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)*
Third of three shows at Madison Square Garden.
Review by John / New Jersey
I hadn't been to a concert at the Garden since many years ago in the 70's. Not being a regular concert goer, the one performer I've always wanted to see live was Eric Clapton. I've loved his music since the Cream days, have all of his concert DVDs and always admired the classy way he carries himself on stage. He did not disappoint with tonight's performance.
At 61, he can still dazzle an audience with his ability. As others have said, the band he has put together for this tour is very tight and I feel lucky to have seen some of the greatest guitar players in the world perform live. No long haired assholes and overly dramatic stage moves here, just tight, impressive, kick-ass, jammin' for two non-stop hours. Each musician taking their moment in the spotlight and just knocking the crowd on their asses with their ability.
My favorites were After Midnight, Cocaine and Pretending. Robert Cray also showed what a talent he is, with a strong stage presence along side Eric when he joined in on Old Love and Crossroads. After finally seeing him in person, Eric Clapton is still the one performer I want to see in person (again).
Review by Ian Thompson / Oxford
Night 3 brought no surprises in setlist, unfortunately, although there were a couple of notable teases thrown in for good measure. Overall, Night 2 is the high water mark of the run. Night 3 probably came in second, with EC not quite reaching the heights with the guitar. Guitar-wise, Derek stole the show tonight with some crowd pleasing breaks that brought several standing ovations in my section.
Old Love had been tempting to take a detour with Tim's solo for a while and tonight he threw in the signature from Sunshine Of Your Love. Pleasingly, EC joined in and we had a few bars before Tim's solo took off. Nice. Other minor detour was in Crossroads where EC threw in some Squeeze My Lemon lines from Killing Floor towards the end. Smiles all around as the band was having fun bouncing off each other. In summary, solid night but Friday was THE ONE.
Review by Rich Leonard / Pompton Plains NJ
Night three at New York's Madison Square Garden proved to be a great show. At times, TEN musicians graced the stage at once ! â€¦ including up to 5 guitars at once (counting Willie Weeks on wonderful, inspired bass) The lady singers beautifully enhanced the Gospel / Soul / Blues flavor of the music... the heart of Eric's roots.
The "Pretending" opener was nicely played and then on to "I shot the Sheriff" where Eric first let it fly - HARD !! . Eric's band has jelled to an intense level that really does justice to the Clapton classics and the newer tunes. Both Doyle and Derek can really bring it and are top rock n roll guitarists. Derek deserves additional mention as he brings some incredible licks which had many in awe; His slide work is right there with EC's ! Some things Derek does with a guitar are his only !!
The long single set performance was divided into the three segments. The middle being the "Sit Down" set ... But this was no "strictly acoustic" portion of the show. Only Eric played acoustic throughout it. Keys, percussion and acoustic & electric guitars accompanied the master here. An excellent groove permeated "Running on Faith", closing out the sit down portion.
The final segment of tonight's show included some of EC's most known, loved and anticipated songs (see Setlist) "Further on Up the Road" then "Wonderful Tonight" into "Layla" and then on to a really slammin' version of "Cocaine" had the Garden crowd in a frenzy. All players then walked off for several minutes returning to finish
the night off with the encore of "Crossroads".
This was a very impressive performance on many levels - Eric's strong voice throughout, the girls perfect vocal harmonies and incredible guitar work all around. The two keyboardists delivered great rock N roll chops and some incredibly funky electric stuff. Robert Cray's voice and guitar added additional sparkle to a thrilling performance.
Even the stage lighting was cool and different. The backdrop was comprised of various reflective materials which illuminated the stage brightly yet softly often silhouetting the band with deep colors. This version of EC's band is one not to be missed !!
Review by Kimberly Newton-Currie
I have mixed feelings about last nights show. On one hand, I am always looking forward to hearing Eric play (and have been a diehard fan since since 1989), and in fact, was very excited to hear that he had two other guitarists beefing up the sound, especially the amazing Derek Trucks, who I have seen in concerts several times with the Allman Brothers Band.
But unfortunately, Eric seemed to be on auto-pilot tonight. In fact, at times, he seemed to get lost in the mix. Don't get me wrong, the band was tight, professional, they obviously know what they are doing, yes, the band's playing layered quite well, somewhat jelled, but the vocals were very much in the back ground, and the guitar solos seemed much too short and restrained.
The background set lighting was very colorful and pleasing. The setlist was the same as the other two nights, although, I understand and sort of welcome changing things up to keep them fresh or what have you, I would have to say I didn't care for many of the arrangements of songs. I hadn't heard him play live before such as "Everybody Oughta Make a Change" or the other musicians solos or time in the spotlight (except for some too brief moments for Eric and more too brief moments for Derek Trucks, who as I stated before was outstanding). As for personnel, I was glad to see/hear Chris Stainton again on keyboards he is always reliable and a cut above the rest.
Highlights included, the energetic "Got to Get Better In a little While", the fun, foot tapping acoustic "Nobody Knows you when you're down and out.", "Motherless Children" which was spot on and the rousing "Further on up the Road", EC did come alive (too briefly) and Derek really shone on (not surprisingly) the blues number, "Little Queen of Spades".
His setlist was a bit predictable but I know that lots of people come to hear "Cocaine", "Layla", "Wonderful Tonight", and"I Shot the Sheriff", they've become staples of his act, and its always good to hear them. Though I doubt it will ever happen my one true wish is that he would perform "Same Old Blues" live in concert.
Overall, the concert was good but not great. In conclusion, I did enjoy parts of the show, and in fact, will be seeing him one more time in Philadelphia, and, hopefully, he'll be off auto pilot, and I won't have to ask, as I did at tonights show, "Where's Eric?"
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!