Review by Rod V
The last night.... I was a bit worried to see this show after last night's show. I still think that was one of the best Cream shows. I had high expectations, the last show should be even better!
But by the time they played Sleepy Time Time I had the feeling the show like Sleepy Time Time... Nothing exciting so far. Don't get me wrong, the playing was great on the first few songs but not really exciting. I got a bit worried; to me the guys looked tired. Tales of Brave Ulysses was fine, still a great song to play live. But the concert really took off with N.S.U., amazing guitar solo! Fantastic! And after that there were great versions of Politician, Stormy Monday, Badge, Born Under A Bad Sign, We're Going Wrong. It is very interesting to hear the way the guitar solo built up in We're Going Wrong. It makes me remind of the music from the Edge of Darkness!
Sunshine Of Your Love was fantastic too. Nice interplay between the three of them. And then... All of a sudden it is all over! Three times bowing, waving and that's it....
Last time ever? Well, the only thing I can say is that I enjoyed every single Cream concert that I have been to. I have seen about 150 Clapton concerts and these Cream concerts definitely are on top of the list of the best concerts I have ever been too!
Review by Daniel Tsang
Oh, man. After being at MSG for Nights 1 and 2, and seeing the progress made in those shows, I was expecting either more, or more of the same.
There was so much promise in the air: EC finally took charge on Night 2, delivering spirited and passionate solo after solo, freeing himself from his modest confines, and trying to leave Ginger and Jack in his dust.
There was so much anticipation: it was their last (?) show, Little Steven was there, Billy Joel, Lenny Kravitz... all the musical stars were here to watch their swan song.
High (low) lights: Clapton... he didn't play badly, but the person on the stage tonight was clearly different from the guy who plugged into his amp yesterday evening.
Let's face it: For the most part, Cream lives or dies by Clapton. You ask any casual person what they think about when they think about Cream: they think about loud, improvisational jams. True, bass and drums are integral parts of that 3-part formula, but it's the guitar and guitar player that leads the charge. It's the element most people gravitate toward; it's the clearest, loudest, and most distinct instrument. If the guitar and/or the guitar player falters, the rest of the formula will not work out. The '60s Clapton enjoyed taking long improvisational jams, bending those strings, straining for the feedback, pushing himself further and further. In order to keep up with EC, Jack and Ginger had to naturally push themselves even further. This dynamic of EC being selfish with the solos forced the rest of the band to play even louder and more creatively; thus, creating a phenomenal live act.
So, when Clapton shows up to gigs like he did last night, JB and Ginger must kick it up a notch, which takes Cream to another level. Oh, how great it was last night.
Oh, but, not tonight.
Tell-tale moment: I knew we were in trouble during Spoonful (Song #2!). EC just finished his solo and was waiting for JB to start up back into the vocals. Instead of beginning the vocals after the guitar break (which had been done on every performance this tour), JB hangs back and plays an *extended* (not so grand) solo. EC is looking around just gently strumming his chords waiting for JB to wrap up. I was close enough to see EC sigh multiple times during the bass solo.
You're playing your last concert, two songs into the show, and you're sighing?? You certainly don't want God on your bad side... 40 days and 40 nights of unspirited guitar playing ahead!
I may sound extreme, and to give EC credit, he did come back with his sporadic fireworks. But, he clearly wasn't in the mood as he was in last night. Toward the end of the set, he was just phoning it in (i.e., compare Crossroads last night to tonight... no comparison).
JB and certainly Ginger (whose performance I think kept getting better and better after each show) rose to the occasion. But, the guitar and its player drive the success of a band's live performance, and EC wasn't all there tonight.
Oh well, I went to all 3 shows... saw the excitement and felt the anticipation of Night 1, was transported to another realm with the playing and effort delivered by EC and the boys on Night 2, and saw perhaps Cream's last performance (from the first row!) tonight. All in all, I think it was money and time well spent.
Long live the Cream!
Review by Gerard Johnson / Philadelphia, PA
After a rather stressful drive to the train station, my friend and I caught the train into Penn Station and the excitement was building with every stop. Upon our arrival we stopped in a pub across the street from the Garden and met some great people from all parts of the country and had a fantastic time talking all things Clapton and Cream (and a little World Series!). It was at this time that the magnitude of what we were about to see hit us and I started to get that exciting "butterfly" feeling in the stomach as I had before all 12 of my previous Clapton shows.
I must agree, however, with the previous reviewer that EC seemed less than inspired at the beginning of the show. After such an energetic "I'm So Glad", Eric was definitely on autopilot during "Spoonful". He seemed either preoccupied or ambivalent during the whole number to the point that I thought something was wrong with him, but I didn't say anything to my buddy. Probably because I didn't want to admit it. "Outside Woman Blues" was coming and I figured he would get the motor running during this one. The song sounded great but Eric was not hitting those vocal breaks as in the Albert Hall shows and his solos were abrupt. It just seemed like he wanted to get this whole thing over with. As the concert progressed, however, Eric got back into gear and had some absolutely stinging solos and the remainder of the concert proved to be fantastic. What a great show thereafter! "Tales of Brave Ulysses" was beyond cool and I wish they had done this one in London so I could see it on the DVD. "We're Going Wrong" was a truly psychedelic moment and I could tell by the smell that many other thought the same! "Badge" had always been a "guy moment/bonding song" for my friend and me and always gets us going and this version did not disappoint. "Crossroads" was definitely too slow, but still had a great funk. It sounded like Eric's timing was a little off with the first lyric and I’m pretty sure he decides which tempo the song will be played at with his count off and he how he starts the riff. In retrospect, the show was fantastic and we had a great night that will be talked about for years to come, despite the slow start. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be at the Albert Hall in May. The Cream era is now seemingly over and it's been great hearing the man play with those guys. Now rest up, Eric. We need you to get on the road with Doyle, Nathan, Billy and the boys so we can see you again!
Great Job, guys!
Review by Sean
I can say now that I have seen some truly wonderful music. I have been to many concerts but never saw the just play and enjoy playing there music. I feel bad for the current generation who has not experienced music like that of Cream. I used to sit with my friends when we were 11 12 13 years of age and listen to bands like blue cheer West, Bruce and Lang and so on and we would say , can you imagine seeing these guy's in person, and now I have. Thank you boys.
Review by Nick Brush
My friends and I took a 3 hour trek from Delaware (& Maryland) for the Wednesday night show and it was well worth it. The set lists for all 3 New York shows were apparently all the same, but it was wonderful to get the additional song that Londoners didn’t: Tales of Brave Ulysses! It was well played, and despite the rationalizations I'd heard for them not performing this before (speculation that they weren't up to hitting the high notes), the performance was great. They did what they were always known for - no theatrical embellishment or chatting about on the stage - they just jammed! The song order (except the aforementioned T.O. B. U.) looked to be exactly the same as the DVD/ CD release, which was fine. "I'm So Glad" was a great show opener - as a Deadhead, I remember banners with the lyrics from "Gimme Some Lovin'" (which the Dead sometimes covered) that included "So glad you made it ! " (Well, maybe the Deadheads changed the "we" to "you...." "I'M" so glad that Cream did these shows and I was fortunate enough to be there. "Spoonful" remains a great song, though I don't think they stretched it out the way they had in the 60s Some of us fans will cling to anything we can complain about that could be better - usually meaning songs we wished they'd played - so I couldn't get it out of my mind that we were unlikely to get (and didn’t) get a rendition of "Strange Brew." How fitting, I thought - the last show, and they closest Cream show on the calendar to the upcoming Halloween. "Strange Brew" indeed is a fitting Halloween song, but then again, we DID get a nice "Born Under a Bad Sign," so I can be happy about that! "Pressed Rat & Warthog" seemed like it was over before it had hardly begun. Not a long song, but having watched the new DVD, I thought it might last a minute or two longer...
I surveyed my friends to see what they thought the "best" song of the night was, and all had difficulty coming up with one favorite. For me, "Badge" may have been the most emotionally (and musically) rewarding tune. Though I'd seen Clapton 3 times, the most recent time was 20 years ago (Philadelphia Spectrum '85), and he'd done "Badge" then, with the coda he'd added: "Love is my badge!” I thought it was fitting that he DIDN'T include this coda in last night's Cream show, since that wasn't the way Cream did it on "Goodbye." Even though EC didn't mention his late friend George Harrison from the stage, it was a nice way of remembering George by doing a song he'd co-written and played on with the Cream. "Politician" seemed to have an extra verse which I don't remember being on the CD, but it wasn't anything that'll change my political philosophy one way or another..."Sleepy Time Time" and "Sweet Wine" were major moments for me; "Sleepy Time Time" has that unusual jazz thing going on, while "Sweet Wine" is always nice and jammy. However, "Sweet Wine" might have been used as a vehicle for even longer improvisation, if I had my way...I'm not sure if they did "Rollin' & Tumblin'" as I don't remember it being done, but I could be wrong. "Stormy Monday" was nice to hear (even if it is on the live album, it is new to my Cream repertoire) but the song afterwards, I didn't recognize at all. Judging by the way set lists have gone; I'm guessing it must have been "Deserted Cities of the Heart." "Sunshine of Your Love" was the perfect albeit predictable way to end the show. It was a dream come true for me!!
Review by Jeffrey Kaufman
I have been an Eric Clapton fan for over 30 years (his post CREAM years). In relation to many Clapton fans I might be termed a mild fan but to my family and some friends it may seem that (at times) I am all consumed. For my 40th birthday (a few years back) my brother & his wife hand carried a Clapton autographed Stratocaster encased in a Plexiglas display case from LA to Boston as a gift. What a gift!
Over the years my family has grown to tolerate if not even enjoy listening to and/or seeing Clapton. I would venture to say that my son (all of 12 years) has a growing respect and understanding of Clapton's contribution to music.
Being that this was the last of the scheduled reunion performances of CREAM and much has been & will be stated about the actual performances of each song, I feel it may be better to comment on the overall experience.
Having missed the chance to see CREAM at RAH, I followed the rumors of potential MSG dates closely. Once announced, I used my best connection to assure tickets.
I can't remember ever being as excited about an upcoming concert as this one. On October 4th I couldn't wait to rip the shrink wrap off of the DVD & CD! Could they possibly make those things any harder to open? Seeing the RAH shows just made the waiting more difficult. 22 days to the show.
The show began with limited introductions. The sheer simplicity of the staging and equipment was refreshing. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker came to play and play they did. Most concerts today have so many musicians on stage that it is possible for members of the band to rest as others are playing. No second guitar or percussionist, no keyboards, no..., just the 3 of them, almost non-stop.
In all the times I have seen Clapton - I don't think that I have ever seen him work harder and look more relaxed. If you think about it for a moment... Clapton is 60 and he was the youngest out there. You can debate whether the playing of a particular song was better or worse from Monday, Tuesday, or the shows in May, but you can't debate that these are 3 of the most talented musicians that you will ever see perform.
I think, in the end, they offered us CREAM today and have nothing to apologize for.
The highlights of the night didn't come during any particular song... it came many times during the evening as I looked over and saw my son, Jordan, singing along and being part of what will be music history... I'm So Glad, I'm So Glad - he came with me.
Review by Mary Helen
What a phenomenal 3 nights. I flew in from LA on Sunday night and Monday couldn't get her fast enough. To be able to see & hear Eric Jack and Ginger play all the songs I've loved since 1966 was fantastic, I lived my dream. God certainly knew what he was doing when he created those guys. Each night was better than the night before. I think I floated out of MSG every night and it didn't have anything to do with those funny cigarettes everyone around my seemed to be smoking! I simply inhaled and enjoyed the shows. Thank you Jack Eric & Ginger you are truly 3 of the finest musicians on this planet or any other. What a gift you've given us!
Review by Howard Johnston (Wirral, England)
CREAM M.S.G. - A GENERAL REVIEW
First, I should say that I agree with much of what has been written by various reviewers of all three nights. Monday was great, Wednesday was greater, but Tuesday was the night that they really blazed as of old. That in no small part is due to the energy that Eric possessed on that second gig, and which possibly left him sapped for the following night. I had a ball at all three gigs sitting in different parts of the Garden each night. The Cream was and is a mighty powerful unit of three equal parts. If anybody particularly shone throughout for me, it was Jack Bruce who rose to the occasion every night (as he always does) and quite clearly did not want to stop after "Sunshine". Ginger was splendid, and it is his job to bind this explosive chemistry together which he does with great flair and bombast, whilst the restless fireworks of lead guitar, harmonica, and lead bass threaten to explode in every direction. I have been one HUGE Cream fan for decades and I also attended three of the four London gigs (only missing Tuesday); so I think I can speak with a little authority regarding any comparisons.
As for Cream themselves, you could see a genuine warmth and real affection between the three of them onstage in London, that seemed to be missing six months later in New York. I'm not sure why this was the case - but at MSG there was a distinct lack of hugging, back-slapping and chit chat between Eric, Jack and Ginger, which had been the hallmark of the RAH gigs. Eric himself who had been so verbal with the RAH crowd, hardly said a thing last week to the midtown audience - it was largely left to Jack.
Many Americans (perhaps not surprisingly) thought that the band was better in New York - I disagree. They were certainly louder at MSG (which is three times the capacity of RAH) but not necessarily better. Each and every gig of the seven had its highlights. There were some numbers which blazed in Manhattan more than in Kensington six months before - I absolutely agree. But the reverse can also be stated. The inclusion of "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" was worth the price of admission alone, and the whole crowd (including me) went crazy for it. However, there was a different vibe about these gigs. It is worth pointing out that the audience in London might well have been largely British - but not exclusively so. Nor was the British contingent solely Londoners, with fans travelling from all over the British Isles to be there. There were also a large percentage of Americans there, and indeed people from the world over. In a similar way the majority of fans in New York may well have been Americans - but again from all over the States. There was also a fair representation from elsewhere on our planet of Cream fans - particularly the U.K. - but also Australia, Japan and other parts of Europe.
Some Americans had told me they hated the Garden as a venue. I assumed - since this place is part of rock 'n' roll history - that it was acoustics that they poured cold water upon, but after being there myself on all three nights; perhaps I can offer a different take on why Eric seemed so detached on occasion, and why so many fans (including many Americans) felt the atmosphere in London was better.
If any other American starts lecturing us again about how polite and reserved British audiences are, I will scream. Notwithstanding my points above about the audience make-up; when I was at the Royal Albert Hall I was surrounded by a great and appreciative rock audience. OK, there were some corporate parties there; and some of the London Hooray Henry Set who go to any big event in London; and of course a fair amount of (recent period) Eric Clapton fans - as opposed to Cream fans; but the majority was there to see Eric and Jack and Ginger. We did remain sitting for the bulk of the gig, but that was due to; politeness towards the person behind you; the fact that some parts of the RAH are not exactly easy to stand in (especially the stalls and circles) for any great length of time; a generally agreed judgment as to when you should start standing (towards the end of a gig - at the end of a song - during encores); and crucially the desire to listen with great concentration. People were toe-tapping, thigh-slapping and handclapping in their seats just as appreciatively as they would have been on their feet. The audiences at the Royal Albert Hall back in May were totally INTO what they were witnessing! You could feel genuine LOVE for these three guys back in London in May ... it was very palpable.
Now when I come to analyze the crowds at Madison Square Garden I come to a completely different conclusion. Despite Jack's complimentary remarks about the New York audience, I don't judge them superior or more enthusiastic by any means. My over-riding memories are as follows - and this applies to a sizeable minority (and is not directed at the majority of Cream fans from wherever they might originate): Firstly, enormous amounts of people (on every night) were constantly up-and-down from their seats, going to talk to people, heading to the bars - in and out all the bloody time. It was highly irritating. I also saw many trendy, spoilt little-rich-kid, young Manhattanites (Ivy League types) who were far more interested in waving to friends; ordering drinks (from an endless succession of eager waiters all over the place); messing with mobile phones; and most insultingly to Eric, Jack and Ginger - talking at length and at volume throughout. This was annoying at all times but particularly unforgivable during the quieter passages in "We're Going Wrong" or "Stormy Monday". These idiots only applauded after tracks like "Badge" and "White Room" - it was quite obvious were their interests lay. These were not isolated incidents and many people complained about it afterwards in the bars - including Americans themselves who felt ashamed and embarrassed by their fellow countrymen.
One guy told me that he believes it to be quite well known, that Eric in particular gets pissed off with all these throngs of people coming and going to the exits. It does present a very questionable view about the attitude of this large minority in the New York crowd. And of course the rest of us were pinned to our seats (doing our best to ignore the apathetic and disinterested morons around us) and hanging on every word and note played by our heroes; transfixed by the unique chemistry that is Clapton, Bruce and Baker. If Eric's attention was wandering, well perhaps one reason at least, was the apathy he witnessed from sections of the crowd. If he appeared keen to beat a hasty exit on Wednesday night - perhaps it was because he was looking forward towards playing at Albert's place again ... where people listen ... really listen ... and drink and talk before and after the gig - but not during it!!!
Despite all of this I loved every minute. I am so very glad I made the journey to The Big Apple see what may well be their second final swansong. I suspect they will not play any more gigs (I hope I'm wrong) - but I wish they would go into the studio and make some magic there.
Review by Rick Kent - Austin, Texas (Cream fan since age 11)
The biggest question on people’s lips was how the concerts stood up Royal Albert Hall vs. Madison Square Garden. The NY concerts were stronger and generally better than anything at Royal Albert Hall and we all know how good RAH was. Even if you weren't there you can view the amazing DVD of the shows. There were some important adjustments to the music. Some songs were given more attention in all the right places and from the first note of I'm So Glad you hear more volume. It was louder and better.
For the 3rd and final show I had premium seating 11th row center on the arena floor with my buddy Fred. My expectations were very high for this one. What I'll review here is whatever was special from where I sat. See my previous reviews as I do discuss all the concerts songs in some detail but not all here.
As an opener I'm So Glad was never done at anything but half speed but I will never forget the tears we all had when they did this at RAH that first Reunion show on May 2nd. That's what I think of every time they open with this tune. Cream is here playing right in front of us after 37 years of waiting. Let's soak in the sound while they're here.
Spoonful as the second tune is perfect and we need it after the pedestrian paced opener I'm So Glad. Eric snarls off those two notes that are so damn heavy. For this last show Clapton upped the ante with the most bad ass in your face guitar riff... much deeper and lower this time. The 3rd show Spoonful jam wasn't as long as the 2nd show which had me worried about other restraints they might make further into the show. Spoonful was done so well every night! Jack drew out the lyrics on the end section especially at this last show. My neighbor Fred yelled out that this was a lot better than RAH. He hadn't seen them since the 4th show May 6th RAH.
Ginger Baker freaked me out on Pressed Rat and Warthog. The song starts and you hear a noticeable drone or light singing. It had to be coming from Ginger but why? One fan described it as mumbling as opposed to humming.
What happened was when Baker wasn't speaking his lyrics he was humming the music in his mike so he's either singer or humming the entire number. I can't imagine him knowing this was going out to the audiences’ ears since it was such a distraction.
Press Rat ends again with the same plug for us to buy T-shirts and hats from Pressed Rats newly reopened shop but for the 3rd show Ginger asks us not to buy any bootlegs. This is all done tongue in cheek but one has to know that Baker doesn't dig all the boots floating around the internet. For the record I haven't seen any for sale just for trade or download. If you buy a bootleg CD somewhere make sure Ginger gets his cut :)
3rd show's Sleepy Time Time had Eric find a range on his blues guitar that I didn't know existed. He out did even himself on this song. He was at the same level he gives us on Stormy Monday plus a little bit more.... and Stormy is when Eric peeks each night! I had to wonder what he'd do to us on Stormy Monday later in the show. My buddy Fred was so into it yelling out, "hurt me baby!", .. "do it to me baby!"... and at the top of his lungs! I was a jazzed hanging out with someone enjoying the show like he was.
The solo section in Sleepy TT was longer this 3rd show. I came to see Cream for every show just so I could get to these special moments.
-In baseball it's a home run.
-In golf they call it a perfect golf swing.
-in music it's Cream doing Sleepy TT at 3rd show MSG
I'll keep coming back to see Cream if for any other reason to hear tunes done with this kind of passion. It wasn't just Clapton either it was all three of them meshing seamlessly. Very powerful stuff.
Tales of Brave Ulysses. I've seen the Royal Albert Hall DVD so many times and listened to my own RAH bootlegs over and over enough that I am conditioned to hear NSU next. This time I was ready for that wah wah peddle and Ulysses intro. This would have made a great encore song!
Sweet Wine was when the show goes from volume knob #8 to #10. Baker hits the toms a lot harder on the open too. It wasn't until the 3rd show that I realized the sound tech was turning up the volume on the whole sound board. Everything was louder and would remain louder for the rest of the show!
For the jam section of Sweet Wine they give us some cool boogie improvisation. Every night. The last night 3rd show they were not quite where they were the other two shows. 1st show was best. They gave us about 3-4 minutes of real improvisation with no idea where it would take them. I never detected what cue they were using to come to center so they could finish. Maybe they didn't either.
These changes on Sweet Wine and the addition of Tales of Brave Ulysses were the biggest surprises for me at MSG shows.
Stormy Monday was not to be the same juggernaut as it was for the 2nd show and how could it be with what he did to us on Sleepy TT. He emptied the blues guitar tank on Sleepy TT and had to go into his reserves to pull off anything special for the 3rd show however it was still very good. I'm thinking that Eric went way past any kind of time limits for Stormy the previous night so he pulled up a bit across the board here.
We're Going Wrong. 15 songs into the set and I finally get a chance to sit down. One drawback of floor seats is people choose to stand up most if not all of the show. The slower pace of this song was the perfect break for people like me and for everyone.
Everyone in my floor section 2 is now sitting except for... guess who... the two guys in front me and Fred and they aren't watching the show they are just chatting it up as if they're in a corner bar with loud music.
I tried in vain to get them to sit with no luck and I was nice as I could be. After another minute the people all around these guys are seeing red but not saying a word. I had nothing to lose so I tapped the guy on the shoulder and asked if they could have their conversation sitting down. The guy looked at me with venom in his eyes and said, "don't touch me!”. I say to him. "We just want to see the show...please sit down". He says, "we're standing, just don't touch me again, do you understand me?”... What the hell could I say except **** you! And I sat down. What a drag. He reminded me of the character "Psycho" from the movie Stripes. I had to laugh at the parallel there! They did a great job on We're Going Wrong. It was superb and finally I was warming up to this song that winds up to such a strong finish.
Previous to We're Going Wrong Jack put on his most emotional and passionate vocals on Born Under a Bad Sign. Clapton ripped again with all that he had left in his blues guitar gas tank for this Albert King classic.
Now that I'm on my 7th Cream concert I might have to say I'm Creamed out. It'll take more to get my attention than the same set list and the same variations of these tunes. I wouldn't mind working backstage to get a feel for happens in the makings of these shows. Maybe I can be one of those guys that hands Jack a towel when he comes off stage ;)
Many of the songs were done well but with little variation. Badge, Crossroads, Rollin and Tumblin, Deserted Cities of the Heart, White Room, etc Superb songs *all done well every show*. One disappointment every show was Sitting On Top of the World for reasons I've reviewed several times. I want Jack back on the back on bass and to lose the harp. This just wasn't the way Rick Kent wanted to hear it. If others like it that's OK. This is a matter of taste but I will forever be confused at the choice of this version for the reunion concerts.
Toad was crazy good again. Some say he stole the show every night but that's not realistic. Baker is the backbone of the shows with his drumming and Jack his equal on the bass. Those two together form such a unique unit. These two didn't seem to be enjoying themselves like RAH gigs. Jack especially wasn't all smiles. Not to say he was having a bad time with it but the initial Reunion gigs had that specialness that warranted more glee.
Encore Sunshine closed out the shows. Same frenetic fast jam at the end. So strong and tight! Ginger was trying to twist it up every chance he got but Jack and Eric were throwing him everything they had. They ended it and did the bows and grins. They were ready for it to be over and it showed. Like Eric says on the DVD he was exhausted from relief that it was a success. It was a success again in New York City...no doubt.
I don't think we'll see Cream reunite soon. The door is open for more gigs but the reasons to do more of these shows isn't the same now. Unlike most everyone I don't think this was just for the money however lucrative this all may have been. Just don't forget to buy a T-shirt and Cream hat from Press Rat and Warthog on your way out
Review by Ritchie DeCarlo / Philadelphia PA
I have been following these reviews since the first RAH performance. It appears that these posts are from individuals going to nearly ALL shows. This leads me to believe that you are middle-aged wealthy people who can afford to travel the world & knit-pick the concerts. I would like to represent a different sector of the audience...
I am 38 years old & have been playing drums for 30 years. Ginger Baker is one of the main reasons I'm still performing today. Cream created this style of music that I Love! There would not have been a Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Nirvana or other heavy rock bands without them. Many of the new bands on the radio are following their footsteps.
Luckily some single tickets appeared the morning of this show & I was able to attend. I never thought the opportunity would come along to see Cream, thankfully it did!
From the very first Chorus of "I'm So Glad", I could not believe that this wall of sound was being produced by 3 men in their 60s! Two hours later "Toad" & "Sunshine of Your Love" were still potent!!! The energy & chemistry between them was like nothing I've seen anywhere before. Way better than the new DVD release. It was like a band with something to prove, not a reunion of 3 legendary veterans. Live music is supposed to be like this. The tempo increases at the end, the wah pedal doesn't work, SO WHAT! I wasn't there in 1968, but I'm sure there were mistakes & gear problems. That's part of a Live Power Trio If you want perfection, go see Paul McCartney with his 4 pc. hired band of youngsters. Cream is the real deal!
Ginger, Jack, Eric, if you are reading this: THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!
Review by Sam King
It was a fantastic night. There were people from all over the country (and elsewhere) in attendance. I met four guys who flew in from California for all three shows (one had been to the Albert hall concerts as well). I sat next to an interesting guy for the South who also was an avid cream fan. I was surprised that my seat (for the low price) was excellent. Looking down slightly to the rear of Ginger Baker with the two guitarists out front. Large screens provided a clear close-up view of the front. The playing was superb, as you would suspect. They played with more aggressiveness than at the Albert shows. Clapton, in particular, sporting his pre-Yardbirds era crew cut, let it rip. He approached this level in spots during the '90s blues tour, but this time he maintained the level through the whole show. His tone was much cleaner than even during the RAH shows (proving feeling really does reside in the hands, not the gear). Bruce shone throughout, and was the only one who spoke. "We're going wrong" was a particular standout. Ginger Baker proved that "skill" trumps power, particularly on Toad, which he performed a beautifully melodic solo for approximatel10 minutes. There were also a few flubs, particularly Clapton, when he forgot to switch to the Leslie in Badge (how could he forget that huge piece of furniture) and Baker who hummed the melody to Pressed Rat between spoken sections. Any surprises? Yes! They performed Tales of Brave Ulysses complete with wah wah! (Also the pedal was used on WR, unlike the RAH shows). Conclusion? It was one of the best performances I ever saw! Did they sound the same as they did 34 years ago? No. They have grown into the seasoned blues and jazzmen they dreamed of being in their twenties. The playing reflects this experience and maturity. I noticed that the players were kind of distant from each other (particularly EC), so I suspect they might not play together much in the future. I hope I'm wrong, as it was a fantastic experience. Could it have been better? Perhaps, but only if Jimi had made a surprise appearance and performed his version of Sunshine.