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EC Rocks New York! MSG Night Three

Published // 01.Oct.06

Eric Clapton wrapped up his three night stand at Madison Square Garden on 30 September 2006 with a killer two-hour performance. From the moment the lights went down, it was obvious that the musicians were feeding off the energy of the New York audience. Taking the stage shortly before 9PM, the band tore through classic songs like "Motherless Children", "Layla", "Cocaine" and managed to inject new life into "Wonderful Tonight," which is always a crowd-favorite. Although the setlist did not vary from night to night, each song was developed differently along improvisational lines making each song seem fresh. For example, during "Old Love", Tim Carmon chose to develop his solo around the riff of "Sunshine Of Your Love" while Robert Cray also edged out the other guitarists with his solo during the song.

Entirely deserving of mention is the "sit down set" in the middle of the show. Opening with "Back Home", the title track from Clapton's most recent CD, the band moved into classic Dominos' territory with gorgeous renditions of "I Am Yours" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out". The latter is akin to the 1992 version from "Unplugged" and it is just one of the spots in the show where vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White truly shine. The mini-set concluded with an acoustic "Running on Faith" (from 1989's "Journeyman").

Although "I Shot The Sheriff", "Got To Get Better In A Little While" (which now features a bass solo from Willie Weeks) and "Little Queen of Spades" have established themselves as nightly highlights, there is still plenty of guitar action on other numbers. "After Midnight" segued into "Motherless Children" which featured some wicked slide from EC on the final night at MSG. "Crossroads" - with a new funky arrangement - was again the encore number. EC, Robert Cray, Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II all took solos that thrilled the crowd one final time.

Set List:

Pretending
I Shot The Sheriff
Got To Get Better In A Little While
Old Love (with Robert Cray)
Everybody Oughta Make A Change
Motherless Children
Back Home
I Am Yours
Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
Running On Faith
After Midnight
Little Queen Of Spades
Further On Up The Road
Wonderful Tonight
Layla
Cocaine
Crossroads (encore with Robert Cray)

Next on Clapton's itinerary is two dates in Boston followed by shows at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut next weekend.