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
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Little Wing
07. Outside Woman Blues
08. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
09. Running On Faith
10. Motherless Children
11. Little Queen Of Spades
12. Further On Up The Road
13. Wonderful Tonight
15. Cocaine (encore)
16. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by Shaun Hague
Hollywood may be filled with some of the best musicians in the world, but they all got schooled tonight when Eric Clapton took the stage. It was a beautiful, warm night at the Staples Center... and it was ROCKING!!!
The night began with Robert Cray and his band. Robert is without a doubt, one of the best blues players out today. One of the few guitarists who does not use distortion, he gets some amazing tones from that Fender Strat. The crowd showed up early to give their respects to such a legendary artist and Robert provided some great entertainment. He played a tasteful set for about 40 minutes and then dotted off (although we would see him again later).
Lights go down, crowd roars...CLAPTON!!! I have seen Eric five times since his 1998 Pilgrim tour and the man just gets better every time. Joining him for this tour were smoking guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Allman Brother, Derek Trucks. Talk about triple threat guitar work, this was on FIRE! Eric started out the night doing a sweet set of Domino tunes, really dipping into his past repertoire. "Tell The Truth", "Anyday" and the Hendrix cover "Little Wing" made you feel like you were seeing Eric back in 1970.
Following the 'Derek is Eric' part of the show, Clapton slowed it down with some unplugged gems. "Driftin' Blues", how I have waited to hear this song live... Eric hasn't done this one since the mid 70's. Next camr a stripped down Cream song, " Outside Woman Blues". I thought it was really great to see him do a heavy blues song and turn it into a nice acoustic number. Also included in this set, was the melodic "Runnin' On Faith"..very well done!
Now, back to the rock and roll... Eric and hs guitar army came out strong with 461 Ocean Blvds' "Motherless Children". All three guitarists played the opening riff and slide part too, what a sound. Derek Trucks played some really excellent slide guitar in the moments he got to solo. This guy has some real taste and is a spawn of Duane Allman for sure. Doyle also played some great stuff and always looks cool up on stage. Eric of course, was magnifcent as always. Althouh he has recently said his guitar playing is slowing down, I disagree. I feel that he is THE guitar player up on that stage and no one else can step foot in his shoes. His voice and guitar are always right on the money and you cannot help but shake your head in amazement every time he finishes a solo.
Finally, the night came to a close with Mr. Cray Joining Mr. Clapton for a rousing version of Robert Johnson's "Cross Roads". Tonight, the "city of angels" was taken over by God and his apostles...and what a night it was!
Review by Al Beck
I attended Clapton's concert last night March 14th 2007 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, AMAZING and solid. Eric has still got it. The back up band was great, a cast of players that could blow the room off any place. The acoustic set was way cool, the sound was excellent. Everyone had a great time, my hats off to you Eric, your a legend and will always be.
Review by Cynthia Dawn
Okay, I am really sorry, but I have to disagree with all of you, with all due respect. I am as big a fan of EC as anyone. I have seen him more times than I can count. This is the fourth time just on this tour. This was the worst Clapton concert I have ever been to. Because I have seen him so many times over such a long period (I am old) I have very high expectations --I KNOW what he is capable of. He is the BEST there is. That is why I was so disappointed.
First, the sound was awful. That wasn't his fault, something was wrong with the acoustics and the sound system. I would never go back to the Staples center. It the bass was up to high and nothing was clear. Also, I hated the song set -- again, that is MY problem. I wasn't fond of the set list when I saw the concert last fall, but it's changed a bit and for the worse I thought. I know many will disagree.
But, how can anyone think this was EC at his best? His voice was gone -- he was struggling so much, he couldn't hit the notes and mostly talked the lyrics instead of singing them. He has been on this tour for a long time, so it makes sense that he would be tired. I don't believe for one second that he doesn't have it in him -- I know he does -- just not tonight. Much of what I love is the deep, intense soul in his voice and that wasn't there.
Some complain that he looks "bored" sometimes. I have learned -- after so many concerts -- that it is generally not the case, he is just internalizing. But tonight, HE LOOKED BORED. It seemed he was just going through the motions. And, as in previous shows on this tour, I have felt it was too much of Derek and Doyle and not enough EC. Yes, they are EXCELLENT, no question. But he seems so eager to pass the baton that it makes me sad. I don't buy that he is slowing down. I know he still has it in him. Besides, it's not just the fancy guitar licks, he provides the whole package. It's his voice, his playing and his depth. Ever heard "I Want A Little Girl" from One More Car One More Rider? He barely plays, but the blues take over and he is awesome. I guess, if you are not a fan of his blues, tonight's concert would have been better for you than me.
Little Queen of Spades was great (except for the vocals). Further On Up the Road was excellent too. Other than that, I have seen much better. I don't think most people will agree with me. They all seemed to be wowed by his every move. I don't get it.
I will ALWAYS pay (a lot) to see him, no matter what. He is the best there is and he has NO competition. That is why I expect more.
Review by Scott Wallenberg
A fantastic show! My observations.
I sat in VIP tier loge right side. Surprisingly good mix from where I was sitting except they could have pushed the bass up higher as The Steve Jordan-Willie Weeks drum-bass combo is by far the best I have heard for Eric since Duck Dunn and Jamie Oldaker. They really drove the band to new heights. I wish that Derek Trucks had cut loose as much as he does with the Allman Brothers band in terms of volume and tone as it seemed like he was holding back at times.
Doyle pulled out a Les Paul for one number and really had a great blues breaker tone. very interesting rendition of Crossroads as encore. Willie Weeks played 3 different rhythm riffs which Steve Jordan picked up on and really cooked. Can't wait for the DVD which was filmed at San Diego on 3-15!!!!
Review by Christian
Well, what can I say? The show was mind blowing!!!! Robert came out just blowing that reverb and notes flying left and right. After he played I could tell the crowd was getting anxious for GOD to come bring the house down, and that's just what he did. I have to say that Eric gave alot of space to everyone playing on stage with him. And Derek Trucks was AMAZING on slide!!!!! As far as the set for me was great and loved that he played alot of Domino tunes. This is what I have waited for so many years and it was worth the wait!! And when he played Motherless Children and Got To Get Better In a Little While it took be back to the Fillmore days. And the opening son Tell The truth was well only one word can describe it....WOW!!!! His sit down time he had with crowd was awsome as well. He layed with such ease and turned Outside Woman Blues into something from out of this world. Although for me the show was 110% , I still think he should have added at least 3 more to his set. "I shot the sheriff"-"Why does love got to be so sad?"- and "Let it rain". The city was flying last night. GOD was in town!!!!!!!!!
Review by Dennis Schell
A warm winter's evening in Los Angeles was about to grow absolutely hot ... Robert Cray is a top drawer talent: The man is a superb guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His 40 minute set that opened for E.C. was a treat - no flash, no overdone â€œproduction valuesâ€, just extreme talent that was professionally presented.
The crowed roared when Eric and the band walked onto the stage, and E.C. and Co. immediately launched into Tell The Truth. I have always thought of this song as an understated but tasty gem, but the band made it absolutely mesmerizing despite it's relaxed tempo. The energy in the house could have run the P.A. system. E.C. left the solos to Doyle and Derek, and the band proceeded into the rest of the first set of songs. Got To Get Better showed E.C.'s under-appreciated funky side, and Little Wing caught the crowd's attention (though nothing will ever top the Clapton-is-God rendition from the 1997 DVD of E.C. and Friends at Madison Square Garden when David Sanborn and Sheryl Crow were on stage). Anyday is a great song made better by Michelle and Sharon's strong backing vocals - those girls are perfect for their role.
The sit down set really came alive at Running on Faith, and Motherless Children was the perfect choice to return to an electric set with 3 expert slide players wailing away in lockstep pitch. Wow! Little Queen of Spades showcased the enormous amount of talent on the stage (Wow!), then Eric finally stepped up and dominated the proceedings and showed why he is in a class by himself. I would have said wow again, but I was speechless from Eric's solo. Now THAT is the musician I've have been enthralled with for 42 years Further On Up The Road featured some ridiculously clean, articulate, yet hard-as-nails tone that only Clapton can produce. Just how in the world can he get that tone from his fingers when the millions of the rest of the electric guitarists the world over simply cannot?
Predictably, Wonderful Tonight was well accepted, but I thought Layla got progressively sloppier sounding with Derek's over-playing the number of notes he was cramming into his slide solo. The song is classic to the point of sacred, and it should sound majestic and tasteful - not pushed past the point of evoking the emotional release that the greatest music can provide.
The encore consisted of Cocaine and Crossroads with great moments from everyone on stage. Robert Cray returning to duet with Eric (and E.C.'s solo on Little Queen) is the stuff that you should expose to your children and teach them to appreciate. I have been a monster fan of Eric's since I was a kid, and I have listened to his music to help me both celebrate by rocking out, and to feel despair and loneliness. He talks of Robert Johnson's music gripping him so, that the hairs stood up on the back of his neck. Eric's music, and the many extreme ups and downs of his life, have been a life-long sounding board for my emotions. For me, music is the best vehicle to articulate all feelings--well beyond the spoken and down to the primal level where words fail. I have closely related to some of the things Eric has gone through, and in a very private way, he has been my best friend for most of my lifeâ€”even though we will never meet. I expect him to play like his is capable of doing, but these days his passion and intensity has been tempered by repetition, finally finding personal happiness, and age. He looked bored at times last night, and a past reviewer mentioned that he doesn't have to be doing this given his status and wealth, so I understand that he would have to compete with himself to be any better. Sometimes he's God, other times he is merely the best musician in the crowd.
Doyle frustrates me - one minute he looks like nothing special at all, then the next minute he rips out some fine sounds. Derek is indeed The Second Coming, his slide work is unmatched but that gets repetitive in the blues format, but I enjoyed his finger-playing more, as it is also stellar. No matter, Derek is going to huge, and I am excited about watching him become a real star.
I look forward to seeing E.C. again tonight in my hometown of San Diego, and I expect J.J. Cale to show up since he lives in the area. Cray, Trucks, Cale, and Clapton?? The current radio/I pod generation has NO IDEA what they are growing up missing. Pity, meanwhile, I thank the gods for lending us one of their own.