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*
02. I Shot The Sheriff
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love*
05. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
06. Motherless Children
07. Back Home
08. I Am Yours
09. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
10. Running On Faith
11. After Midnight
12. Little Queen Of Spades
13. Further On Up The Road
14. Wonderful Tonight
17. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by Rick
I just got back from the Eric Clapton concert in St. Louis. What can I say, it exceeded my expectations and Wow! what a jam! The set was the same as in St. Paul. I have seen Clapton three times and I believe he was better or at least as good as any other time I have seen him, partly because of the great band he had with him. An amazing amount of guitar solos. I was impressed the Eric gave so much time to the others. They all looked like they were having a good time.
The sound quality was very good and not too loud. I read other reviews that said the sound was bad in other locations. The Scottrade Center (formerly Savvis Center) seemed to have good acoustics, every note seemed clear and all the words were understandable. I was not overly impressed with the backdrop and the light show, but I don't think people go to a Clapton concert for the light show.
Robert Cray opened and I enjoyed his set. I haven't listened to him in a few years and found his tunes very refreshing. Good lead on for Clapton and the band. Cray played some nice bluesy tunes and his voice was great. He showed up during Clapton's set on Old Love and Crossroads.
Clapton opened with a lot of energy bringing the crowd to its feet through the first few songs. The first three songs were almost done as a medley running directly from one to another without missing a beat. I sat on the floor about 30 rows back. I am not usually a floor person, but could see most of the stage whether standing or sitting so it was pretty good. The video screens were very clear and the camera men did a fantastic job of getting right in there on the frets.
The thing that amazed me the most about the concert was the number of solos. It seemed every song had at least a couple people doing solos and many songs had most of the band doing solos. Besides Clapton, I was most impressed with Derek Trucks. I found myself waiting for his solos and I could tell the rest of the crowd did as well. His slide was as good as I have heard. He always received a lot of applause. He makes it look so easy. He seemed to know just how much to add to enhance the jam. Even on the slow, acoustic set, the background slide was really nice without being overpowering.
I was least impressed with Doyle Bramhall. It seemed like a lot of his solos were off. Maybe he was just having a bad night. But there were a couple where he found the groove and complimented Clapton well. The keyboardists were great, both did a few solos. I especially liked the piano solo on Layla.
My favorite tunes were Old Love (with Robert Cray), Motherless Children, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, Running On Faith, and of course the final four... Wonderful Tonight, Layla, Cocaine, and the Encore - Crossroads. Layla was awesome, with some changes thrown into the solos. The overlay by Derek Trucks really added to the haunting melodies the tune is known for. I noticed there were many variations thrown in the old tunes I had never heard before which really blew me away. The crowd was great holding a deafening applause for several minutes prior to the encore. Crossroads was a great finale, the four guitarists took turns with solos then layered on top of each other. Very nice!
As usual, there were a few standers in the crowd during the sitdown set which caused a little ruckus, but an usher handled it very well by allowing them to move to the front on the side so they wouldn't block others.
It was a great, great concert. So much awesome guitar playing! Sometimes I just had to stop and close my eyes and take it all in. Clapton spun another magical night. It is unbelievable he is over 60. His voice was strong and although he never talked to the crowd except for an initial hello, he seemed to be enjoying himself. If you get a chance to catch this tour - do it!
Review by Brian Kunz
Wow, what a show! I'm wondering if Eric worked out a deal with Father Time, he's got the energy on stage of someone half his age and is playing fabulously. Robert Cray was fantastic as the opener, and his work with Eric was wonderful as well. I'm looking forward to hearing his new live album. Derek and Doyle are impressive, and their solo work is top notch. When the lineup was first announced I was disappointed that Andy Fairweather-Low wasn't on the tour, but these guys rock. The drums are loud and right on, and the keyboards sounded darn good. We screamed for more after the encore(Crossroads), and it's always sad when the house lights come back on. I loved it all, but if I had one request it would be to have a bit more slow/bluesy mixed in (perhaps "Have you ever Loved a Woman", or "I Want a Little Girl"). Just like I've been reading from other tour stops, Eric's guitar and vocals sound better than ever. Chicago, here they come!!!
Review by Valerie Badgley
Superb concert last night! I loved the extra bluesy focus and the awesome band. Derek was phenomenal. Robert Cray is always the best.
Eric and gang seemed to be having a great time jamming and we loved it! Eric, thanks for always making it to St Louis when you are on tour in the U.S.
Review by Ron Smid
Hello-just wanted to mention to the rest of the US tour viewers GET READY FOR A HELL OF A SHOW!!!! A little bit of acoustic, a little bit of the blues, a little bit of a jam band , a little bit of electric and a lot of a tight knit group of professional individuals. Our group started out a couple of blocks away at the Hard Rock Cafe for a couple of pre-game refreshments.
It was nice to see the Hard Rock had Eric's DVD unplugged show on all the TV's to get everyone in the mood. The show started right at 7:30pm so people missed a very good individual with his band, Robert Cray who played for about 40 minutes. The stage was set and Eric played for about 2 hours including 18 songs starting with Pretending and ending with Crossroads.
Robert Cray came on stage for a few numbers. Besides "Slow-Hand" doing his thing on stage, the thing I like/enjoy about Eric is that he lets everyone else do their thing on a individual basis in front of the crowd. Jordan on drums, Weeks on bass and Trucks and Bramhall on guitars was else can you want - keyboards and back-up vocals were great!!! Like I said before - the rest of this 2006 US tour GET READY FOR A VERY ENJOYABLE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!
Review by Robert O. Weagley
My wife and I saw Slowhand last night in St. Louis. Duane Allman would have been proud of Derek Trucks and we were thrilled by the guitar performances. I dare say that this may be the best blues guitar tour ever and, yes, in years past, I've have seen Duane and Jimi.
Review by Kevin Sullivan
It was a reunion! Does anyone remember Steve Jordan drumming behind Clapton at the Hail, Hail Rock and Roll show, 20 years ago at the Fox? Who was in attendance last night, at least partly, to see Derek Trucks again after the Allman Brothers show in St. Louis a year ago? Eric Clapton and Robert Cray have toured together and supported each other in the past, and St. Louis has always been there for each of them. Last night was no exception. Both blues men were in fine form and the assembly of old and new friends made for a memorable show. Doyle Bramhall ran with the big dogs and kept up with the pack. Derek the Dexterous satisfied slide fans with an unmistakable southern accent peaking through from time to time. Cray is just irrepressible as a showman and reminded us how much energy could be found in the old chestnut "Crossroads". Eric Clapton has put together a show, a reunion of sorts, including many fans who obviously have shared other evenings with Slow Hand and the gang, that represents the state of the art in blues and rock guitar, from ballads to reggae to rock and roll. Must see....
Review by Marsha Smitherman
I'm struck, as always, by Eric's musical courage. It doesn't bother him at all, apparently, to surround himself with brilliant guitarists. He does it all the time--with Buddy Guy at Concert for New York, for example. In St. Louis, we saw Derek Trucks doing serious solo work even on "Layla," Doyle Bramhall's strong guitar work, and Robert Cray, who is blindingly brilliant on the guitar and a very, very strong vocalist even taking the opening vocals on the encore, "Crossroads." Part of the Clapton experience for his fans, in St. Louis, as always, is that he is delighted to treat us to phenomenal performances by people other than just himself. He plays well with other musicians, and we invariably benefit from the effort.
Eric is constantly rethinking and reinventing his own music, dragging lost classics out of his footlocker ("I Am Yours," for instance, and "Got to Get Better in a Little While"), as well as retooling the ones everyone expects to hear at every concert--this time with a stronger-than-ever blues feel. Eric's vocals remain very powerful, he's pushed his guitar work forward a few notches, and he continues to live up to his goal to keep getting better.
To me, there's also courage in working with a new band--although he has history with each of these musicians, of course, working without the background of long-time (like 20 years long) band members Andy Fairweather Low and Nathan East (and of course with the loss of Billy Preston) has to be challenging. Everyone lived up to the challenge, of course, and the advantage to a new band is a new sound, so those of us who have been listening for a while all saw something we could not have anticipated.
Eric still knows how to throw a great party, and I'm delighted to have been there. Eric's a born teacher with the life mission of being sure that if there's great music out there, we all get to hear it. St. Louis was no exception.
Review by Susan - Lebanon, IL
My husband and I went to the StL concert last night and were blown away! It has been a long time since we attended a rock concert and we truly were not disappointed. I couldn't sit still and kept moving and dancing through the whole concert. The musicians were unbelievable! We were so impressed with Derek Trucks, the bass guitarist, and the pony tailed keyboardist. There was so much talent on one stage. Robert Cray's blues was a great way to get the party started. We could have sat there all night and listened to these accomplished musicians.
Review by MJC - Chicago, IL
I saw EC's show in St. Louis last night and HE BURNED THE PLACE DOWN !! Both his vocals & guitar playing are as strong as ever. The band is excellent, with Doyle Bramhall & Derek Trucks pushing EC to play at an inspired level. He compliments their playing beautifully in one instant, and in the next instant he blows them away with chops that demonstrate why he is the undisputed master. When you add Robert Cray to the mix for a few songs, you've got some serious guitar power on stage.
Even if you've seen EC in concert many times (like me), do not sit this one out. This is a fantastic show, with a fantastic band, and EC playing at his best. Don't miss it. I was fortunate enough to see EC play the Chicago Stadium in the late 70's with Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, & Johnny Winter. Last night's show in St. Louis is a close second to that show for the best EC concert I've ever seen. Get off your butt and go to the show. You'll thank me later.
Review by Bill Hayes
We went to the St Louis show on Monday night. The show overall was well presented . Eric Clapton allowed space for the others and as usual appears to enjoy himself as the others take center stage. I havenâ€™t seen any references to the drummer Steve Jordan, he was fantastic. The singers Michelle and Sharon and organist Tim Carmon sounded like a large choir on various songs, and especially so on Running on Faith. The band played Motherless Children from 461 Ocean Blvd and the slide playing by Eric and Doyle sounds right on the money.
Eric played his usual style of solos and riffs. Derek Trucks played his red SG and his slide playing was effortless. His Layla piece was not on the money. On some songs, it seemed that Derek just would start to get wound up and then his turn was over. Doyle Bramhall's left handed upside down play , still looks awkward but it works, as he is still out there with EC. He seems to struggle at starting his solos, but did finish strongly on a couple of songs. He played a telecaster, his sunburst Strat, a white Strat and a flamed Les Paul. Too bad we didn't get to hear more of each. Most of the songs had a rhythmic beat and were easy to dance with. All in all it was a very good concert . I like Robert Cray, but I him better playing in the band. During his bands performance his guitar sound was soft. When he came to play with the EC band it was full and rich. He can play guitar. All in all it was a very good concert.
Review by Robert Foster
I went to the show in St Louis with high hopes; I left a humbled man. EC and company far exceeded my expectations. The show began promptly; once started, the party continued without interruption, except for the set change between bands and the pause before the encore.
The quality of the acoustics in the Scottrade Center surprised me, and did not disappoint. The climatic environment in this venue was the best of any concert I have ever been to; temperature and humidity were perfect - Mother Nature was in full glory this evening. The seating was comfortable; the venue worked well. Everything clicked and fell into place, setting the stage for a memorable evening.
I was hoping to be able to pick up a copy of the new EC / JJ Cale CD; it was not on sale yet (Note from Where's Eric! The EC / JJ Cale CD 'The Road To Escondido' goes on sale 7 November). Of course we did purchase a copy of Robert Cray's 2-CD set titled "LIVE from across the pond", a fine piece of work in and of itself. All the tunes Robert Cray performed this evening during his set are available on this release.
The crowd was an eclectic mix of folks, and was enthusiastic and engaged throughout the performance. The Robert Cray Band opened the show and warmed the crowd with several bluesy tunes. This man is a headliner in his own right; to have him opening for Eric Clapton is a treat like seeing two shows in one. After Robert Cray finished his opening tunes, the set change was fascinating to watch; the crews switched gear in a precise and well orchestrated manner, making for minimal interruption of the entertainment.
When Eric Clapton took the stage, the house erupted in spontaneous applause. The Master proceeded to take his audience on a guided tour of musical ecstasy. Eric has the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age; his guitar skills are as good if not better than ever, his vocals are clear and true - the man is indeed a legend and is THE FORCE to be reckoned with. Add to that the seasoned veterans surrounding him on stage, with guitars everywhere, awesome organs and keyboards, and the backup girls doing their thing in top form, and the night becomes magical.
The entire evening was impressive, but a few things did stand out: First - it appeared that everyone on stage was having fun and truly enjoying themselves, as was the audience. Second - Eric Clapton happily shared the stage with extremely talented musicians, and frequently stepped completely out of the spotlight to allow others to showcase their skills. Third - Eric Clapton allowed Robert Cray to lead the opening of the classic Crossroads for the only encore of the evening - wow!
I am a veteran of many concerts by many artists over the decades, and I must put down for the record that this concert was as good as any I have seen. It was worth every nickel, and I would do it again without a second thought. Highly recommended - do not miss this show!