Venue: Royal Albert Hall
City: South Kensington, London
Country: United Kingdom
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar, vocals
Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar, mandolin
Chris Stainton – piano, keyboards
Paul Carrack – organ, keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Gary Clark, Jr.
Gary Clark, Jr. *
01. Hello Old Friend
02. My Fathers Eyes
03. Tell The Truth
04. Gotta Get Over
05. Black Cat Bone
06. Got To Get Better In A Little While
07. Come Rain Or Come Shine (EC & Paul Carrack – vocals)
09. Driftin’ Blues
10. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
11. It Ain’t Easy (Paul Carrack – vocals)
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Blues Power
15. Love In Vain
17. Little Queen Of Spades
19. Sunshine Of Your Love (encore)*
20. High Time We Went (encore)*
Review by Ann Crick / North London
First, thanks to Eric and the band for such a fantastic night – I’m still smiling! The set list was pretty much the same as previous nights, but no Tears in Heaven last night, and sadly no I Shot the Sheriff. The stand out numbers for me were Little Queen of Spades and Cocaine. I enjoyed last night’s version of Layla, but I would dearly love to hear the electric version once more.
A great band, the present line-up really work well together and they were clearly relaxed and enjoying themselves, and the new additions to the band are a good choice. As others have noted, Eric seems to be taking more of a back seat at times, with Doyle in particular often taking the lead (not that I’m complaining – I’ve become a huge Doyle fan). The sound balance was good from where I was sitting (fortunately dead centre in the front row – same seat I had for the Cream reunion concert on 6.5.2005, can’t believe my luck!) except for not being able to hear Eric sing during the encore.
The rush to the stage seems to get later nowadays, and didn’t happen until the band went off stage (I guess an ageing audience aren’t so energetic!) and I found it difficult to remain seated for Cocaine.
I wish Eric would release another live album and DVD from the Royal Albert Hall, as on the whole I don’t think his studio recordings do him justice. Live at the Royal Albert Hall he is just out of this world. I so wish I had tickets for the last two shows. Come back soon Eric!”
Review by Jean-Baptiste R / Tours, France
Third time I saw Eric Clapton, and no doubt about that it was the best show I’ve ever seen. Doyle was very good, more than usually. He plays loudly, maybe a little bit too much, but it’s not a problem. Steve Jordan was just awesome. I think he did give his bests this night. I did like Willie shyness! When he felt it, he sent everything he got, and it was so good! Eric was Eric… Everyone here know what I mean, no need to explain. But in one word : amazing. Blues power was enourmous, so was Badge. To sum it all, 2 days after the show, I am still thinking about every minute of it
Review by Roger B / Hanover, PA, USA
As a Yankee in town for one night, this show was a real treat for me. This was my first show in Albert Hall. I have seen Eric a number of times in the US. The band was superb. The song-list was really good. Eric was on his game, and performed 110 percent!
The sound..was almost good for a round auditorium- almost. I was about three quarters back in the stalls – directly back from center stage – about 10 rows behind the sound engineers. Except when Eric played a solo, Doyle Branhall’s guitar was WAY out front. That was cool, because I really enjoyed his playing, but it was annoying as well. I didn’t know there was a Hammond on stage for the first 4 songs! I couldn’t believe that the sound crew couldn’t hear that problem. If you have any pull, please pass this on to Eric’s crew. Maybe it’s just a problem with rock music in the Albert Hall.
Review by Gösta Kylsberg / Stockholm, Sweden
Once again back in London for a couple of days vacation, and once again timing it with EC concerts at RAH. Last time was in May 2011. Eric gave us a brilliant concert, playing at his best with astonishing support from the band members. Everybody seemed to have a good time and it would be unfair to give anyone in the band extra credit – they were all on top, giving the enthusiastic audience a great and memorable evening. One evidence of the great atmosphere was the encores: I cannot remember having seen everybody standing and singing along like they (or we!) did when Eric opened with the riff of the encore “Sunshine of your love”, where Gary Clark Jr. also joined the band on stage. The roof of the RAH was almost lifting…
If I should point any of the songs, as there were many highlights, I was especially impressed by one of my favorite songs “Got to get better in a little while” where Eric played fantastic using the wahwah at the intro. Other outstanding songs were “Badge”, “Tell the truth”, “Blues Power” and, of course, “Little Queen of Spades”. Also “Gotta get over” from his new album “Old Sock” was great. The sit down session included classics as “Driftin’ blues”, “Layla”, “Nobody Knows You” and finally “Wonderful Tonight”, where Doyle Bramhall II played the guitar solo.
Since our stay in London is the whole week we will attend one more concert on Thursday. Since Eric usually makes some changes, it will be great to compare the shows. I am sure we will be very pleased also with the second show – or as Eric writes in the programme: “I sincerely hope you have a good time and earnestly look forward to giving you your money’s worth”. – He certainly does. I would even put it – Attending a concert with an icon like Eric Clapton is beyond valuation – it’s simply invaluable.
Finally, Gary Clark Jr. opened the evening with some great playing. I saw him in Stockholm (at Debaser, 4 March) where he gave a great concert. I can understand why Eric chose him to open the concerts, as he is a very talented blues guitar player.
Review by Ken Norris
Tonight’s show was a good, solid one. The electric sets were strong, the unplugged set perhaps a tad too predictable. Highlights for me were Gotta Get Over (now being played with great ease, like it’s been part of the setlist for years), an extremely energetic Got To Get Better In A Little While, a lovely Come Rain or Come Shine (with nice shared vocals between EC and Paul Carrack, and some great guitar interplay between EC and Doyle), a brisk
Blues Power, and a Little Queen of Spades for which EC’s solo at the end was worth the price of admission. Gary Clark Jr. entered the encore at the end of Sunshine for Your Love and stayed on through the end, taking a bow with the EC band. His opening set was impressive and certainly appreciated by the RAH crowd.
Review by Lawrence / Cheshire UK
Firstly, I must say how impressed I was with the support Gary Clark Jr. This was a real treat and he is one of the best younger blues Guitarists I have heard. an amazing talent.
I think everyone is charmed by Eric’s personally understated modesty. He comes on stage in denims and a sports shirt and says very little but proceeds to play guitar in his effortless style which is basically as good as it gets. His complete mastery of this instrument my never be surpassed. After all, he has been at the top of his game for 50 years, I first saw him in the Yardbirds at the Cavern Club in Liverpool around 1964 he was amazingly good and ahead of the game even then. I saw him in Derek and the Dominoes at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool around 1977-78 Also a few times a the RAH
This last show I probably enjoyed the most. The backing band with superb lead guitar and Paul Carrack were are amazingly good.
Review by Ken Duffin
Just back from Monday & Tuesdays shows (20 and 21 May). I thought Gary Clark Jr was magnificent, in fact he played the best guitar solo of the two days on Tuesday during Bright Lights.
As for Eric, Monday’s show was not one of his best, in fact I did not think the show really sparkled until Got To Get Better In A Little While.
I also thought his solo on Sheriff was a little bit, dare I say it, BORING!!!! The duet between Eric & Paul Carrack on Come Rain Or Come Shine was very good, in fact Eric’s vocals all through were good, but his guitar didn’t shine enough. The acoustic set was nice, and I thought Wonderful Tonight sounded much better than normal in the acoustic setting, but with 7 acoustic songs this section went on too long.
After the acoustic set, the real playing began, Blues Power & Little Queen Of Spades were the best numbers with some really good work all round
Then came the encores, a nice Sunshine, which exploded when Gary Clark Jr came on, everybody pulled their socks up and showed what they really could do. Eric must have felt that he hadn’t really performed as he did not wait for any bows after the encores.
On Tuesday, from the start you could feel this was a different show. Eric appeared happier and played with more gusto. Again the vocals were great, but this time the solo’s were top notch too. Instead of Sheriff, they played Badge, and Eric’s solo exploded, to much applause. The acoustic set was shorter and benefitted from that, but even here the guitar work was crisper and to me much more pleasing. Again, Blues Power was a highlight, but this time Crossroads was up there with it and Little Queen, and then during Cocaine Chris Stainton’s keyboard work was again much better than the previous night.
The encores of Sunshine and High Time We Went were as Monday great. We were treated to bows at the end of the night, so Eric must have felt better about it all too. All in all, Monday was a good night, but Tuesday was one of the best I have seen since the Pilgrim tours.