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29 September 2006 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Madison Square Garden New York , NY
United States
Band Lineup: 
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 
Support: 
Robert Cray Band
Special Guest(s): 

Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*

Set List: 

01. Pretending
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
15. Layla
16. Cocaine
17. Crossroads (encore)*

Show Notes: 

Second of three nights at The Garden.

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Ned Newhouse
Great show. Same set list as night 1. Better than night one. The playing was more energetic, more precise and proficient, yet the band seemed more at ease than night one. Even a better "more into it" louder crowd. Bottom line great show start to finish. I didn't hear a missed note or view one glitch all night.

Playing differences surprisingly came from Tim Carmon on Queen of Spades and the same song Willie Weeks, both were good. BTW Queen of Spades has turned into a 14 minute song containing integrated solos from Tim, Chris, Willie, and all three guitar men, multiple leads EC.

I also think Robert Cray is scoring major points with the NY audience. His set is good and not a throw away opening act by any means. It's also surprising impressive that Eric is "letting" Robert sing the opening verse to the encore, Crossroads. 1st lead Eric, second Robert, third lead Doyle, forth Derek, final Eric and then the final verse Eric and Robert sing on the mic together. Nice touch.
Great show, start to finish, one for the books.

Review by Bill
What a great show! I've seen Clapton many times but this was one of his best bands ever. The band was very tight, but also relaxed. Quite often, Eric would step back and let the band members demonstrate their chops. I have to admit, at times I was watching Derek Trucks more than Eric. He reminds me of a young Duane Allman. I've seen "Layla" performed live many times, but this is the first time I heard it with Duane Allman's part played to perfection. Given Eric's recent sojourns to his past, I would have liked to see and hear more Derek & The Dominoes tunes. This band was easily up to the task. The Robert Cray Band was a great opening act and it was nice to see him sit in with Eric's band.

Review by Ian Thompson, Oxford
OK, that's it. If there is going to be a CD or DVD of the tour then tonight was the night it should be! Outstanding on so many levels: the same setlist as last night but many notches up in terms of quality in way I didn't think possible. First off, the sound mix was bang on from the get go - every break/solo by whoever it was was to the fore in the mix, it was the best sound I have ever seen. Perfect. Every member of the band laid it down tonight, but EC was off the scale. So fluid and challenging to the young bucks in the band. Derek shone as ever and was greated with great applause - especially on Little Queen again, but it was EC who brought the A game and reminded us all who is the master. Several times during the solo handoffs, EC laid it and then stood back and nodded in a genuine "come on then, follow that" motion. Summary - not sure how they will top that, but everything is set up for night 3 and we'll see....:)

Review by Ruth Silvestri
I was so thrilled to be there. And truly impressed with the humble way in which Eric let the younguns' Shine. Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks blew me away, as did Robert Cray. I was truly impressed with Robert in concert too. These guys show you how much they love to play...Great Night!

Review by John Hillock / New Jersey
I've know EC on a professional and personal basis since 1978 and been a fan since '68, so I don't know how many times I've seen him perform. I can tell you that Doyle and Derek pushed him to dizzying heights last night at MSG in NYC!! I've seen him perform 'Cocaine' on every tour since his release of 'Slowhand'. Last night's rendition was undoubtedly the best I've ever seen. This band is very very good .. They compete with any entourage he's taken on the road.

Review by David Nichols
I have been attending Eric Clapton concerts since the old Cream days, all the way to the present time. All of these concerts were events in their own right. What I mean is all Eric had to do was SHOW UP., and in some cases, especially in the seventies that is all he DID do! Things are different now; Eric has, as I say, gone through all the crap in his life and has reached his cruising altitude Everything is cool, everything is nice, nothing to prove, just go out there and have fun!

Last night (29 September) proved my point, Eric and his latest band had fun and it showed. Clapton doesn’t have to wait for 10 minutes anymore to remind everybody who he is. All he has to do (and does) is treat us to a few bars per song of the guitar wizardry that has labeled him the premier guitarist of our time, END OF STORY!

I always walk away from his concerts saying to myself, Who is really better than Clapton in his genre of music? I’ve seen or listened to everyone out there since the sixties (here I go showing my age again) and I’m still hard pressed to believe anyone has been more influential to all the other guitar heroes that started playing after Eric Clapton arrived on the scene. Yes, I know, Jimi Hendrix, but I’m talking about people from this planet (I mean this in a good way Jimi.)

OK, now about last night, this was one of the better produced shows in recent years, the set list was well balanced and you always felt like Eric was aiming to please. The opening act, Robert Cray Band, was the perfect lead in to the main event. Roberts soulful voice and smooth bluesy guitar licks was a welcomed throw-back to the old order, ala Buddy Guy, Albert King, B.B., etc.

Doyle Bramhall was the best I have ever seen him, and Eric gave him plenty of time to shine. Derek Trucks, the second coming of Duane Allman? He just might be, because his slide work I Am Yours, Everybody Oughta Make a Change, and Layla was nothing short of magnificent. The audience really went crazy after most of his solos. Like most Eric Clapton devotees, we loved seeing Nathan East (Bass) and Steve Gadd (Drums) in recent tours, but Steve Jordan (Drums) and Willie Weeks (Bass) certainly made you forget about Nathan and Steve for the night. They were THAT GOOD! Now, just when you were thinking about how great Derek and Doyle were playing, Eric always joins in just long enough to remind everyone WHO the master really is.

Yes, I am partial to Eric Clapton, but this doesn’t diminish the fact that this was one of the best shows he’s given us in years, END OF STORY!

Review by Migel
I'm a huge classic rock fan and a huge EC fan. I've seen them all in the 70's, in their prime, but now my thoughts about all my old heroes is "show me". Well, Eric and the band showed me, the concert was phenomenal. I've seen EC with various bands over the years, live and on TV or DVD, and I can easily say that this was the best band he's played with since Layla. Clapton let them all shine, they all took numerous solo turns on various songs, and there wasn't one time that I wanted them to wrap it up and get back to the song. Highlights were "I Shot The Sheriff", "Motherless Children", "Layla", "Little Queen of Spades". Actually I can honestly say that every song was a highlight. There were no dead spots at all, even in the sit down portion. All I can say is, THANK YOU ERIC!

Review by Lenny C
Saw Eric tonight for at least the 10-15th time since the 70's. Tonight was different because it was my 13 year old son's 1st concert.

Now for the show. 'I've seen Eric as recently as last year's Cream reunion at the Garden, and tonight he was awesome. What was different were his 2 "back-up boys" I use the term back-up boys loosely because these guys can play with anyone, and front their own bands anytime anywhere. They are that good. New for me was Motherless Children, Pretending, Got To Get Better In a Little While, and I Am Yours. I have been watching this site for the set lists, so, I got my wife to listen to the Layla CD so she could get familiar with I Am Yours. It's not one of the more well known Layla CD songs. It was great.

On the way to the show, my wife said I hope he doesn't do Cocaine, not her favorite song, but during the song, where Eric let everyone have a solo, I saw my wife rocking out. That's the difference between CD and live. Same goes for me and I Shot The Sheriff. I will hardly ever play it on my CD, but ever since I saw him to it at the Crossroads benefit, it's been one of my favorite live songs. Basically replaces My Father's Eyes on his set list, which if no one has ever seen live, it's worth the price of the One More Rider DVD.

My only problem with Eric is that I am too big a fan. His shows are always 2 hours, and that's it. Never more, and I can pick hours and hours of more stuff to hear. Bottom line, it was great to see and hear some Dominos stuff, and to see Eric still around, showing the young guys how it's done.

Review by Alan F. / Great Neck, NY
I have been a big fan of Eric Claptons' since I was 12 (and that was a long time ago), but had never seen him live. I finally decided to see him this time around, along with my wife and our 16 year old son, and he, and the band, were outstanding! This was one of the best concerts I ever saw...really nice job!

Review by Cynthia Dawn / NYC
I have to write about last night's concert and MSG (9/29). I have seen EC more times than I can count over the past 15 years. I don't know what concert everyone else was at, but I was disappointed. Part of it is personal -- I don't like the set list, but that's MY problem. The problem with the concert, in my opinion, is that EC looked like he was bored until about two thirds into it. Pretending, the opening song, was lackluster at best. I know he had/has a sore throat, so maybe this explains some of it, but all night, his singing was off, and he kept dropping notes, as if it was too much effort for him. He seemed to be enjoying himself most when he was just standing there watching Doyle and Derek. Yep, they are great, but I didn't come to see them. Little Queen of Spades, which I was looking forward to, was choppy. It wasn't as bluesy as I had hoped. To my surprise, I thought Cocaine was the best song of the night -- they finally jelled as a band, and not just spotlighting one player at a time. All in all, EC is always great, but I know he is capable of much more. I am going again tonight. Sorry to disagree with everyone!

Review by Jim Signorile / Teaneck, NJ
What can I say - I'm virtually speechless. EC is the greatest guitarist in the world - still - and that was the best concert I've seen in a long, long time...perhaps ever!
EC was in top, top form and he's just getting better with age, if it is possible for him to get any better. The rest of the band grew on me - especially Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II who played the other two guitars (and of course, the show opened with Robert Cray, who also joined EC's band for Old Love and the encore - Crossroads). He's a great player and the only complaint I have about Robert Cray is that when his band was on, he virtually ignored the other members - never gave anyone other than himself a solo and never even acknowledged the other members of the band - I don't even know what their names are. Eric gave everyone plenty of chance to shine and thanked them all by name. He's a class act!

Derek and Doyle played wonderfully. Trucks is a fantastic slide guitarist (almost seemed like Duane Allman was back during Layla) and Bramhall plays with a lot of intensity. Both of them often played Gibson's (Bramhall on a Les Paul and Trucks on an SG) which gave the overall sound more variety. I didn't realize until last night that Bramhall is left handed and from what I could see, at least when he played a strat, he played it upside down - strings and all. I was looking through binoculars from a distance, so I could be wrong, but it was quite a sight!

EC seemed to be in a great mood (although me never really speaks with the audience much at all - he does it all through his playing). His playing was above perfect - it was from another world and it was beyond no wrong notes - they were the perfect notes (any other choice would have diminished the music). He makes it look SO easy and although I didn't have the greatest seats in the world (on the side, about half-way up), I did have binoculars and they had screens up that showed everything up close so I could follow all his solos really easily).

Every song got a great audience reaction, but when they started Layla, the whole place erupted and everyone stood up throughout the entire song. I don't think they can get away with NOT playing Layla at a concert any more!It was an entirely transcendent experience!

Review by M. DeLuca
I have seen Eric twice now, once on the 2004 tour, and tonight. Eric is my favorite guitarist, and despite what anyone else may say, he is the best period. My friends and I sat in the front row on the left side of the stage, in between Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall. The band was great, i am a huge fan on Derek Trucks/allman brothers, and he is a huge addition to the band lineup. Phenomenal solo from derek on got to get better in a little while, his solos were full of fast shuffles, he was simply a joy to watch. Clapton is better than ever, he is truly getting better with age. We had our doubts because we didnt honestly believe he could put on a better show than he did in 2004, but we were wrong. One of the biggest points of the evening was when Layla breaks down and Derek Trucks hits the first couple of slide notes, I literally gotthe chills it was unreal. Thanks Eric, great night.

Official Recording: 

 

Bootleg Recording(s): 

Sleepless Night (Cross Border Records CBR 037/038)