musicians, but they all came back saying they dug Eric Clapton. So maybe there is hope for the future of music in this world of Gagas, Kanyes, and Biebers.
I’ve said it before, but Eric is my best friend who I will never meet. I’ve been going to his shows since 1975 like they were religious pilgrimages. And even though tonight’s solos were shorter than usual and the vocals abbreviated, Eric never ceases to amaze me. It has been years since he’s had anything to prove, and he has written about the stresses of touring now that he is older, so I am grateful and feel very lucky that he still comes out to play live. I made some friends of mine finally go see him, and they came back muttering things like, “wow!” and “I never knew!” and they can now understand why all these years I would do things like sell my couch just to afford tickets.
It was true then and it’s still true now … Clapton is… (Well, you know.)