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28 November 2011 - Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood

Location

Ishikawa Sports Center Kanazawa
Japan
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Steve Winwood – hammond organ, piano, guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals 

Support: 
None
Set List: 

 01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence Of The Lord
05. Glad
06. Well Alright
07. Hoochie Coochie Man
08. While You See A Chance
09. Key To The Highway
10. Pearly Queen
11. Crossroads
12. Georgia On My Mind
13. Driftin'
14. That's No Way To Get Along
15. Wonderful Tonight
16. Can't Find My Way Home
17. Gimme Some Lovin'
18. Voodoo Chile
19. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)
20. Cocaine (encore)

Fan Reviews: 

 Review by Ryuta Yashima

It was Eric’s first time in Kanazawa, so I was lucky to meet him here in my city! I’m 23 now and this was my third time to see him, which means I’m a big, big, big fan! All the songs he performed were great. Especially “Voodoo Chile,” which completely blew me away… totally stunning! Regarding his strict musical policy, this kind of psychedelic music is against his present laid-back style, but he decided to play the song with Mr. Steve Winwood, who recorded that song with the late Jimi Hendrix.

In my opinion, what made Eric change his policy could be the same reason as he had for Cream’s reunion: as he got older, he felt it necessary to pass down the monumental works while the original musicians are still around, even though the works are far from his present style. Also, he is the only guitarist who is equal to Jimi Hendrix in ability, so that fact could have driven him to play the song as if he were on a mission.

Eric admits that his guitar technique has declined, but I think otherwise. He came to realize it when he watched his performance in the 90’s on Youtube. In my opinion, this technical difference could be because of his mental change: he went through his new crossroads of marriage in 2002, which made him settle down as a man and as a guitarist. Although we may not expect to see his sad guitar choking so much, let’s look forward to his new journey with his new attitude toward music! As he sings, it’s “got to get better in a little while.”

Review by Hiroshi M.
One of the most anticipated shows of the Clapton/Winwood Japan tour was Kanazawa. Dubbed as "Little Kyoto", it is a beautiful regional city with a plenty of historical background, characteristic of its traditional feel, where the streets and rows of old-style houses enchant the visitors with a quaint but attractive atmosphere. EC had never played there, and it was reported that the local promoter was his fan and his long-time dream was to guide Mr. Clapton through the Kenrokuen, the city's biggest tourist attraction that is touted as one of the three greatest Japanese gardens in the country. To give a hint our Western friends how the event would be perceived over there, it might be "EC live in York or Chester", that sort of thing -- you get a picture?

I was strolling the Kenrokuen in the late afternoon myself, thrilled by an idea that Eric might have been there only a few hours earlier. I tried to channel my wavelength with him, contemplating what effect of this calm and majestic garden was on him and how it would affect his playing tonight. The venue, Main Arena, Ishikawa Sports Center, was on the outskirts of the city and miles away from the city center. The shuttle bus picked us up at the Kanazawa railroad station and drove through a bleak urban landscape that was a far cry from the nice, traditional ambience of the tourist areas.

The arena, capacity of roughly 5000, probably less, considering one side was occupied by the stage, was the smallest of the whole Clapton / Winwood tours to this day, which is another factor to make this event something special. It was ninety-percent full when the show started. As usual, the lights turned off around 7:10PM, and Eric, Steve and the band took the stage and launched into Had To Cry Today. Unlike the somewhat jaded audience of Osaka this time, Kanazawa people responded quite enthusiastically from the start, which paved a nice way the show would go down.

The standard fashion of Eric on this tour is a combination of a long-sleeved shirt and a black waistcoat on it. Kanazawa is a chilly north-side city, but Eric took off the waistcoat after Pearly Queen, and then the shirt after Crossroads. Now in white T-shirt, Eric commented during the sit-down set to the audience, "How are you? It's hot, hot!" as if teasing Steve, looking chilled in hooded sweatshirt! And so was Eric's playing -- it added more intensity than the two Osaka shows I've been to, and the performance in Kanazawa turned out to be the hottest show of the tour so far, according to those who attended as many shows as possible. Everybody raves about the show, in person and through the internet.

In Japan, Eric's popularity far exceeds that of Steve's so that the bulk of the audience sometimes seem to forget this is Eric Clapton AND Steve Winwood show. Here in Kanazawa, Steve had more share of appreciation from the floor than in Osaka. During While You See A Chance, quite a few people joined hand-clapping that made for a lively atmosphere. He also received a loud applause from time to time when he finished his role of singing and playing, especially on Georgia and Voodoo Chile, which must have encouraged him to go forward. The Kanazawans certainly did justice to him!

All in all, a memorable show in a beautiful city for the attentive audience who deserves it all.