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3 March 2011 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

ARCO Arena Sacramento , CA
United States
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon - keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals

Support: 
Los Lobos
Set List: 

01. Key To The Highway
02. Going Down Slow
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
06. Driftin'
07. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
08. River Runs Deep
09. When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
10. Same Old Blues (song by JJ Cale)
11. Layla
12. Badge
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Before You Accuse Me
15. Little Queen Of Spades
16. Cocaine
17. Crossroads

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Amanda C / Davis CA
I attended my first Eric Clapton concert on March 3, and my number one question is why did I wait so long?! The concert was packed, of course, at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, and the set list was close to the set list played in Portland; the encore in Sac was Crossroads, however.

Like many, I play a little guitar, but I went because my thirteen year old son loves the guitar, and loves Clapton's catalog. It was a great night for both of us ... me to hear Clapton playing the songs I've been listening to for decades and for my son because he got to hear one of the original guitar gods play live. Having listened and talked to my son about guitars for the last five years, I finally had some understanding of the depth of skill Clapton brings to his music. I was in awe for the whole concert, awe at the skill and awe at the fact that I was watching the man who had WRITTEN Layla and Wonderful Tonight play those and other classic Clapton songs RIGHT in front of my eyes. He was there. I was there. We were there. Wow.

Eric played a phenomenal set, very well supported by his amazing band and two keyboardists, who have to be seen to believed. What an amazing experience it was to have Eric on the stage playing his normal guitar-god self and then for him to be supported by the two equally amazing musicians on the ivories. Wow. The show was a great mix of high energy classic rock and low key acoustic versions of classic Clapton--Layla was low key acoustic, which sounded perfect, and then Crossroads and Cocaine were each high energy rock versions of the songs.

Eric himself was pretty low key in his persona, but I think he's always like that; he seemed to be having a great time, and he's the consummate professional; he played his guitar and sang, and I was fine with that. I appreciated his focus on his music and his resistance to the temptation to play to the spotlight. He played his Stratocaster for the most part, but sprinkled in some other guitars including his ES335 and his custom acoustic, all of which sounded wonderful. He played continuously for about 2 hours, and the audience was thrilled with every minute. We had nosebleed seats at the gig, but the two huge HD screens on either side of the stage helped us see his fingerwork and close-ups of Eric and the band throughout.

Volume at the venue was very comfortable, even with the higher notes of the organ / piano; big thanks on the volume control.

Overall, a great introduction for me to Clapton gigs, and I'll be back next time he tours this area. What a great concert. If he comes through your town, you DEFINITELY need to get some tix and treat your ears to some classic rock by a classy guy.


Review by Daniel Stephenson
What a fantastic show. I have now seen EC in concert 3 times (once at Arco in 2007, in Oakland with Steve Winwood in 2009, and now back at Arco Arena). This time he was the ONLY guitarist in the band (whereas in 2007 he had Doyle Bramhall II, and 2009 Winwood joined him on guitar for a handful of songs). He gave one hell of a good performance and seemed to truly enjoy himself. The kick off with the bluesier songs (Key To The Highway, Going Down Slow, Hoochie Coochie Man and Old Love) was an instant kick of energy and amazing solos. He seemed to perform these songs differently from past performances and gave each song a modern, updated jive / feeling. My faves included the first 4 tunes as well as the "acoustic" version of Layla that he performed with his sunburst Gibson ES-335. But the whole night was memorable.

The rest of the band was fantastic as well. It was great seeing Steve Gadd back with Eric again (Gadd has played with Eric since the 90's and was replaced in 2006). The band seemed tightly knit and played everything with feeling and energy that shows no sign of ever dissipating.

His equipment, that I could tell, included his Daphne Blue Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster, his Martin Eric Clapton signature acoustic and a Gibson ES-335. To me, the Gibson was a big deal as I have never seen him play a Gibson, personally, in concert. I have DVD's where he played a Gibson but to hear him play one at the concert was amazing. In his equipment rack I saw 3 strats (I believe both of his Daphne Blue strats were present as well as one of his EC Grey / Ferrari Grigio Silverstone strats), his ES-335, his Ltd. Ed. Gibson Eric Clapton Signature 1960 "Beano" Les Paul Standard (which, sadly, he did not use), as well as a Martin acoustic or two. The amp that I saw him use was the Fender '57 Twin combo amp as well as his infamous Leslie Rotating Speaker (for Badge and Wonderful Tonight).

All and all a great night, great tunes, no disappointments, great memories and some fun souvenirs to remember the show (a pick pack, program, keychain, and my Eric Clapton 2011 Les Paul / show dates shirt).