Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton– keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
01. Going Down Slow
02. Anything For Your Love
03. Key To The Highway
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
07. Lay Down Sally
08. Not Dark Yet
09. Anytime For You
10. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
12. Little Queen of Spades
13. Before You Accuse Me
14. Wonderful Tonight
16. Crossroads (encore)
First of 11 shows at the Royal Albert Hall. Last night is 31 May 2009.
Review by Steve Ghost
Always great to Eric on stage but it was a case of the same old blues. No fireworks, no surprises just great guitar playing. The acoustic version of Layla was a disappointment and the novelty of Tim Carmon's keyboard solos have long since diminished. Highlights of the show were Key To The Highway, Old Love and Andy Fairweather Low's solo on Cocaine. Come on Eric, spice it up a bit please.
Review by Nadja T. / Bonau, Switzerland
The performance on 16 May was strong, highlights for me where "Going Down Slow", "Old Love", "I Shot the Sheriff", "Lay Down Sally", "Not Dark Yet", "Somewhere over the Rainbow", "Little Queen of Spades" and "Cocaine".
The first night of the RAH shows was good with EC is great form. He used his standard Fender Strat, a Martin for 2 songs and a Gibson for 3 songs.
"Old Love" sounded fantastic if only Tim's solo has remained where he started it and not drifting off into the high-pitched notes. In "I Shot the Sheriff", Tim played on the Hammond sounding great with EC's blistering solos making this a standout together with "Little Queen of Spades".
EC said a few words before he launched into an acoustic version of "Layla". "Lay Down Sally" sounded like a wonderful Western guitar fest. "Not Dark Yet" is growing on me fast as a masterful version of this Dylan song. "Somewhere over the Rainbow" was performed as this song should be performed forget all other versions that are out there EC nails it every time with the right rhythm, arrangement and singing.
Up came "Badge" that had the audience clapping at the second bridge causing EC to smile with Tim doing his antics and getting even more smiles from EC. "Little Queen" was a breathtaking version with EC taking charge. "Before you Accuse" me came full throttle after "Little Queen" with EC (3), Chris, AFL and Tim soloing. "Wonderful Tonight" sounded surprisingly fresh and concise with licks not heard often before in this song. "Cocaine" as another standout was mind-blowing, especially with AFL starting his solo without the Wah-Wah and then extending his solo to include the Wah-Wah effect with Chris and Tim also soloing. "Crossroads" as a staple song was the encore with EC and Tim soloing.
Review by Simon Maddocks
The first song of the set, "Going Down Slow" set the tone for the concert with EC playing some very superb solos with his usual fluidity. Having read a few reviews of his earlier shows and remembering reports that traditionally his first nights at the RAH aren't always the most relaxed and 'on the button' affairs, it was exciting to see and hear and boded well for the rest of the gig.
Highlights for me were "I Shot The Sheriff", "Little Queen Of Spades", and "Cocaine" on which Chris Stainton's and AFL's solos were both outstanding. Special mention has to go to "Old Love" which in my opinion had to be one of the most exceptional solos that I've ever seen or heard from EC - it had fire, emotion, a beautiful structure, and that wonderful inexplicable something which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention and makes you smile without even realising. I thought Tim Carmon's solo in "Old Love" was also good, but agreeing with other reviewers, by the end of the concert (especially "Cocaine" and "Crossroads") I was truly hoping that his solos would finish before they'd even begun if only to save our ears from more Casio keyboardesque twiddling and in order to give EC another opportunity to solo instead.
Downside to the concert, I felt, was the acoustic set - not that the playing was bad or the song choice dull, rather that it really brought down the excitement and atmosphere that EC had spent the first half of the show building up; by the end of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" I was struggling a little not to doze off, such was the laid back feel. I know lots of fans want to hear the acoustic work but for me, unless EC's playing acoustic blues then the intensity isn't quite there and he slips back towards the lounge band feel of the Reptile tour. It was a minor blip in an otherwise interesting and diverse set list. That said, it was good to hear "Lay Down Sally" dusted down and brought back.
All in all it was a strong performance - not quite reaching the heights of the guitar-fest of the 2006 tour, but excellent nonetheless.
Review by Lauri Cristiana / Rome, Italy
The opening night showed Eric at his best, the sound was amazing and fluent and Eric's committment was 100% pure.
From "Going Down Slow", where Eric's started with absolute energy, to the very well done "I Shot The Sheriff" ... many were surprised by the acoustic version of "Layla", but I enjoyed this version a lot! A special mention to "Not Dark Yet", I think Eric covered it with such a personal touch that i liked pretty much this version than the original.
In every single song he showed us the passion and the committment that he always put in singing and playing, but that night he was giving us really the best...so I am wondering: why someone cared about the way of dressing etc!?
Eric's music was pure and passionate! In "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" his sound was delicate and he touched me.
Through the songs, like other reviewers said, the solos were important and amazing! Talking about the final songs: "Wonderful Tonight", "Cocaine" and "Crossroads", the rythm and the fun were going higher and higher from the band side and from the audience side. Edpecially "Cocaine" was inspiring almost everyone, clapping, dancing and singing!
I must also say that I appreciated very much Andy Fairweather Low's solos, but all the band was fantastic!
The atmosphere was that of a very comfortable living, thanks to the venue, but also to the honest and pure music that Eric and his band played for us. Well, passion was in The Music that night, so the show was simply great!
Thanks to Eric and the band because you touched my heart (and not just mine, I guess)!
Welcome Back Andy – The Royal Albert Hall London 16th & 17th May 2009 (No label - 4 CD)