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2 May 2014 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Pelham , AL
United States
Alabama US
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton - Guitar / Vocals
Andy Fairweather Low - Guitar / Vocals
Chris Stainton - Keyboards
Paul Carrack - Keyboards / Vocals
Dave Bronze - Bass
Henry Spinetti - Drums
Michelle John - Backing Vocals
Sharon White - Backing Vocals

Support: 
ZZ Ward
Set List: 

01. Somebody's Knocking
02. Key To The Highway
03. Pretending
04. Hoochie Coochie Man
05. Tell The Truth
06. Driftin'
07. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
08. Crazy Mama
09. Stones In My Passway
10. Layla
11. How Long (Paul Carrack - vocal)
12. Wonderful Tonight
13. Crossroads
14. Little Queen Of Spades
15. Cocaine
16. High Time We Went (Paul Carrack - vocal)

Show Notes: 

Eric's printed set list since the New Orleans Jazz Festival had song #12 as on option of Gin House or Before You Accuse Me. At this performance, he called an audible mid-show and had the band perform Wonderful Tonight instead. 

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Alex Salter
Four days after tornadoes passed through the area in stifling humidity, Eric Clapton walked on stage wearing a trench coat (reminiscent of his Forever Man music video look) for the considerably cooler weather.  Removing his coat for a five-song acoustic set, he buttoned the top of his shirt after four songs and said, "I hope you're warm enough out there."  This was his only remark to the audience during the show.

Of the five times I have seen Eric Clapton live since 2001, this was the most enjoyable - for the more bluesy song selection, Eric's playing and the best band he has had in a while.  All were on top form.  Crisp sound with a thumping beat and perfect volume.  Paul Carrack was as impressive as Billy Preston used to be in Eric's band.  Andy joined Eric singing Crazy Mama and later played a nice wah-wah solo in Cocaine.  Standouts for me were Pretending, Driftin', Crazy Mama, and ultimately, Little Queen of Spades, for which Eric blitzed.

Thoroughly good performance.  High Time We Went!

Review by Bill Neighbours
Saw the Pelham, Al show. Fourth row. Nice evening, got into the 60's temperature wise. Road crew put 2 propane heaters at the front corners. Eric came out in a long duster type of coat. He was cold the whole evening. He even commented that he hoped the audience was warmer then he was. He really struggled with his coat and shirt collars. After the encore he ran off quickly and did not wave or took a bow.

He played only one Strat the whole evening and one Fender amp. His stage equipment was carried in four trucks and two buses.

The band did two cover songs "How long has this been going on" and "High Time We Left" both sung by Paul Carrack.

Eric smoked. Well paced. How does he do this? Oh, I forgot! The band was killer and played tight. One of the best bands that he has had! Thanks Eric! Fantastic evening - thank you and please come again!

Eric Clapton in Alabama: Guitar great emphasized the blues, nailed the solos and led a top-notch band
By Mary Coloruso / Al.com
Who: Eric Clapton, 69, a masterful guitar slinger with deep roots in the blues. His instrumental prowess is legendary, his trophy case is full and his catalog stretches back to the early 1960s with the Yardbirds. The stoic Brit has a secure place in music history, marked by 17 Grammys and three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When and where: Friday, May 2, at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham. Clapton scheduled just four concerts in the United States this year -- all in Southern states -- and Alabama nabbed one of them. Clapton’s last few shows here have been four years apart; he played in 2010 and 2006 at the BJCC Arena in downtown Birmingham.

Audience size: Opener ZZ Ward performed for a house that appeared about two-thirds full. But when Clapton came on at 8:30 p.m., folks had settled into the tippy-top rows of the third tier. Oak Mountain holds about 10,500 people; the place was pretty well packed.

Set list: Clapton stuck to the agenda he established in New Orleans (April 27) and Memphis (April 30), adding one tune -- the ballad "Wonderful Tonight" -- to the former list of 15. Signature songs included "Key to the Highway," "Crossroads," "Layla" and "Cocaine."

Note: Fans who expected a greatest-hits show might have been disappointed, but Clapton's blues-heavy setlist was extremely satisfying and adorned with sinewy guitar solos. Highlights included "Tell the Truth," "Driftin' Blues," "Little Queen of Spades," "Crazy Mama" and "Hoochie Coochie Man."

Clapton instrumentals: You expected excellence from the performer nicknamed Slowhand? Mission accomplished on that frontier. Clapton remains a stellar player -- closing his eyes and tossing off expert solos on electric guitar. His acoustic mini-set focused on precision and subtlety, transforming "Layla" with a mellow groove and digging deep into "Stones in My Passway."

Clapton vocals: Serviceable, tuneful and oh-so-familiar. Not his strongest suit, but listeners had no cause for complaint.

Stage atmosphere: Clapton didn’t say much -- he rarely does -- aside from a clipped “Thank you!” here and there. Athough he clearly was the star of the 90-minute show, Clapton performed as the leader of a vibrant, integrated band. All seven musicians shared the spotlight with the frontman, collaborating and contributing in important ways. You’ve seen concerts that seem like massive celebrity ego-fests? That’s not how Clapton rolls.
Band members: Guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low, bassist Dave Bronze, drummer Henry Spinetti, keyboard players Paul Carrack and Chris Stainton, backup singers Sharon White and Michelle John. They're a top-notch team.

Standout: Carrack was an undeniable power player, executing dynamic organ solos and taking over the microphone for "How Long" and "High Time We Went." His vocals actually blew Clapton's out of the ballpark, but let's not dwell on that. Suffice it to say that Carrack's a great addition to Clapton's band, adding his talents to the mix in 2013. (His previous credits include Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike + the Mechanics.)

Wish list: Clapton certainly connects with the crowd through his music, but he does keep audience members at a distance. A little more warmth -- emotionally speaking, that is -- and a wee bit more conversation would have been welcome. Also, the concert ended rather abruptly, after a funky, propulsive rendition of "High Time We Went." One more song would have put a nice capper on the evening, bidding his ticketholders farewell.

Verdict: Guitar great stands and delivers.

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