Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
David Sancious – keyboards / guitar / vocals
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
Nathan East – bass / vocals
Steve Gadd – drums
01. Key To The Highway
03. Got You On My Mind
04. Tears In Heaven
06. Bell Bottom Blues
07. Change The World
08. My Father's Eyes
09. River Of Tears
10. Going Down Slow
11. She's Gone
12. I Want A Little Girl
14. Hoochie Coochie Man
15. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
17. Wonderful Tonight
19. Sunshine Of Your Love (encore)
20. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (encore)
Opening night of the final leg of Eric's Reptile World Tour.
Review by Jii Aoi
Since the day one at the RAH in February, the voices of skepticism about the nature of what is supposed to be Eric's final world tour have been heard from EC aficionados around the world. This negative perception was particularly felt vividly over here in Japan, as it seemed to be a revamped version of the Japanese Pilgrim show in November, 1999, which was, in many's opinion, the definitive form of the tour (if you see the broadcasted Yokohama show, Nov. 24, you know what I mean). And I was among the doubting hordes.
Once the show started, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it, to my utter surprise. Yes, the setlist is almost the same as the second leg of the US tour in summer as well as the South American tour in October with the only addition of the unplugged "Layla" which I have to say is hardly a surprise. And yes, there are so many classics you've ever heard so many times before to death. However, the omission of the female back singers and the adoption of the double keyboards (played by David Sancious and Greg Phillinganes, respectively) have brought the band ensemble in a vast change. The overall sound has changed, the same old songs sound different now. To my ears, they sounded like Eric Clapton & The Band, rather than His Band, on more than one occassion.
Being another "Wonderful Tonight" hater myself, I was surprised to find that I liked, was even facsinated by, the semi-reggae version of the song. The electric "Layla" was literally electric this time--with Sancious playing a third guitar, "Layla" exploded in the house, the massive wall of sound overwhelming the audience of 12,000. The tougher, heavier and louder performance has cirtainly elevated one of the most overexposed classic rock songs to something more than a crowd pleaser. Both were perfect examples of rejuvination.
The first night was great. They played two hours and ten minutes, performing twenty songs in all. Through the entire electric set, Eric played the newly introduced multicoloured Strat, the second of this kind which was different from the one he had used on most of the previous dates of the tour.
The audience was fairly refrained for Osaka, where punters are generally thought to be more responding than those of Tokyo. However, "Cocaine" gave a shot (no pun intended) to them, those on the ground floor getting to their feet. From "Layla" onward, almost all the rest on the tiers joined them, coming to the heated end.
The opinions were varied. Generally speaking, those who saw the Reptile show the first time around (including me) uttered the words of praise, while some others who'd already been abroad to witness the oversea dates, especially the brilliant shows at the MSG in New York, made complaints, mumbling that Eric's play wasn't on all the time tonight. Well, there's one in every crowd.
The Final Chapter – The Complete Japan Tour 2001 (EC Is Here DJ Copy – 32 CD)
Leave Here Running (E&C World Star – ECWS1-1119 – 2 CD)