Venue: Koenig-Pilsener Arena
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
Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders
After being sidelined with severe back pain and having to cancel the two previous shows, Eric Clapton returned to the stage in Oberhausen.
01. Hello Old Friend
02. My Father’s 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
11. It Ain’t Easy (Paul Carrack – vocals)
12. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
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 Axel Hinze
Last night I saw Eric Clapton and his band performing in the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen. The band consisted of Eric on guitar and vocals, Doyle Bramhall II on guitar and vocals, GregLeisz on pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar and metal body mandolin, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Paul Carrack on organ and vocals, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums and Michelle John and Sharon White on backing vocals.
Eric started the current tour on March 13th in the U.S. and continuing in Europe with a short break from May 9th on. Due to severe back pain, Eric had to cancel the concerts last Tuesday in Vienna and last Wednesday in Stuttgart. Fortunately he was able to play the scheduled concert in Oberhausen last night.
The concert started with the supporting act Andy Fairweather Low And The Low Riders, a four-man band consisting of Andy on guitar and vocals, Dave Bronze on bass and vocals, Nick Pentelow on saxophones and Paul Beavis on drums.
The band played a 45-minute set that consisted of classic songs like “Baby What You Want Me To Do”, “Apache”, “If Paradise Is Half As Nice”, “(When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too”, “Got Love If You Want It”, “Hideaway” and others. The interpretations of these songs were very much liked by the audience. The band did a real good job.
After a short break, Eric and his band entered the stage and started the two hour long concert with “Hello Old Friend”, a song from the 1976 album “No Reason To Cry” that Eric had performed only very rarely. The song pleased me, because I myself have never ever heard this song performed live before. Greg Leisz did a good job during this performance.
As usual during this tour the second song was “My Father’s Eyes”, a song that was performed at the famous “MTV Unplugged” concert, but never officially released until the release of the album “Pilgrim” years later. I have never liked the studio version, but I have always enjoyed the live performances of this song.
Next on the list was that old Derek & The Dominos classic “Tell The Truth”. I expected Greg Leisz to be featured on his pedal steel guitar, but instead Doyle Bramhall played the slide guitar parts in that song and shared the lead vocals with Eric. Well, Doyle did a good job.
“Gotta Get Over”, the only performed song from Eric’s latest album “Old Sock” followed.
“Black Cat Bone”, an old blues classic followed and featured a great Greg Leisz on lap steel guitar.
After that one of my all time favourite songs was being performed. “Got To Get Better In A Little While” dates back to the times of Derek & The Dominos. There does not exist a proper studio version of this song, but Eric performed it live during the tours of Derek & The Dominos and performed it at one of his Crossroads Guitar Festivals. I really like the version on the Derek & The Dominos “In Concert “ album, and I am always happy when Eric performes this song nowadays. In last night’s concert Eric used the Wah-Wah pedal during the performing of the song, and Doyle did a great solo, too.
“Come Rain Or Come Shine”, an old classic song dating back into the 40s came next. Paul Carrack took the lead vocals and sang a duet with Eric. Paul has a strong and good voice, and this song fitted perfectly into the set list.
Instead of “I Shot The Sheriff”, Eric performed “Badge” last night. That pleased me, because I have heard “I Shot The Sheriff” so many times, and I think “Badge” is a much better song. The performance of this song was great. Eric produced a roaring sound with his guitar during the performance of this song which was nearly unbearable, but very effective and impressing.
The acoustic set followed, and the first acoustically performed song was “Driftin’ Blues”, an old blues tune written by the late great Charles Brown which Eric first performed in 1974. The only present musicians for this song were Eric, Paul, Willie and Steve.
Then the wonderful “Layla” was being performed. This arrangement delivered great solos from Greg, Chris, Doyle, Paul and Eric and was one of the highlights of the concert.
Paul Carrack sang the next song “It Ain’t Easy”, a kind of pop song which was actually not a bad song in my opinion, but for me this song did not fit into the musical context.
That old Bessie Smith blues tune “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” was the next song in the set. Greg changed to a metal body mandolin which gave the song a different feel. Apart from that the arrangement of the song was similar to the unplugged version.
“Wonderful Tonight” with a totally new arrangement followed and swapped with “Tears In Heaven”. That pleased me, because I liked the new arrangement of “Wonderful Tonight” very much. Eric played acoustic guitar, and Doyle and Greg shared the lead guitar part. That was really wonderful last night.
A second electric set started with “Blues Power”, an old classic from Eric’s first solo album. Eric showed that he had nothing unlearned depending on his guitar playing.
The next three songs were a tribute to Robert Johnson, one of Eric’s long time musical heroes. I am not sure whether Eric had ever performed “Love In Vain” before. He did a great version, again with Doyle on slide guitar and Greg on mandolin.
“Crossroads”, one of the first Robert Johnson covers Eric ever did, came next. Eric has been performing this song since decades in nearly every concert he has played. In my opinion the best known version of this song is the one from the 1968 “Wheels Of Fire” album by Cream. In my opinion all other known versions of this song are underachieved compared to the “Wheels Of Fire” version. But yesterday Eric gave the best performance of this song that I have ever heard. The tempo was faster than usual, nearly as fast as the “Wheels Of Fire” version, and his playing was very fluently. He really did the finest soloing during the performance of this song.
“Little Queen Of Spades” was the last performed song of the three Robert Johnson tunes. Eric did great soloing during the intro of the song. His playing sounded totally different, very percussive with short notes being played and without the usual stretching of the strings. Chris Stainton played an arousing piano solo which rewarded him great applause by the audience. Doyle and Eric played great solos, too.
The old J.J. Cale song “Cocaine” was the last song before the encore. A solid version was performed by the band with great piano playing by Chris.
For the encore Eric started with that old Cream classic “Sunshine Of Your Love” with Doyle sharing the lead vocals. A great and solid version was delivered.
The second song of the encore and also the last one of last night’s concert was “High Time We Went”, a song written by Joe Cocker and Chris Stainton which was made famous by Joe Cocker. Paul Carrack sang this song with the help of everybody. A good rock song and a fitting song to end the concert.
Unfortunately Andy Fairweather Low did not join Eric’s band during the encore. He did it the concerts before. I guess it has something to do with Eric’s back problems. It seemed to me that Eric played out time during the whole concert. There was nearly no interaction between him and the audience. He did not talk and did not introduce the members of the band properly. He performed song after song without any break. But in fact he performed fantastic music, his guitar playing was outstanding, and I am grateful that I was able to see Eric performing live in concert once again. It could have been the last time in my life.
Thanks Eric, God bless you.
Review by Rutger Janssen / Arnhem, The Netherlands
Great concert last night, absolute highlight was little queen with Eric soloing fantastic. Great show from the beginning to the end. Eric smiled à lot and showed no signs of pain from his recent back troubles. He moved like à young man haha! The set list was à bit different from the show in munich. I shot the sheriff was replaced for badge and tears in heaven was replaced for wonderful tonight. 2 hours and 15 minutes of fantastic music!