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?
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)*
Review by Mary Ann Huff
Went to Clapton last night. Awesome as usual. I have to say that i enjoyed the St Louis line up of music more. I did love Little Wing, which I have never heard him perform live before. Dont think there were many empty seats. The crowd was great.... everyone sang and stood for Crossroads. Clapton gave a good smile when that happened. However as when I have been at The Mark before, the acoustics are not that wonderful.Hard to ruin this one though. Encores were Cocaine and Crossroads. Altogether a great time!
Review by Thomas Bottom / Dekalb IL
Making the drive from the Chicago suburbs to the Mark in Moline, IL seemed to go by in minutes, espically knowing once there we were going to see a living legend, Eric Clapton. We had some excellent German food and drink at the Bierstube right around the corner of the Mark. Special guest Robert Cray was just begining to play as we got into our seats in row 2 of section 203. Robert Cray played his very short set including Poor Johnny Bad Influence 20 and a couple more songs. His guitar playing was emotional & crisp as ever, but just way too short for this huge Cray fan. I found it very interesting that the house was packed the moment he started, usually venues fill up after the warm up band plays. Robert Cray obviously has a lot of fans in the area, & rightfully so. Taking a backseat to EC is not to be considered a lack of respect by any means.
Eric Clapton took center stage standing on a large Persian rug to thunderous applause & immediately dove into Tell The Truth, followed by a cool version of Key To The Highway from his collobration W/B.B. King Riding W The King. Shortly followed by one of my favorite tracks played that evening, the Jimi Hendrix song: Little Wing, EC putting his stamp on that classic was classic in its self. I throughly enjoyed the bluesy feel the entire evening had. Even though we paid to see EC, I still liked his sharing of the spotlight W/his great cast of touring musicians and letting them play extended solos through out the show. Every member of his band was quite impressive. I can't say enough how tight Doyle Bramhall on guitar, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Chris Stanton and Tim Carmen on keyboards were. Another highlight was hearing the old song Motherless Children, and later seeing and hearing Layla played simply brought a chill to my spine! Even after all these years this classic song is still amazing and hearing it played live is something I'll never ever forget. The first encore played was the classic Cocaine which everyone sang along to. Followed up by Robert Cray joining in and taking lead vocal for the final song Crossroads. WOW!!! My sister, brother in law, my wife and I would like to thank you Mr. Slowhand for a most enjoyable evening.
Review by Sam Saunders
I got to my seat not long before he was due to go on and before I knew it E.C. and band were launching into the rockin' groove of "Tell The Truth", to be followed by four more Dominos era classics. Upon first listen I wasn't that crazy about the new "funky" arrangement of "Key To The Highway" , but it did feature some pretty tasty playing from E.C. "Got To Get Better In A Little While" rocked as always and then came "Little Wing" which was warmly greeted by the crowd. It was sublime! After "Little Wing" came a pretty epic version of "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad" featuring some divine interplay between E.C. and Doyle's guitars.
Then came time for the acoustic sit down portion of the set which starts off with E.C.'s solo acoustic version of the old delta blues standard "Driftin". It was pretty awe inspiring to witness how mesmerized the packed arena was by just his lone voice and finger-picked guitar. Many in the crowd hooted and hollered in appreciation as the sound of his ever so precise runs, pitch perfect bends and unmistakable vibrato filled the air. It was almost as if time stood still for a moment. Truly a sight to behold. From there the band rejoined him and they launched into the new acoustic arrangement of "Outside Woman Blues". "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" and "Running On Faith" followed and both songs got pretty big reactions from the crowd, due I'm sure to their inclusion on the hugely popular "Unplugged" album. Much of the arena clapped along during NKYWYDAO as they have throughout the tour, and it was a lovely, downright majestic version of "Running On Faith" that ended the acoustic set.
What followed was an earth shattering rendition of the "461 Ocean Boulevard" classic "Motherless Children", largely propelled by the powerhouse rhythm section of Willie Weeks and Steve Jordan. Watching E.C. and Doyle recreate the double tracked slide guitars from the record was one of the set's highlights for yours truly. An extended workout on the Robert Johnson penned "Little Queen Of Spades" followed with E.C., Doyle, Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon all taking turns soloing. Chris' piano solo was jaw dropping in it's virtuosity as was Tim's organ solo now complete with a little homage of sorts to the late, great Billy Preston in which Tim gets up from behind the keys and walks to the end of the stage. E.C. gets a real kick out of that and the crowd absolutely ate it up! Willie Weeks' bassline on the seventies concert favorite "Further On Up The Road" seemed to have evolved a bit since I last saw them back in September. It had a real Chicago style flavor to it which I dug. And then came time for the heavy hitters.
"Wonderful Tonight" was as gorgeous as ever. Much of the crowd sang along but it was done in an unobtrusive manner that suited the song. Then when E.C. launched into the opening riff of "Layla" the arena responded with the type of thunderous applause one of rock's all time classics surely demands. It was spot on, from the immortal opening riff on through the bittersweet coda. After that E.C. and the band left the stage as per usual and returned a short while later to do their now customary encore of "Cocaine" and "Crossroads" which brought the entire arena to it's feet. As I recall, "Cocaine" featured some of the most fiery E.C. soloing of the night and Robert Cray joined the band for "Crossroads" as he has throughout the tour.
Overall, E.C.'s playing wasn't as aggressive as the last couple shows I saw here in Chicago during which he was really wailing. I guess you could say he was kind of on "auto pilot" for much of the set but even still, E.C. on "auto pilot" is better than 99.9% of the players out there and there was some pretty special moments, most notably the interplay between E.C. and Doyle on WDLGTBSS, the solo acoustic version of "Driftin", the dueling slide guitars on "Motherless Children" and of course the masterpiece that is "Layla", always an absolute pleasure to see performed live. I also was really knocked out by Chris and Tim's keyboard solos throughout the show. Those guys are two of the best keyboard players in the world. Bar none.