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3 July 2010 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston , MI
United States
Michigan US
Band Lineup: 

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

Support: 
Roger Daltrey
Set List: 

01. Going Down Slow
02. Key to the Highway
03. Tell The Truth
04. Tuff Luck Blues
05. I Shot the Sheriff
06. Driftin'
07. Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out
08. I've Got a Rock and Roll Heart
09. Layla
10. When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
11. Badge
12. Wonderful Tonight
13. Before You Accuse Me
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Cocaine
16. Crossroads (encore)

Show Notes: 

Fourth and final solo concert by Eric and his band following the Crossroads Guitar Festival. The festival took place on 26 June 2010 in Bridgeview, Illinois. This show was also the end of Eric's U.S. 2010 Tour which took place in February / March and June.

Fan Reviews: 

Were you at this show? Send your review to info@whereseric.com

Review by Josh Daunt
Played from 8:48 to 10:35, so a pretty long show compared to the other three on this tour even though it looks like pretty much the same set list. Great crowd, wasn't sure what to expect being the holiday weekend but the lawn was packed by the time Daltrey came on and there was a good crowd down the backside of the hill for Eric, Pavilion was mostly full, a couple open areas but not much. A great performance, nice variety of his work in the set list and just incredible guitar work throughout the night.


Review by Elliot Kleinfelder
Eric Clapton could not have crafted a more beautiful summer evening in Clarkston, Michigan for his July 3rd show at DTE Energy Music Theater. The crowd, already in good spirits thanks to it being a holiday weekend, quickly filled the pavilion and the lawn. And while the party typically starts for us on July 4th, Eric brought the party early.

He also brought along Roger Daltrey to help kick the celebration off, and did he ever! Starting off with The Who classic "I Can See For Miles," it was clear that we were in for a great night. Roger Daltrey can still deliver, and he put on a fiery set for just shy of an hour that proved that he could just as easily be headlining this show. Truly, there was as much or more energy running through the venue than one typically expects when the headlining act is on stage. The set consisted of tunes from Daltrey's solo catalog as well as other Who classics such as "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Who Are You." We were truly spoiled to have such an outstanding opening act, but it certainly did not go unappreciated. The crowd absolutely loved it.

Clapton took the stage shortly past 8:30, guitar in hand, in as unassuming a manner as a legendary guitarist possibly could. There was a distinct element of restraint to Clapton's entrance and lead in to the opener "Going Down Slow." But Clapton is a master of tension and release. He let the tension grow and grow in "Going Down Slow," taking solos that brought the audience to the edge of their seats, but he held off on giving that release for as long as possible. I personally enjoyed this version of "Going Down Slow," which was a far cry from the "Pilgrim" version and the arrangement performed on subsequent tours. But it worked great with this band in the opening slot, sounding just a bit more organic than I've heard before.

"Key To The Highway" was treated to a fairly straight blues arrangement. I loved what the band did with this one in 2006/07 on tour, but this version was no less entertaining in a more standard form. Clapton hit it a bit harder than "Going Down Slow," but one could tell he was still just building things up. By the time he ripped into "Tell The Truth," we were ready for Eric to let go, and he did just that. "Tell The Truth" was on fire. The band was firing on all cylinders by this point and Eric brought the house down with his solos. I was worried that this song would be a bit underwhelming after last hearing it performed at Crossroads 2007 with Derek Trucks on slide, but that was anything but the case. Eric made up for the lack of additional guitar firepower by bringing his A-game throughout the entirety of "Tell The Truth." It was truly as good as any of the many versions I've now heard live.

"Tuff Luck Blues" was an outstanding display of Eric's utter virtuosity. He really shines on the slow blues numbers, and this was no exception. He brought out all the tricks and per usual, you could spend hours analyzing his playing on these slow blues and still miss countless details. There's just a tremendous amount of subtlety to much of his playing that is so easily missed given the transient nature of the medium, and again, it was all on display here. His vocals on this tune in particular were noteworthy as well. A slower blues number at this point in the set might have been lost somewhat on the crowd if not for such an outstanding vocal performance that brought out the uncontrollable smiles that come when you know something truly great just happened.

"I Shot The Sheriff" was nothing short of outstanding. I am at a loss for words, as I always seem to be after Eric does this tune. Again, tension and release. One thing I really love about seeing Eric as the only guitarist in the band is his tendency to do a lot more "exploring" while playing the role of "rhythm guitarist." While we all know how great of a lead guitarist he is, his outstanding touch and sensibilities for rhythm playing is oftentimes overlooked. It was impossible to overlook last night, especially on this tune. What's utterly stunning about his playing is how loose it can feel at times, yet his timing is always impeccable. He never misses a beat despite a great deal of manipulation and reinterpretation in his rhythm playing. But the solo...the solo was brilliant and brought the crowd to its feet. Again, and again, tension and release. I took a video of the solo and I keep listening back, and I just sit in awe of his mastery. His sheer confidence that allows him to take things slow when less confident players throw everything and the kitchen sink in right out of the gate is a large part of what makes Eric Clapton so great. He built and built and built on that solo and the very second he turned things over and went all in, the crowd exploded to their feet with cheers and clapping that would last to the final downbeat of the tune. Truly an outstanding version of this song and certainly a highlight of the show. I could repetitively go on and on about how great it was, but by the time I say "it was just outstanding" for the third or fourth time, any Eric fan is going to know the almost speechless brilliance I am referring to well, so moving on...

Heading into the sit-down acoustic set, Eric told us that it was a big day for the band, as it was their last show before heading off for "holiday." He also said it was a "fitting place to end as I've been playing here for 40 years" and "we'll be back soon." Those last words were good to hear considering he often has more to say about taking time off or slowing down. From purely a musical perspective, there is no need for it. Eric can still play with anyone. No doubt about it.

But anyways, "Driftin'" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" were fairly standard readings, highlighted by Eric's great acoustic playing and vocals. The real gem of this set though was "I've Got a Rock and Roll Heart." What an absolutely pleasant surprise. I don't know who brought it up for the T-Mobile commercial, but what a great call. This was one of the most fun crowd moments of the night as everyone sang along. It was one of those perfect summer moments where again, those "uncontrollable smiles" break out along with the great groove that had everyone moving. I never would have imagined this song being such a satisfying live number, but it delivered on a pure fun level that is impossible to resist.

"Layla" was fine as far as the acoustic version is concerned, and many in the crowd seemed to love it. Again, I think it's fine, but I prefer the electric version. Eric's solo was quite nice though. "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful" closed out the acoustic set, and it was another nice addition that was a bit of a surprise. It wasn't as well received as some of the other tunes in the acoustic set, but I think much of that had to do with the set running longer than many likely expected with five full songs complete with multiple solos. It was still a nice set though, and entirely pleasant and fitting for such a beautiful summer evening. But...we were ready to rock again!

"Badge" was rock music. Eric lit this one up. I was shocked at how "big" it sounded compared to other tours with bigger bands and more guitarists. It speaks to the power of Eric's playing when he has to cover a lot more ground, because "Badge" sounded huge. It was powerful and his main solo was nothing short of great. The crowd was really into this one which is no surprise. "Wonderful Tonight" appeared next and Eric continued to "explore" and "reinterpret" his playing which I personally found very refreshing. It was nice to be surprised at every turn on a song that oftentimes is among the most predictable of the set. "Before You Accuse Me" was another fiery, powerful blues number given a standard treatment, but again, with a great deal of gusto. Eric nor the band was holding anything back at this point and it made for a very, very satisfying experience.

"Little Queen Of Spades" has become a staple "Blues in C" number, and for no small reason. Much like "Tuff Luck Blues," for as brilliant as Eric's guitar playing is on this one, his vocals are almost equally as brilliant. It goes without saying that Eric delivered outstanding guitar work, but as it has been largely ignored thus far, Chris Stainton and Walt Richmonds solos were also great on this tune, as they were on many others. The final solo from Eric was as great of blues playing as I've heard from him at any point in time. Again, it is unbelievable how strong of a player he still is at this point in his career. When the guy wants to go, he can go, and there are very, very few guys out there who could dream of keeping up. Aside from the pure fire he's capable of delivering, it's really his style that puts him over the top.

"Cocaine" was another tune that sounded surprisingly "big" despite the smaller band. The crowd helped out on the vocals throughout the tune and Chris Stainton hit on a solo that was smoking. I would say Stainton was the highlight of this tune, and it was a really great highlight. Again, the "uncontrollable smiles" were utterly and completely uncontrollable as he dug deeper and deeper into his solo running up and down the keys with a fury. It was wildly entertaining and a great main set closer as usual. The encore of "Crossroads" was no surprise at this point, but what a great version it was. Ultimately, it was a fairly standard version, but that by no means minimizes the performance. The fact of the matter is that "fairly standard" ultimately means "exceedingly outstanding as usual" in this case. Solos from Stainton and Richmonds were great, and Eric's playing off those solos to finish out the show was definitely a great final highlight.

As for gear, he played his Daphne Blue Sig Strat for all the electric numbers, looked like a single Fender Tweed Twin amp mic'd with a condenser and an SM57 along with the Leslie, standard Crybaby wah and Leslie control switch. I thought I heard a fuzz pedal of all things at one point briefly but he was probably just hitting the amp hard with the midboost at just the right frequency. For the acoustic numbers, he played a Martin sig rigged into the standard Avalon U5 instrument DI

I didn't mention much about the rest of the band, but everyone was on their A-Game. It almost goes without saying that Steve Gadd and Willie Weeks are going to be brilliant, perfect, outstanding, phenomenal, on and on...they are legends in their own right. Michelle John and Sharon White did their thing and they did it well.

All in all, it was a great performance from a legendary singer, guitarist and songwriter who is still every bit the legend he has always been. Eric Clapton has shown no signs of slowing down, and hopefully he stays true to his words and returns back to Detroit soon. We'll gladly welcome him whenever he's ready to go again!


Review by Bruce Kahn
The spaceship Clapton lifted off from Pine Knob tonight (i.e. DTE Energy Music Theatre) and took more than 15,000 fans for the ride with him. It was the first time in nearly 20 years that E.C. played this outdoor venue and he was no doubt into giving the Detroit audience a show unlike any they have ever witnessed. From the opening riffs of "Going Down Slow", Clapton fans could tell that this would be a night worth waiting for. It more than made up for the shows in past years here that he set his speed on auto-pilot and cruised through the evening. Clapton told the crowd that it was fitting that he ended the brief tour here, since he has been playing Detroit for over 40 years. He also said he would "see you again real soon" which would lead those in the venue to believe that another visit was coming shortly. If that stop is anything like tonight's, he may want to think about playing more than one date in the Motor City. On this evening, he put himself into that zone that proved to those in attendance that he can still bring it and go head to head with any guitar slinger out there. This one rates as one of the top three performances I've ever seen of his.


Review by Gary Miller
What a show. I have been to many Clapton concerts and I think this was the best. His playing has somehow gotten better with age. The setting is beautiful and the night was wonderful.

Daltrey came out and was just amazing. His performance was very powerful and moving. He had a great band backing him up.

Then, Clapton came out and just blew the crowd away. He was superb. The song selection was perfect. His playing was flawless. As a guitar player, I can appreciate what he does and the fact that he does it with a minimal amount of equipment. His passion for the music always shines through and especially this night. He plays with fire, subtlety, superb phasing, screaming highs and beautiful lows. His vocals were better than ever. What a performance. As a player, I really appreciate the fact that he gives all the players in the band a chance to shine. He realizes that a band is a collection of players that contribute to the overall sound and each members contribution is essential to that success. I know that every time I see him I can count on a great band being with him and they will all get to shine. In closing worth every penny I paid for the ticket and if Eric comes back so will I. Best guitar lesson I ever had.