Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Derek Trucks – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
The Kick Horns (Simon Clarke – baritone saxophone, Roddy Lorimer – trumpet, Tim Sanders – tenor saxophone)
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
02. So Tired
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Bell Bottom Blues
05. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
06. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
07. Motherless Children
08. Back Home
09. I Am Yours
10. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
11. Running On Faith
12. After Midnight
13. Little Queen Of Spades
14. Let It Rain
15. Wonderful Tonight
18. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by Axel Cordes / Giessen
EC was on fine form, and so were his players, especially the fantastic axemen. Derek Trucks never failed to amaze the audience with his slide guitar playing, Doyle Bramhall II was a little under-represented that night, but still very fine when he had solos to play. Some renditions of well-known songs were played were hard ("Everybody Ought To Make A Change", one of my all-time favourites) and/or fast ("Motherless Children" with both Doyle and Eric on slide). I had wondered how "Pretending", which to me seems a pretty average composition, would get across to people as an opener, but it appeared to work very well - very tough and powerful.
It is certainly a nice thing of Eric to give young people like Derek and Doyle a chance to give their careers a boost. On the other hand, I wouldn't have minded hearing a little more guitar work from the man himself. When he turned the volume control of his Strat on, he was, of course, brilliant as ever - and it always sounded unmistakably Clapton.
Two things to complain about: Firstly, the sound was poor, to put it mildly. Peaks of volume (backing vox, keyboards) were even distorted sometimes, and the overall volume was clearly over the top. I was so glad to have my earplugs (-15dB) in.
Secondly, even if Clapton is Clapton, he should be polite enough to introduce his bandmembers, especially as they were not second-rate accompaniment, but first-class musicians with their own profiles. Surely not every fan in the 10,000 crowd was able to name, say, Chris Stainton or Willie Weeks, from sight, even though they might have heard their names before. Sorry, Eric, this was a faux pas. I just do not see, why only those who fork out â‚¬ 10 for an A4 tour programme, should enjoy the luxury of getting to know the names.
All in all, I did enjoy the evening - I mean, it was Clapton, whom it is always a pleasure to see and hear -, but as often, less would have been more. The situation reminded me of the Austrian emperor who is supposed to have said to Mozart, after hearing one of his operas, "Very nice, but - too many notes." In songs like "Wonderful Tonight" the parallel or intertwining lines of two guitars made sense, but in other tunes just too many musical comments were thrown in from either the other guitarists, the horns (however brilliantly they played)or the keys. It was enjoyable to see and hear, however, how in some songs the three guitarists traded solos in an always jazz-like manner. On the other hand, nothing seemed very spontaneous and there did not appear to be much communication between the players on stage.
"Little Queen of Spades" was the highlight for me, because the band got oh so quiet behind the solos from Doyle and Eric. That was so beautiful - and Chris's extra long piano solo was the cream on the cake - unlike the terribly silly synthie sound from Tim's Yamaha on "Cocaine". Talking of "Cream", I did not miss any Cream tracks (that was last year, and that's it). I was quite happy to hear six tracks from the Dominos era - with another fine slide guitarist (sort of new Duane Allman) on stage.
If I was a teacher in an English school, I would mark this show "B+" or the show as a whole, with parts of the individual performances ranking clearly higher ;)
Review by Wolfgang Schueer / Neukirchen-Vluyn (Germany)
If the rest of the tour will be as good as the opening show of the German part of the 2006/7 world tour you should hurry up to purchase your tickets. This band is one of the best of EC's touring bands throughout the years. Nearly 11,000 people in Frankfurt were treated to a firework of finest guitar playing from EC, Doyle Bramhall and Derek Trucks, pushed by an excellent and funky rhythm section, backed by a perfect horn section, a great and sometimes jazzy Chris Stainton on the Keys and two powerful-voiced background singers. Just Tim Carmon couldn't keep up with the rest of the band IMO.
As usual EC didn't talk too much to the audience except a German "Dankeschoen" after each song. But he lets the music speak for itself. We heard nearly 2 hours of great rock and blues. No compromises, no frippery, no autopilot.
Great improvisations straight from the beginning - Pretending, Bell Bottom Blues, Motherless Children. Only "So Tired" always sounds strange to me - a 61-year old man singing about changing baby's nappies.
Wonderful support by the Kick Horns during the acoustic part of the show, EC taking a step backwards giving D. Bramhall and D. Trucks room to showcase their extraordinary talents.
The hightlight of the concert for me: "Little queen of spades", about 12 minutes Blues at it's best with great solos from C. Stainton, D. Bramhall and D. Trucks. And when you just think they can't get any better EC performs his solo with such virtuosity and passion - this is EC at his best! Unfortunately the lights went on after 2 hours and a breathtaking encore "Crossorads" with Robert Cray.
Just Like Sly (Trial 154 – 2 CD)