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)*
Night One at "The World's Most Famous Arena" ... Madison Square Garden. Since the mid-90s, Eric has consistently sold-out three nights at the venue when on his solo tours.
Review by Ned Newhouse
This represents about my 20th time seeing Eric Clapton and I am still amazed. Seeing the band back on opening night RAH May 16, 2006 now I have something to compare it to. What I see these are expert musicians, that know this material backwards and forwards and I guess its naturally a little less spontaneous than the earlier days of the tour in May. Eric and the band were tight, relaxed and worked hard. What's impressive is that some of the arrangements (which EC is classic for) had changed and that brought a bit of freshness for me.
However these days the EC leads are a riff shorter, than even back in May, as he proudly shares the stage with Doyle, Derek and Robert (2 songs) but EC's leads are a bit more compact, still strong and gets major applauds from the NYC crowd. (I guess it's my problem that I went to Europe to see this show already and I was hoping for some new material from EC since he has a huge catalogue.)
On a side note I think Willy Weeks and Tim Carmon actually got better (and I am not a huge Tim Carmon fan). On their solos within a song each (I forget which ones) they just fit better with some impressive playing. They both got major acknowledgement from the crowd and EC.
One funny thing happened that Eric got a big chuckle with, during the sit down set, he said this is part where you can whistle and the crowd started to whistle loudly! He thought it was funny and enjoyed how quick to respond to his comment the NY crowd was.
He's still the best, no flash, no stories about his life and his past, just plays amazingly and attempts to deliver perfection. I am still amazed. I'll be back for nights two and three as well! Thank you again Eric.
Review by Mike P
This was the first time that I had seen Eric Clapton in concert since I saw him at the Capital Theater in Portchester NY with Derek and the Dominoes.
It was a treat to say the least. From the onset blasting off with Pretending to the Crossroads encore with Robert Cray I had a big %#@$ eating grin on my face. It was fantastic the way he made transitions from song to song- no wasted space, not chatting just pure music. He would knock your socks off with After Midnight then mellow things with some blues.
I thought it was great the way he let the band shine. Derek Trucks was fantastic; he does amazing things with slide guitar. The rest of the band just let their energy ooze (although the other guitar player Doyle Bramhall was a bit to raw for my taste- but maybe that's the point).
Review by John Brophy - Landing, NJ
Terrific show last night at the Garden. I like the fact that Eric shares the spotlight with his whole band. Derek Trucks was great & Chris Stanton is always on his game. All in all, it was well worth the trek into the big City.
Review by Dave Arthur
Just a note form a fan who saw Eric back at The Concert for Bangladesh all the way to last years' Cream Reunion. All I can say is that last night was like being part of a Guitar Olympics!
The band he has on tour is great...only made better with EC. The renditions of Got To Get Better In A Little While, Nobody Know You When You're Down and Out and Further On Down The Road put me back to the Filmore East. Derek Trucks (wonder where he his first name) was truly out of this world. The show is a fun time start to finish. Am trying to get tixs for Charlottesville, VA...got to get my 20 year old daughter top see The Master!
Review by Chris Bisciello - New York
Last night's show was a bit surreal. I say that because having Derek Trucks onstage next to E.C. was certainly eerie! If your eyes were closed, you'd swear it was Duane Allman doing all the brilliant slide work, especially on all of the Derek & The Dominoes songs. For me, the slide melded almost perfectly with all of the material presented, a thumbs up to E.C. for yet again producing a set that was nothing short of great! I was relieved when it became apparent that E.C. was not on auto-pilot mode, where he sleepwalks through a set. I thought he employed the right amount of subtlety and flash on both vocals and guitar. I think that this show was much better than opening night '04 @MSG. That show seemed quite lackluster for me as autopilot was the word of the evening!
I must say, however, that I thought that the sound was a bit low. I realize that I was sitting in section 403, more or less the rafters of MSG, but never the less, the sound just seemed kind of low. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the JBL set-up which has the monitors put up in an almost curved formation.
Looking forward to the new album.
Review by Ian Thompson, Oxford
Having been fortunate enough to have seen three shows in the UK, I was interested to see how things have progressed and maybe compare. Some general thoughts rather than a song by song rundown...great sound in the venue? On the previous shows I saw EC was louder than the the other guys. As reported on other US gigs, Doyle was loudest for the first half of the show from where I was. Derek had the least volume. The first few songs were performed a little slower and EC seemed a little subdued to me. EOMAC needed Derek's slide higher in the mix. The sitdown set seemed to signal a beer break in my area which is a shame since I am Yours is one of the highlights of the show. Whistles from the crowd during Back home brought a comment from EC "nice whistles" only to be met by a barrage of whistles in return. This actually seemed to focus EC a little from then on and the show heated up a notch. Little Queen was indeed worth the price of admission alone, with Derek getting the biggest cheer of the night for his slide break. Big point for me here was that Doyle actually played the best solo I've ever seem him do. Overall he put in the best performance I've seen him as well. The show from then on in was a great romp of rock and roll with all the band getting a spot in the limelight as usual.
A very enjoyable opening show at the Garden...although I expect things to heat up even more through Saturday.
Review by Bob Alusick
I've seen every tour that Eric has brought to MSG since the 80's and this is the tightest band he's had. Doyle and Derek have helped Eric find the fountain of youth. Highlights for me were Motherless Children, Nobody Knows..., Little Queen of Spades and a terrific Layla.
Review by Andy Rosenberg
As an EC vet with more than 12 shows under my belt, I think I qualify to make a criticism. I enjoyed a great deal of this show, up until Wonderful. After that, the autopilot kicked in and the songs were very predictable, no ripping leads, though Crossroads was ok. The early part of the show kicked ass, and I loved most of the song selections. I thought Everybody Oughta...was a bit jumbled but saved by Derek. EC did rip off some smokers, especially Got To Get Better, Motherless, and Midnight. Doyle just doesnt seem like the right fit, while Derek is like a living ode to Duane, he is just amazing. The rest of the band smoked, Chris is a genius on piano. The sappy/easy ending left me hungering for more. When he played the Blues tour at MSG the 2nd time around and closed with Everyday I Have The Blues, that was the greatest guitar lead I have ever heard and I was in awe. Not so last night unfortunately - it will be hard for him to ever reach those heights again.
Review by Anthony / Bronx, NY
This show was phenomenal! This is the fourth Clapton show I've attended since '98 and this show definitely stood out. The band was tight and all performances were solid. Running on Faith and Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out were particuarly well done and highlights of the sit down set, while Little Queen of Spades and Old Love stood out from the electric set. I'm sure the next two Garden shows will be excellent performances if they're anything like last night!
Review by Ken Londoner
I wanted to drop a note and express my gratitude for the awesome display of rock and roll last night. I have been faithfully attending rock concerts at MSG since 1979, when I saw Queen (first show ever). I must say, in truth, that last night and was one of the best. Eric was totally on, tight, sharp, and the whole place had a groove that is hard to explain. Robert Cray was also terrific, and it is wonderful to see Eric let both Robert and Derrick have their shot at the licks. Best wishes for a great tour, and I am considering catching another show before its done.