Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders
Opening night of the second leg of EC’s 2011 Solo Tour. The tour has stops in Ireland, the UK & Scandinavia through early June, including an 11-night run at the Royal Albert Hall (5 of those nights with Steve Winwood).
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. Still Got The Blues (Gary Moore)
09. Same Old Blues (JJ Cale)
10. When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Before You Accuse Me
15. Little Queen Of Spades
Review by Paul Ryan
In summary – my 6th or 7th EC gig – first saw him in National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland in 1978 (I was 14), last night was superb. No rhythm guitar/sideman, so he had to be up front for the whole set. His musicality (feel and appreciation for dynamics, knowing when NOT to play a note), understanding of pacing, as a pure creative talent is wonderful. When he hits the perfect emotional high in the solo’s (like in Old Love and Queen of Spades), it can be sublime. I was blown away. Electric blues is not a complex form, but well played it can be absolutely the most wrenching musical experience (for me anyway ). Hard to know is he better acoustic or electric, just a total musician (when on form, which is a risk with him, Malahide 2 years ago was very poor).
The venue sound was excellent, perhaps a little too much low end on the organ, bass and bass drum (maybe to replace the lack of rhythm guitar?). Stage set and lighting lovely, elegant and appropriate (see picture). Lovely playing by all the band, Steve Gadd is the tastiest and most understated drummer around, he makes superb drumming appear very simple, and then does the odd little fill that is pure virtuoso. Chris Stainton is predictably excellent (he should know this material well by now!) and the new organ guy is very good, including a few little Billy Preston flourishes. Willie Weeks was very solid, and a few little nice touches too.
Acoustic Layla was lovely, stripped to essentials, a real treat. Old Love was stunning, as was Little Queen of Spades (which is Have you ever Loved a Woman with different lyrics and without the key changes). The timing changes on I Shot the Sheriff were great fun, these guys can do reggae, and variations on reggae. This is all best appreciated by close listening, to hear real musicianship in action without big show off stuff.
The set could have been hand picked for me, featuring most of the tracks I would ask him to play. Some of the audience would have appreciated more interaction, but more seasoned fans will know EC doesn’t do that.
I brought my 13 year old son, who is a big music fan, he has now already had one of the musical highlights of his life!
Review by Nadja Teichert / Bonau, Switzerland
With a couple of surprise songs in the set list, Eric and band started their Europe leg of the tour. The band are in super form, particularly Tim Carmon. After a solid start, Old Love proved to be the first highlight of the show, soon followed by I Shot the Sheriff that included an ultra-cool solo by Eric. The sit-down part contained a beautiful and at the same time sad tribute to Gary Moore with a marvelous acoustic rendition of Still Got the Blues. Ending the acoustic set with Layla, EC plugged back in and thundered out the crowd favorite Badge. Continuing with Wonderful Tonight which had the crowd sing along, Eric and his fantastic band closed the show with Before You Accuse me, Little Queen of Spades, Cocaine and Crossroads as the encore. Taking Eric’s introduction in the tour program to heart, I do hope that the set list sees frequent changes.
Review by Angel Moreno / Spain
Great performance and good sound, although my feeling was that they were just meeting each other after the short break of April in the 2011 tour. It was a warm up to continue the gigs, so the next ones will be even better! !No surprises in the set list among Gary Moore’s song which was very impressive and “from the heart”. In terms of playing EC’s to be polished a bit although he is always great and full of feeling.