Eric Clapton - Guitar / Vocals
Andy Fairweather Low - Guitar / Vocals
Chris Stainton - Keyboards
Paul Carrack - Keyboards / Vocals
Dave Bronze - Bass
Henry Spinetti - Drums
Michelle John - Backing Vocals
Sharon White - Backing Vocals
01. Somebody's Knocking
02. Key To The Highway
04. Hoochie Coochie Man
05. Tell The Truth
07. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
08. Crazy Mama
09. Stones In My Passway
11. How Long (Paul Carrack - vocal)
12. Gin House (Andy Fairweather Low - vocal)
14. Little Queen Of Spades
16. High Time We Went (Paul Carrack - vocal)
Final concert of the four-date 2014 U.S. Tour.
Review by Jay Freer
Great concert. There was a huge difference between Eric when he visited ATL in 2013. He was willing to step forward and play more. His speed was incredibly different - faster and pushing himself more than when he played Gwinett Arena in 2013. The set selection left some fans a little disappointed (they are used to hearing more hits) but as a fan that attends every time he has come through town since 2006, I thought it was a great evening.
Chastain is a weird venue. Lots of talking. The sit down acoustic set was especially good with AFL working closely with Eric. Some people missed the incredible subtlety of ECs playing.
Interesting fact - this is the first time EC has played Chastain since he performed with Cream at this venue October 27, 1968.
Review by Dan Stanton
Eric's fourth and final stop in the States was at the Chastain Amphitheater in Atlanta. It is a great outdoor venue and the weather for the show was perfect. The set list was pretty much in keeping with his other recent shows. Interesting that about one third of his show was songs by two of his greatest influences, Robert Johnson and JJ Cale. Eric, as is usually the case, had very little to say. After "Crazy Mama" however he yelled out "JJ Cale" with great enthusiasm.
After all these years Eric still proves with each appearance that he still has the virtuosity and the commanding stage presence that has made him legendary over so many years. Does he pass off more solos to his sideman than many years ago? Is his set list a bit shorter than in the past? The answer to each of these questions is yes. I walked away however feeling fortunate that this strong force in music is still performing with such emotion at 69 years of age.
He had many tour de force moments with guitar solos that still define why EC, in the eyes of many, is the greatest of our generation. His work on "Little Queen of Spades" was as great an example of his work on a slow blues song as he can do. Just fantastic. There were really solo highlights in every song that again defined why his solos are compelling, creative, melodic and technically brilliant. The acoustic set was great in this venue. EC's finger picking, which has only gotten better over the years, was on full display in "Driftin' ". A great rendition. "Layla", a predictable crowd pleaser, was as beautiful a version as I have ever seen him do. He is of course so fully in command of that song and seemed so at peace performing it. Watching him play it was like watching Picasso paint. A master of his craft doing what he does best.
Eric showcased Paul Carrack and Andy Fairweather-Low on "How Long" and "Gin House Blues". The arrangements on both have improved over time with EC injecting some screaming guitar work beautifully into both. Chris Stainton also got a lot of air time and demonstrated why he is one of Eric's longest tenured sidemen.
As things were winding down I couldn't help but think that, in addition to the incredible pleasure of watching Eric perform over many years, there may be no one that has done more to perpetuate the genre of the blues over 50 years than Eric Clapton. Most in the audience didn't know these songs came from Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson and others. It really didn't matter. They enjoyed EC's interpretation and went home perhaps a bit fonder of the blues. It makes you wonder if Eric will be remembered as the man most responsible for keeping the blues alive with today's generations. Who knows? All I know is that his journey into the blues has been as rewarding a musical experience as I have had in my life and for that I am very grateful.
Last night was my 95th show with Eric going back to 1970. All I can say for these 44 years is THANKS and I hope we both make it to 100 shows!
Eric Clapton lets his guitar do the talking at Atlanta show
By Melissa Ruggieri / Access Atlanta - AJC
It wasn’t the most crowd-engaged Eric Clapton who returned to Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Saturday after 46 years (he performed there with Cream in October 1968).
No, Slowhand wasn’t much into talking aside from a pleasant enough “Good evening” and a few “Thank you!”’s after a string of smoothly delivered songs. Perhaps, since many in the nearly sold-out audience seemed incapable of ceasing their own conversations while Clapton took fans to blues school, he didn’t bother to try to compete with the extraneous chatter. Or maybe, since Atlanta was the last of his mere four-date U.S. tour, Clapton already had his mind on heading home.
But for those interested in hearing Clapton’s expertise as a musician, the brisk, 85-minute concert showcased his undiminished brilliance.
Looking trim in blue, Clapton, 69, briefly turned his back to the crowd to face his five-piece band and two backup singers and launch the nimble finger work of “Somebody’s Knockin’” and the swinging 1940s-era blues standard, “Key to the Highway.” Clapton has always been – and still is – content to cede the spotlight to the band, and guitarist Andy Fairweather Low and keyboardists Chris Stainton and Paul Carrack (of Ace, Squeeze and Mike + The Mechanics fame) frequently received their well-deserved due.
Panels of light flashed over the stage, which was otherwise clean except for instruments and amps, and proved an ideally simple backdrop for songs such as the gritty rocker “Pretending” and the Willie Dixon-penned “Hoochie Coochie Man,” with its well-worn dirty riffs and Stainton’s knuckle-busting keyboard attack extracting some excitement from the crowd.
Backup singers Michelle John and Sharon White added some heavenly sounds to complement Clapton’s sandpaper growls on Derek and the Dominos’ “Tell the Truth,” demonstrating that while Clapton still sports the look of an erudite college professor, he still sounds every inch the vigorous blues-rock singer.
Clapton’s five-song set with a gorgeous-sounding acoustic guitar included some lovely organ flourishes from Carrack on “Driftin’ Blues” and his own tasty slide guitar work on Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway.”
Clapton also offered the unplugged version of “Layla” – with an extended intro – as a blue light shrouded the stage and thousands of smartphones popped into the air to record his performance of the hit. Too bad it was such a leaden rendition of the song.
Though his slender fingers never stopped tickling the neck of his guitar throughout the show, Clapton did step back from the microphone a few times – first to let Carrack croon an impeccable version of Ace’s 1974 soul-pop classic “How Long” and then for Fairweather Low to turn out a wrenching “Gin House Blues.”
The double-shot of “Crossroads” and “Cocaine” allowed for some full-fledged, spirited jams, and that clear tone that is Clapton’s signature rang flawlessly through the night air, as did the piano plinks that highlight “Cocaine.”
While there were some disappointments – add Clapton to the list of veteran stars who just aren’t interested in playing a hits parade anymore – his sterling solos and commitment to music history can’t be discounted. But a bit more interaction would have been appreciated.
Opener ZZ Ward made the most of her high-profile slot with a 45-minute set that spotlighted her vocal ferocity. Ward, a Pennsylvania-based blues singer who arrived at radio last year with “Put the Gun Down,” hit the stage with a black fedora and a gutsy voice that displayed real authenticity on “Lil Darlin’” and the plaintive, emotion-wracked “Last Love Song.” Ward, who also plays guitar and harmonica (and in a sweet moment, had her father – a strong influence in her love of the blues – join her onstage to play harmonica), turned out a furious jam with her three-piece band on “Criminal,” erasing any doubts that she didn’t belong on a bill with the iconic Clapton.
Review by Chris B
Attended Eric’s performance last night at Chastain Amphitheatre in Atlanta, and I think the Access Atlanta / AJC review (above) captures the essence of the performance. The playlist was the same as he performed at the other 3 US concerts this week, and while it was disappointing for those looking to hear more hits, it was delivered with typical Clapton perfection. His playing didn’t disappoint, but there was essentially no interaction or connection with the crowd. The AJC reviewer offers possible reasons, I can’t disagree with any of them. My only disappointment is that I bought very pricey seats so I could take my 15 year old son to see one of the great guitarists of all time, and I’m not sure he saw anything special.