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10 May 2011 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Odyssey Arena Belfast
United Kingdom
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: 
Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders
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. Still Got The Blues (Gary Moore)
09. Same Old Blues (JJ Cale)
10. When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
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 Graham Collin
My first Clapton concert, having listened and enjoyed his music for 25 years, I certainly wasn't disappointed. Andy Fairweather and his band started proceeedings and did a good job of getting the crowd into the swing of things. Clapton and his impressive band appeared on stage just after 9pm and got immediately into his repertoire of songs. Both keyboard players also performed an integral role with both getting solos in virtually every song. The acoustic session included a tribute to Gary Moore, with his own version of Still Got The Blues, which was very much appreciated by Gary's hometown audience. Clapton's guitar and more noticeably for me his voice where on top form, making every song seem effortless. Like most first time Clapton concert attendee's (it seems), I was taken slightly a back by the total lack of engagement Clapton had with the audience, but if that's his style then fair enough, as on all other fronts he performed superbly.


Review by Nadja Teichert / Bonau, Switzerland
Night two of the current tour was another great performance. Already with Going Down Slow, Eric's solo was excellent. Eric's intro for Old Love and his marvelous solo and Tim Carmon's playing made this song one of the highlights. As always, I Shot the Sheriff never disappoints with all around perfect playing. The very slow version of Driftin' provided ample opportunity to observe Eric's finger-picking. The beautifully striped-down Still got the Blues was a wonderful tribute to Gary Moore. Badge came roaring out to be another highlight and the monster version of Little Queen of Spades lead into Cocaine (Hey, Belfast crowd, where's your voice?). A ripping Crossroads finished the show.


Review by Ivan Preston
I was at last nights concert in Belfast as a guest of the support act, Andy Fairweather Low and The Lowriders. First off Andy and Dave, both of whom both played in EC’s band, with drummer Paul Beavis and Saxophonist Nick ‘Pent’ Pentalow played a storming set. The band was the perfect accompaniment to Andy’s guitar style, giving him the breathing space to make the whole Low Riders set an experience I had hoped would be fantastic and which didn’t disappoint. Each musician brought something to the party, the sum total was first class. At times there was a controlled rawness to it, something which I suspect is difficult to achieve deliberately. The Low Riders did and it fitted the music perfectly. When the band finally finished their set they left to a fantastic reception from the packed venue having won many new friends.

And then it was time for EC and his band. I must admit that whilst I knew I would the gig would be good, what I hadn’t assumed was that the gig would exceed my expectations and would be simply out of this world. What a band....I could go on forever but Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon on various keyboards were simply phenomenal, the combination of Willie Weeks and Steve Gadd was the Ferrari of ‘engine rooms’, backing singers Michelle John and Sharon White were just sublime and EC himself was on blistering form.

The choice of material didn’t disappoint, for me the highlight of the evening was ‘Old Love’ which at times held me spellbound such was the quality of the musicianship. This on it’s own was worth going to the show for.

For many however the highlight of the evening, or one of them at any rate as there were so many, was Eric’s version of Gary Moore’s ‘Still Got The Blues’, which was just gorgeous and poignant, and very much appreciated by the Belfast audience in Gary’s home city. At the end most of the audience was on there feet. If this song was simply included in the Belfast set as a tribute to Gary, I would suggest it’s not forgotten about by EC in the future. Eric’s version was truly beautiful and would be much appreciated by EC fans everywhere, whether diehard Gary Moore fans or not.

There is so much I could say about this show. One thing I would say is that I have been to and thoroughly enjoyed various EC shows over the years. For me this one surpassed the lot and it amazes me for a number of reasons that it did. He may be no spring chicken but take it from me EC is at the top of his game and he and his fantastic band did not disappoint. Anyone whom has a ticket for any future show in the current tour is in for a real treat. Anyone whom is thinking about buying tickets for a future show and hasn’t yet done so, I suggest you get onto it now. You will be glad you did on the night.


Review by Peter Forster
The term 'living legend' is often used to describe modern musicians but rarely is the artist in question worthy of such accolade. Eric Clapton however, is one of those true 'greats' who more than lives up to the billing.

The three time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame arrived in Belfast yesterday, Tuesday 10th May, with his band to play the second night of their Spring Tour in front of a packed audience at the Odyssey Arena.

The 66 year old was at his usual understated best as he belted out classics from throughout his award winning career which has spanned nearly five decades, much to the delight of the crowd.

Clapton's blues-influenced style was much in evidence as he began the set with 'Key to the Highway', followed by the smooth 'Going Down Slow' and Muddy Waters classic 'Hoochie Coochie Man'. After the blues intro, Slowhand then provided the audience with a beautifully melodic rendition of 'Old Love' and raised the tempo somewhat with the reggae charged Bob Marley classic, 'I Shot the Sheriff'.

The success of the MTV Unplugged album released in 1992, highlighted Clapton's mastery of the acoustic guitar and subsequently an acoustic set has been a feature of many of his gigs. During the second part of the concert, his Belfast fans were treated to an intimate acoustic performance of six songs. These included 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out', a tribute to the recently deceased Belfast born guitarist Gary Moore in 'Still Got the Blues' and a reworking of 'Layla' from his Derek and the Dominos days.

The final part of the set was announced as Clapton unleashed a powerful performance of 'Badge' as he relived his psychedelic rock days with Cream. 'Wonderful Tonight' seemed a popular hit with the karaoke brigade, whereas 'Little Queen of Spades' was Clapton paying homage in the best way possible to Robert Johnson, the person who most profoundly influenced his guitar playing style.

The final track 'Cocaine' had a few random members of the audience on their feet, dancing throughout this track - perhaps they were under the influence of more than just the music. A cover of another Robert Johnson classic 'Crossroads' provided the encore and brought to an end a quite memorable night at the Odyssey.

To me, Eric Clapton is coolness personified, his voice has such a depth of emotion and his guitar playing at every level is second to none. Eric Clapton may not be God, but he is without doubt, the epitome of a Living Legend and I feel it a privilege that I was there to witness his greatness in my home town.


Review by Karl Wilson
I really enjoyed EC's latest show at the Odyssey Belfast. I went the last time in 2004 but this was much better because I was right in front of him in the second row. Andy Fairweather Low kicked things off with his Low Riders and he was great, Good banter with the crowd and a good set.

Eric and the band came on after 9pm and kicked into a great set with some great solos from himself, Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon. Steve Gadd was his usual understated brilliant and I'm really starting to dig Willie Weeks, No wonder George Harrison and John Lennon raved about him! The backing singers are fab and compliment EC well (Sharon White is gorgeous!).

I was dissapointed that the set didn't really change from the last show I saw in Dublin 2009 and would have liked to see another guitar player - then we might have got Tell the Truth or Motherless Children (my favourites!). But I have no complaints other than EC's lack of chat between songs! And he and the band walked straight off with no bow?

Highlights were Sheriff, Old Love, Still Got The Blues, Layla, Badge, Wonderful Tonight, Little Queen Of Spades and Crossroads.

Andy had a nice range of guitars: Vox Teardrop, Gibson Semi, Knight Custom and a Martin 000-28EC that sounds great (I wonder was it a gift from Eric?). Eric played the usual Fender custom shop Daphne Blue Strat and his Martin signature model.


Review by Ciaran Hanna
I was at the Belfast concert and although there is no questioning Eric's skill as a guitarist, did Eric know he was actually in Belfast? He didn't seem to say much to the crowd. After the last song he left the stage as quick as Chuck Berry without a word of thanks to the crowd for
coming out to see him, and in my case pay £60 per ticket for the privilege. Maybe this seems bitchy but I own the Robert Johnson and Crossroad Concert DVDs and Eric comes across as being a friendly nice guy with no airs and graces. So what I want to know is not Where's Eric but Where's Eric's manners? I hate the fact that after the concert I feel like this because I think Eric is a beauiful player.


Review by Steve Hughes
I was lucky enough to be at the gig. The support Andy Fairweather was very good although he should have played Gin House instead of some of the Amen Corner tracks.

I have been an Eric fan since the early sixties and have seen him many times. The last time being the Cream reunion at the Albert Hall. If I had died that night having heard them play White Room, I would have been a happy man!

The concert started on time and we where treated to a virtuoso performance by EC. I have to compliment the sound production which was excellent. His set was a mixture of old and new, which included a number of crowd pleasers. For me his version of Badge was immense. I haven't heard him use quite so much feedback and sustain it was brilliant with controlled power.

I do however have some concerns. I thought that the acoustic set was a little to long although Layla brought the house down. My biggest problem was the inclusion of two keyboard players. Eric is well known for handing the stage over to other band members which I understand. However he has said on a number of occasions that he is one of the few guitar players still out there. HIs solos where spine tingling but there should have been more. To me thats why you go to see the great man and I mean no disrespect to the other band members.

A joy to see and worth the £60 ticket price. The man plays with so much feeling, he never overplays and you can lose yourself just listening to the sheer quality of his performance. He is and will always remain God to me.