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23 June 2009 - Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood

Location

American Airlines Arena Dallas , TX
United States
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Steve Winwood – vocals / Hammond B3 / piano / guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Abe Laboriel, Jr. – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals

Support: 
None
Special Guest(s): 

 

Set List: 

01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence of The Lord
05. Sleeping in the Ground
06. Glad
07. Well Alright
08. Tough Luck Blues
09. Pearly Queen
10. No Face, No Name, No Number
11. Forever Man
12. Georgia On My Mind
13. Driftin'
14. How Long Blues
15. Layla
16. Can't Find My Way Home
17. Split Decision
18. Voodoo Chile
19. Cocaine (encore)
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)

Show Notes: 

 

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Robert Straschewski / Plano TX
This show tore up! I haven't seen Eric live since the first Crossroads Festival in 2004. After seeing him there on stage with so many luminary guitarists I figured I had seen his best playing. Well I was wrong. The band and Eric in particular were definitely not mailing it in last night. From the first song and thereafter, everyone gave it their all. Top flight performances from everyone on stage. I was especially pleased at the opportunity to see and hear Steve Winwood play guitar; his tone is incredible. The back and forth solos in Mr. Fantasy were a real treat. The crowd was very eclectic, three generations of people all coming together to see a couple of real legends. Onstage at 8:15, off at 10:15. Great sound and lighting, American Airlines Center is a great music venue and one I'll be returning to soon. I hope Eric sees fit to bless us in Dallas with his presence in the near future. Outstanding!

Review by Rick Seeley / Dallas TX
I was there for this amazing show. Winwood was in rare form and for EC, just another day at the office with thousands of his closest friends. The segue of Winwood doing his solo on B3 to Georgia while they went to the acoustic portion of the show was fantastic. The crowd was on their feet at the end and would not leave till the encores were done. You would have thought a bomb was dropped when the crowd roared at the first 7 chords to Cocaine hit. Highly charged, emotional. Covering all the hits from Steve and Eric's Blind Faith endeavor was truly a walk down memory lane for me and few thousand others.

Review by Lee C / Mesquite TX
This was an awesome show!!!!! Clapton and Winwood still sound great after all these years. I've seen them each seperately but this was the first time seeing them both together and is's one of the best concerts I've ever seen and I've seen alot. Clapton is still playing the guitar and singing very well and Winwood is still really good as well. I keep forgetting what a good guitar player that Winwood is, especially on Dear Mr. Fantasy. Chris Stainton's keyboard solos were awesome last night. Abe Laboriel Jr on drums was excellent. He really pounded away. The backing singers were great as well, they sang nice. Willie Weeks is a great bass player to. Well, it was a great show, probably something we might not get to see again, but hopefully theyll come again and we can see it again.

Review by Keith Hooker / Dallas TX
I took my 72 year old Father-in-law to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the American Airlines Center and it was a great show. Both Steve and Eric were in their usual fantastic form and it was such a joy for us all to see how much they really enjoy playing together. I was glad to see Chris Stainton, a long time collaborator of Eric's, on keys. He was phenominal when given the spot light. Willie Weeks kept the bass beat with classic style throughout the whole show. Michelle and Sharon's backing vocals were lovely. One of the very enjoyable aspects of the show was Abe Laboriel Jr.'s drumming. I had seen him before with several other bands and he is just truly incredible. I can see why he is the "go to" drummer for so many people. The Clapton and Winwood accoustic elements brought a tear to your eye and Steve's rendition of Ray Charles' Georgia didn't leave too many dry eyes in the packed house either. The mix of music from both careers was perfect. I am happy to have experienced this wonderful night with my twoold friends.

Review by David B / Arlington TX
After reading other reviews, I wonder if they saw the same show as my friends and I. I've seen almost every EC concert in Dallas for over 20 years and this was, at best, a C performance. The other reviewers must not have seen the his show with Mark Knopfler, or the Journeyman or Pilgrim concerts or caught the ball buster show in Reunion Arena when Eric did a tour through all of his entire history of band incarnations: Cream, Bonnie and Delaney, Blind Faith, etc. Those shows were A+. There were spontaneous ovations in the parking garage from a crowd still so high from witnessing shear brilliance it was overwhelming.

Ok - but what about this show? It felt like Eric brought the B team; like it was a Winwood concert and he was just filling in on lead guitar. Winwood with Traffic was one of my favorite bands. Winwood without Traffic just doesn't have the magic. Saw him in Fort Worth and he put me to sleep. But, I digress.

The stage Tuesday was cheezy with glaring white lights being rotated around so everyone could experience the feel of driving straight into a semi truck with its brights in your face. I've heard superbly produced music at the AAC but this was garage band quality. Friends seated on the upper deck said they couldn't hear the words and that many people up there did not wait for the encore since they couldn't really hear anyway. With all that said, I have to admit that I hold Clapton to the highest standard. He is the best right?

This show was a disappointment. I actually caught my self thinking, "I spent $300 for a pair of tickets to this? Why?" My wife asked about halfway through if this was the last show of the tour because of the lack of enthusiam and energy coming from the stage. Turns out it was almost the last one and it showed.

Anyone else with this kind of product and I would write them off as far as going to his concert again. BUT this is Eric and he's still God of Guitar and I'll still fork over some bucks (yes, even $300) to see him again. He can't possibly deliver 2 mediocre concerts in his life, can he?
 

Review by Rod Nunley / Arlington, TX
If it were possible, Reprise should recall the Madison Square Garden CD/DVD and issue the Dallas show instead. It was vastly superior in just about every way. It wasn't perfect, but certainly one of the better shows I've seen in 44 years of concert-going.

Some of the sound problems reported from earlier shows surfaced here, too. I was on the fourth row, and found the mix to be very muddy in the louder sections, particularly on "Voodoo Chile". Steve Winwood's vocal levels fluctuated all night, and too often he was a bit too low in the mix. The engineers also couldn't seem to get Sharon White and Michelle John right, either. Sometimes they were barely audible, other times overpowering. Steve's organ was generally inaudible on the louder songs. Willie Weeks' bass levels were in and out as well. Eric's vocals and guitar, and Abe Laboriel's drums were the only things consistently mixed well.

Even so, the overall sound was much more muscular than on MSG. The guitar sound was much fuller than on those recordings, although Eric made numerous amp adjustments early in the show to fix something he didn't like. The addition of the backup singers was very welcome, as they did add fullness to songs like "Split Decision" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy" that suffered without them on MSG.

I approve of dropping "Tell the Truth", as it's only effective with multiple guitars. But the loss of "Little Wing" was a real disappointment. I would have preferred it or "Crossroads" over "Cocaine", although Chris Stainton's electric piano solo on the latter was the high point of the show for the backing band. Abe Laboriel is an upgrade over Ian Thomas, too. Abe is a more interesting and forceful drummer, and it showed best on the coda to "Dear Mr. Fantasy". From the sped-up freight train rumble though the "Bolero" finish, he really drove the band hard to the very end.

It was remarkable how much more lively and creative the playing was at this show than on MSG. I thought they sounded disinterested in places on MSG, but not at the Dallas show. I've seen Eric many times, and I can't remember ever seeing him smile, laugh, and joke with the band as much as he did last night. He never addressed the audience with more than a "thank you", but talked to the band a lot, and was clearly in an upbeat mood. It showed in his playing. A highlight for me was his solo on "Split Decision", which I'd found lackluster on MSG, but last night was facile and energetic. His solo on "Glad" was improved over MSG, but I don't think the song works that well with this band, and would have preferred something else. Eric's playing on "Had to Cry Today", "Presence of the Lord", and "Sleeping In the Ground" were especially creative and forceful. This guy was in the zone, and he was having fun.

Eric seemed to do more pickup switching than I've seen him do in the past; he spent more time on the front pickup than usual. He also changed guitars several times for no apparent reason, although I wonder if one of them wasn't tuned a half-step low. I thought his best moment was "Tough Luck Blues", which was also the first number where Steve's organ was loud enough. The whole band was terrific on that one, but Eric was in best-ever form.

Steve Winwood has largely escaped the problem of singers losing the ability to hit high notes as they age. He wasn't shy about attempting them, and he hit nearly all. The only place I thought his singing faltered a little was on "No Face, No Name, No Number", but it's such a lovely song (with a great arrangement) that I really didn't mind. Everywhere else he sang very strongly. I'd never seen Steve before, so this was a real treat for me. His piano playing was excellent. Unlike Eric, he did speak to the audience briefly before doing "Georgia". Steve's guitar playing was top-notch as well. He played both the fills and the solo on "Layla", and they might have been as good as he's ever played guitar. His playing on "Dear Mr. Fantasy" was excellent, and the interplay with Eric on "Had to Cry Today" and "Can't Find My Way Home" were particular highlights for me.

This was a show put on by veterans, led by two of the best musicians of the last 50 years. They're all getting up in years, and could easily have mailed it in like so many other artists from years past are doing these days. Instead, they stepped up and played with youthful enthusiasm. That's what consummate pros do. Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood and their band members are exactly that. Whatever shortcomings the show might have had were easily forgivable. The end result was marvelous anyway.

Review by David Findley / Allen TX
I've seen Eric a half dozen times or so and have never been disappointed. This was no exception, but it was probably my least favorite performance. Both musicians are as talented as ever, but gave the impression that they were simply "on the clock" and stayed away from any audience interaction or musical improvisation. "Georgia" was a real snoozer and what's up with no Cream selections on the set list? Winwoods' vocals remain as good as they were in his youth, but I would have rather heard less of him singing and more of EC's guitar.

Official Recording: 

 

Bootleg Recording(s):