Friday, September 22, 2006

Eric Clapton/Robert Cray show

We saw Eric Clapton at the newly renamed Scottrade Center Monday, Sept. 18.

Set list
I Shot The Sheriff
Got To Get Better In A Little While
Old Love (with Robert Cray)
Everybody Oughta Make A Change
Motherless Children

(sit down set)
Back Home
I Am Yours
Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
Running On Faith

After Midnight (fast version)
Little Queen Of Spades
Further On Up The Road
Wonderful Tonight

Crossroads (with Robert Cray)

Some Links
Here are some reviews of the show, more like fan comments really.

Opener Robert Cray:
Robert Cray dot com.
Robert Cray in wikipedia

Eric Clapton dot com
Eric Clapton in wikipedia
Where's Eric? tour site

Eric's guitarists this tour:
Doyle Bramhall II
Doyle 2nd dot com (his official site)
Not to be confused with his father, drummer Doyle Bramhall
Doyle II in wikipedia

Derek Trucks
Derek Trucks dot com
Derek Trucks in wikipedia

I encourage you to have a visit to Derek's site in particular.

As you might know, Doyle is left-handed and plays lefty-strung-righty, which means that he just flips a right-handed guitar over instead of restringing it. So instead of playing a mirror image, he's playing upside down. It's disorienting to watch, because you know that you go here for higher notes, but Doyle goes there instead.

Derek Trucks, meanwhile, is pretty much the second coming as far as I'm concerned. He's a better guitarist than anyone else who was in the house, and that includes Clapton. While Doyle uses a huge pedal board, Derek plugs straight into the amp and basically plays with his brain. He doesn't use a pick, either. He's a savant. He ... he plays straight into you. You don't know with your brain that he's a great guitarist, you know it in the part of your spirit that's why you love music to start with. Get a video, find footage of him. Seriously.

(If you also know that he's the nephew of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks and basically replaces Duane Allman, and if you know that Duane Allman played with Clapton for the Derek and the Dominos session, well it's getting to be a pretty small world out there.)

We were in the 19th row on the floor, which could've been worse. But boy, does it look further away from the pictures I took. I also shot just a little video on the down low, and I’ve uploaded the three-minute, 61,400k “Wonderful Tonight” (all but the first verse – sorry) (posted at the end of this post). Photobucket would NOT let me load the other video, which is the entirety of "Crossroads," at 6:42, 143,000k.

Okay. Robert Cray was awesome. He really has his own very distinctive tone, so buttery and sweet and yet bluesy. Delicious. He did at least "Phone Booth," "Poor Johnny," "I'm Walkin'," and "Twenty," and a couple more for a 35-minute set. "Twenty" in particular is not only a great song but was a very heartfelt rendition. He introduced it as a song about a young man who joined the military after 9/11 to try to avenge some of the acts of 9/11 but instead was sent to Iraq. heh. Well put, Bob.

Not too close.

A bit closer.

Closer still.

Okay. Eric. Eric's set was great; he never seemed like a geezer up there, and his playing was as ever. Derek's playing was a beautiful partner to Eric's, especially as in "Layla" when he played this lovely womanly slide part on top of Eric's part.

"Pretending" was a great opener. "I Shot the Sheriff" was fun and the two female backup singers were nice and, I don't know, kind of howley like Bob Marley's singers could be. "Motherless Children" was another standout. They broke down for a semi-acoustic sit-down set in the middle, in which "Running on Faith" was one of the kickers and Derek particularly stood out again. It's not that Doyle wasn't good, but he was a little ... withdrawn, maybe? He took his solos, but he never really seemed to bust out, he was a little quieter, and he turned his back to the audience quite a bit. Maybe a bad night?

Then a ripping "After Midnight" - everyone was boogeying! - a very nice Little Queen of Spades, electrified, not the acoustic version. I've always had a kind of soft spot for "Wonderful Tonight," even though it's kind of sappy. And closing the set with "Layla" - oh, beautiful! - and straight into "Cocaine" was just *flails wordlessly*. The break before the encore was a little long, and then the encore consisted solely of "Crossroads" with Robert Cray back out with the band.

Here are some pictures. Either my camera's just not good with the crazy lighting or else I don't know how to set it to compensate for the crazy concert lighting. I'm shooting without flash, which would be silly, but J thinks maybe the lens has to stay open too long or the lights just overwhelm the camera or something. Anyway.

Doyle, Derek, Eric

With Robert Cray

Can you see the big projection of Clapton's head on the backdrop?

And the “Wonderful Tonight” clip.

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