Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Little Wing
05. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
06. Driftin' 07. Outside Woman Blues
08. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
09. Running On Faith
10. Motherless Children
11. Little Queen Of Spades
12. Further On Up The Road
13. Wonderful Tonight
15. Cocaine (encore)
16. Crossroads (encore)*
This concert took place on Eric's 62nd Birthday.
Review by Scott Lyson via Fargo, ND
On March 30th I was fortunate to spend the night rockin' to the beat of Eric Clapton. After a crisp 40-min blues set by Robert Cray, Eric Clapton and his band strolled on to the stage at the Fargodome. This is my fourth "Back Home Tour" gig. It was my first time being treated to the Dominos-heavy set starting off with a great opener Tell the Truth. The band was hot and Eric was incendiary! Eric was really into the first set movin and groovin himself. Key to the Highway in a blues-shuffle form, Got to Get Better with blistering solos by not only Eric, but Willie Weeks as well. Little Wing, with the awesome guitars of Eric and Doyle, was for me the highlight of the show. Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? was a marvelous treat!
For the sit-down set, which started by shouts of "Happy birthday" and some patches singing - a fellow Access member (Ed. note: a reference to EC Access, Eric Clapton's official fan club) wielding a sign, Eric started with Driftin' Blues with one of his electric Fenders. That was a surprsie to me, I kinda missed the solo acoustic version. Eric kept his electric axe and went into Outside Women Blues, Doyle's dobro dominating the song. Nobody Knows You (along with Wonderful Tonight) seemed to get the most enthusiastic crowd response, and deservedly so. Running on Faith seemed to lack a little bit, may have been the absence of Mr. Trucks.
Motherless Children is a great rock song and always gets the place a rocking. Little Queen of Spades of course allowed for smoldering guitar solos by Eric and Doyle. Chris Stainton got huge applause, and Tim Carmon pulled a Billy Preston-esque solo on organ and was really fun to see. Further On Up the Road is another great blues that got some great solos. "Thanks for a wonderful birthday" Eric said before (maybe after) the monstrously adored Wonderful Tonight. Layla, always a killer.
Then after a short break Eric and band returned, Eric with his Christmas-caster. They ripped into Cocaine, and then Crossroads. Very loud, hard-hitting, kick arse c! lassic rockers. What a show, what show, what a birthday! The Fargo crowd was by far the most enthusiastic of the crowds at the concerts I've attended. They were thrilled for Eric to visit and didn't hesitate letting it all hangout. Happy Birthday Eric! It was a blast!
Review by Matt McIntyre
Happy Birthday Eric! 62, and still rockin better than any other. I'm 14 years old, and i brought one of my friends also. She had only heard one song by Eric but left lovin him. So at first, Robert Cray walks out, I'm just astounded by his tone, it sounds like a studio this is so good. His playing was great, with only one minor flub throughout the whole set. I had never heard Poor Johnny, so the end was a fun surprise even though it's a sad song. Cray's vocals were just perfect, i hope everyone was impressed.
After a quick change in setup , Eric came on stage and everyone went wild. He started out with a couple songs he's done every night. I am a huge Hendrix fan, so i thought it was fun when he went into Little Wing. This solo was legendary, amazing, never heard more soul but anyone but Hendrix himself. I actually think I was crying it was so beautiful. This solo should go down in the record books as one of the greatest live solos ever. He then played Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad?. I missed his first sit-downsong. He then switched to an acoustic, and played a song i hadn't actually heard, but my friend had.
When he got back up to the electric set, he said thanks for makin this a great birthday and then went into song. Everyone knew this set was going to be fun. When he finally got into Wonderful Tonight, everyone got up and some lighters came out. Just about as beautiful, although maybe not as legendary, as Little Wing. Layla. Enough said...just blew my mind how perfect he had been playin all night and this, aside from Little Wing, was my highlight, but it was everyone else's. Me and my friend soon came to a sad realization after this...our state is pretty pathetic when it comes to calling for encores...but , after about 10 minutes and a total disassembly then reassembly of the drum set, Eric came on. He completely wowed everyone with Cocaine. After, Cray inconspicuously got on stage and started up Crossroads, and everyone was elated. After about 4 great long solos he ended it. This concert was absolutely amazing. Eric had, let me see, 0 stray notes whole concert.
This concert was great for me and my friend because we were obviously the 2 youngest people not accompanied by an adult. A couple funny things happened in section 46. Many adults were showing more affection than my friend needed to see. And also behind us there were three guys we could have swore were showing how much they love each other. Again, this was great, and his Little Wing solo should honestly be taken into account as one of the greatest live solos ever.
Eric's Performance: Legendary, Flawless, Soulful...Perfect.
Robert's: Amazing Tone, great soul, singing was...just great
Doyle: This was my first time hearing him so i guess i can't comment on him
Keyboardists: Pianist was just awesome, cool, and played great solos, Jazz organist played some pretty hilarious stuff, he did some ghostly sustain deal where he got up and there were notes still playing. He then played an awesome solo backwards!
Drummer: HAHA DUDE, this guy rocked, no solos but he still kicked.
Bass: Great, awesome solo, never got in the way of anything.
Vocalists: Really shined on Cocaine.
Review by Cliff Staples
Just got back from the concert in Fargo. It was fantastic, what a pro. Robert Cray was on precisely at 7:30 and played a tight, emotional set, and finished at 8:10. Eric came on right at 8:30 and played for two hours. Same set list as Winnipeg. I was surprised and pleased by the shuffle-up version of "Key to the Highway." Hadn't heard that before. And watching him on the melodic coda to "Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad" I whispered to my wife "He's missing Duane."
And that brings me to my one disappointment; I missed Duane too. No Derek Trucks to try to fill the void, and that was a problem. Doyle Bramhall has an interesting style (he plays left-handed, uses a left handed guitar, but from what I could tell has the strings reversed. I play left-handed too, but hard to imagine playing with high E on the top of the neck) but his slide playing just didn't make it for me. When Eric played slide himself on "Motherless Children" he only made it even more obvious what we were missing.
As we were leaving, my wife reported overhearing a woman in the bathroom on a cell phone (what else) saying to someone "You didn't miss anything. The last few songs were the only ones I knew." Sigh. What can you say?
"Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" is my favorite record of all time. I still have the original I bought when it was released... worn almost to see-through from trying to learn it...like many other copies out there I.m sure. But I never had the chance to see him live before, so this set list felt like it was chosen for me. I can't thank him enough. Go if you can.
Happy Birthday Eric (Blister 011A/B – 2 CD)