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28 February 2011 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Rose Garden Arena Portland , OR
United States
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: 
Los Lobos
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. River Runs Deep
09. When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
10. Same Old Blues (song by JJ Cale)
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 Tim Chalmers
What a show! Except for Los Lobos; you've got 3 guitars playing at 11 and it was just a very unfortunate, overly loud, muddy mess. I walked out in order to save my ears for the good stuff. And, oh, was I glad I did. As bad as the acoustics were for Los Lobos, the sound system in that Rose Garden is amazing. We were at the far end of the arena, but we didn't hear any sound lag, or echo, the balance was great and the solo notes were clear.

I really can't add much to what our friends have said about the Seattle and Vancouver, BC shows, except WOW! This was the first time that I had ever been able to hear Eric play live, and I was just in awe. Like a lot of people, I play a little bit of guitar, and I can see what he's doing and hear what he does and understand the music theory, but no, I cannot do it, (although I'm going to try) and think that background amplifies my appreciation and enjoyment. I was just in awe. Sometimes I would almost laugh with delight like a little kid (OK, I'll confess, I'm only a few years younger than Eric and grew up hooked on his music.) I can also appreciate hearing things that he played a little bit differently; some songs that I've heard many times, came across with a slightly different and very sweet flavor. A couple of times the soloing on the organ got a little too much for my poor old ears, but again, I can really enjoy the music and talent.

As for Eric seeming tired, I'd say, not last night. Relaxed, and at ease, and yes, nearly 66! I'd say Eric is Simply Amazing. He started playing at about 8:40 and played and sang with amazing energy until nearly 10:30. The set was the same as Seattle (I was checking the set list on the website on my Blackberry.) But, man, did he make us work before he came back out for the Crossroads encore; but oh man, was it great.


Review by Shawn L / Beaverton, OR
The concert was awesome. EC played a powder blue Fender Strat for the first five songs and the usual Fender Twin Amp. Enjoyed the playing of all the band members on all the songs. Old Love and I Shot The Sheriff were my very favorites of the first five songs. Great guitar solos.

Next EC, sat down to play the next six songs. He played a Martin acoustic and a Gibson electric. My very favorites of those six songs were Driftin - which had some great acoustic blues playing - Nobody Knows You When Your Down And Out and I really enjoyed the sound of When Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful. Chris Stainton played some very nice keyboard / piano.

Then, EC picked up the Fender Strat again for the final six songs. My very favorites here being Badge and Wonderful Tonight. The encore song was Crossroads.

I am 39 and my mom is 69 now and we both enjoy Eric Clapton's music, guitar playing and singing. His band and his support singers were excellent. My mom thought the concert was great and really enjoyed the playing and singing during the whole concert. She just wished they would have added "I've Got A Rock And Roll Heart" but we know that he has a huge selection of his songs to choose from. We did bring earplugs this time to reduce the decibal level some during some songs to protect our ears as the sound can get loud in an arena.

This is the fifth time attending an Eric Clapton concert for us since 1998. Four times in Portland and one time in Seattle. In 2007, he did not stop in Portland, so we made a vacation/holiday and went to his concert in Seattle and went to the Experience Music Project next to the Key Arena. There they have on display "Brownie" the Fender Stratocaster that he used during his first solo album and Derek And The Dominoes Days, plus a stage outfit belonging to EC from the 1970's. We also checked out the Jimi Hendrix gallery were they have an actual Fender Strat that belonged to him. There on the wall was a poster photo circa 1967 of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. So that was great to view at the Experience Music Project.


Review by Rich Chauvet
The thing about this concert is that Eric is the only guitar player. A drummer, a bass, two keyboard players, two backup singers. So there is no question as to who is playing what on this tour. This allows the crowd to hear "him" play his guitar. If there were any rhythm parts, it was Eric doing it, if there were any lead riffs, it was Eric doing it. You really get a rare chance to hear Eric's playing showcased.

And Eric's playing was the best in the world in Portland. No doubt about it. Eric did not need to be courteous and hold back for the sake of other guitar players in the band. He just cranked up the volume and let it be heard. At Crossroads Festivals, he barely plays. But on this tour you really get to hear him. It was excellent.

The band really brought it for this Portland show. The quality of the sound the band put out was great. But Eric was better than everything. The band backed him and Eric did what he wanted to do. An unbeliveable performance by the master. You rarely get to hear Eric play like this on any album. He still has it and is better than ever. He was "having fun" and that is nice to see.

Any blues enthusiast that can should catch this tour, you won't be disappointed. It all went down in Portland and now its coming to you.
Thanks Eric.


Review by Jeffrey D.
I have regularly attended Eric's concerts since the Behind The Sun tour in 1985. While I am a big fan of his music, there is always some trepidation as he gets older. Will he still "bring it" on a concert stage? In reading previous posts, I noticed that concerts early in his tour he played "Rocking Chair" and of course has included "Autumn Leaves" on his new CD release. I have also read about an extended "sit-down acoustic set" that hinted he is aging and needed to rest.

In Portland this past Monday Eric indeed "brought it!" The smooth electric blues was alive and well in the Rose Garden. Eric's singing is in fine form, Steve Gadd supplied the backbone to the show while Tim Carmon and Chris Stainton had ample time to provide their own solos throughout the show. While most previous reviews mention the excellent renditions of "Old Love", "I Shot the Sheriff", etc. I will try and add some fresh information.

I was not familiar with JJ Cale's song "Same Old Blues". This is a very nice song integrated into the sit-down set. The tune "River Runs Deep" from the new CD is also very well done...and the sit down acoustic set is more a collection of acoustic and semi-electric songs - and Eric is certainly not resting! The rocking chair may have been put away into storage as the song by the same name has also been dropped the past couple of shows. "Little Queen of Spades" has been brought to a new level than the CD version and is more akin to the song "Have You Ever Loved a Woman?". There was an orchestra that toured with
Eric on the Pilgrim tour that provided a "wall-of-sound" and a few years ago there were three guitarists sharing the stage (Eric + Bramhall + Trucks) that while they are excellent guitarists sometimes distracted or took solos that I wanted Eric to perform. This tour it is only Eric, so every bending and sustained note is from his fingers.

Eric did not say much during the concert which is typical for him, nor did he arrive on stage being hatched out of an egg (or vessel) ala Lady Gaga. It was not a greatest hits show, no stage dancers or explosions - but for fans of Eric, the guitar and a blues-based collection of songs from his 50-year catalog of music...the Portland concert was excellent!