Eric Clapton Concludes U.S. / Canada Tour In Wantagh
On 5 May 2008, Eric Clapton and his band embarked on a short 11 date tour of the United States and Canada. The tour concluded on 5 June at the open air Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York.
The concert represented Eric's first return to the Long Island venue in 25 years. His only previous appearance there was for two concerts on 2 and 3 July 1983 when the venue had a capacity of 8,200. Fans reminisced that back then a moat still separated the band from the audience. There were three renovations to the venue in the 1990s, one of which filled in the moat and added seating closer to the stage. Jones Beach Theater now seats 15,000.
Eric walked on stage about 8:40PM and opened with a string of back-to-back classics: "Tell The Truth" "Key To The Highway" "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Little Wing". Electric and acoustic blues predominated the 19 song two-hour long concert. For the final U.S. concert, EC revised the set list slighty performing "Rambling On My Mind" as the first song of the sit-down set, rather than "Drifting" which he performed at many of the shows. A smattering of EC's hits made their appearance near the end of the evening. As at most concerts on this leg of the tour, Robert Randolph joined Eric on stage for the encore, "I've Got My Mojo Working."
Fans checking in from the venue reported that favorites this night were "Double Trouble," and "Little Queen of Spades". Several felt that Hoagy Carmichael's "Rocking Chair" would have been a better fit in the 2001 Reptile Tour as it slowed the pace of the acoustic mini-set considerably.
For much of the evening, Eric played his Signature Fender Stratocasters painted Ferrari Grigio Silverstone. For "Motherless Child", he used a 12 string Martin acousitic in an open tuning with a capo at the 4th fret. For "Travelling Riverside Blues", Eric played a black signature strat in an open tuning, set up for slide. For the remaining acoustic numbers, he relied on a six-string Martin.
Eric, his band and crew will now enjoy a short break in the tour until 20 June when the tour will pick up in Cork, Ireland. Sixteen concerts will take place in Ireland, England and Europe during the remainder of June and August. The tour ends with two shows in Monte Carlo on 22 and 23 August.
Clapton's touring band for the summer concerts is Doyle Bramhall II (guitar / vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Pino Palladino (bass), Ian Thomas (drums), Sharon White (backing vocals) and Michelle John (backing vocals).
5 June 2008 Set List / Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh NY:
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Little Wing
05. Outside Woman Blues
06. Double Trouble
07. Don't Knock My Love
08. Rambling On My Mind
09. Rockin' Chair
10. Motherless Child
11. Travelling Riverside Blues
12. Running On Faith
13. Motherless Children
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Before You Accuse Me
16. Wonderful Tonight
19. I've Got My Mojo Working (with Robert Randolph)
Note: Support Act Robert Randolph & The Family Band had a special guest during their 45 minute opening set. Trey Anastasio joined them on stage for two numbers. Anastasio is probably best known for his work with the American jam-band, Phish.