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31 May 2009 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Royal Albert Hall London
United Kingdom
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton– keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals

Support: 
The Arc Angels
Special Guest(s): 

Doyle Bramhall II – guitar *

Set List: 

01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Anything For Your Love
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
06. Driftin'
07. Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)
08. Lay Down Sally
09. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
10. Badge
11. Little Queen of Spades
12. Before You Accuse Me
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Layla *
15. Cocaine *
16. Crossroads (encore) *

Show Notes: 

Closing night of Eric Clapton's 2009 Spring Tour and the final night of his 11-show residency at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Nadja B / Switzerland
Highlights were Old Love with beautiful singing by EC and his superb solo, I Shot the Sheriff, Driftin', Badge, Little Queen of Spades with a breathtaking solo by EC, Before your Accuse Me again with a staggering solo by EC, Layla with Doyle on slide guitar for the long outro, and a super extended version of Cocaine with Doyle's solo and esp. Andy Fairweather-Low's extra long wah-wah solo. The customary set list was performed to the pleasure of an engaging audience. Doyle joined the band for the last 3 songs as the previous few nights.
 

Review Heidi Widmer / Switzerland
I was fortunate to attend all 11 shows at Royal Albert Hall and it might be difficult to understand why anyone should do so especially with the prospects of minimal set list variation. However on most nights there was something special like Eric's 150th RAH show, slight set list changes, outstanding and different solos, smiles and stage banter. Only on 25th and 28th May I felt Eric's performance wasn't so strong, on those nights he just seemed like a businessman and not a musician playing his heart out.

To start the last night off guitar technician Lee Dickson introduced Eric's specially invited guests, the reunited Arc Angels from Austin TX. Charlie Sexton (guitar / vocals) who looks the classic rockstar, Doyle Bramhall II (guitar / vocals). Chris Layton (drums) and Mark Newmark (bass) performed a 7 song set. The highlight for me was when Doyle and Charlie swapped guitars during the song "Shape". They're a great blues rock band and I really enjoyed their set.

At 8.40pm on 31 May, Eric and band were given a very warm welcome by a sell-out crowd of 5,250. The opening number, "Going Down Slow", was a great choice (on rare occasions Eric played the wah-wah here but not tonight) and followed by an energetic "Key To The Highway" where most of the band members could show off their skills. "Anything For Your Love" led into "Old Love" where Eric played a spectacular guitar solo (part of it was finger-picked). It was a delight to listen to him taking it somewhere else every night and on this final night the audience broke into spontaneous applause more than once. Tim Carmon then treated us with a synth solo that was not to everybody's liking but it really grew on me after a few shows. "I Shot The Sheriff" was another highlight and tension almost reached fever pitch.

Eric then sat down for a great acoustic performance of "Driftin'" accompanied by Willie Weeks and Steve Gadd. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" (with full band) was immediately recognized by the audience and everybody clapped along. Then Eric was handed a Gibson L5 and I preferred "Lay Down Sally" in this version (during earlier shows Eric played it with an acoustic Martin). Andy Fairweather Low also contributed a nice solo and the outro brought a smile to their faces and ours. The sit down set closed with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and I was sorry we did not get to hear the beautiful "Not Dark Yet" again but, who knows, maybe The Times reviewer David Sinclair is to be blamed for the song being dropped!

The crowd-pleaser "Badge" was next and then Eric and band tore into the Robert Johnson blues "Little Queen Of Spades". Eric's rendition was outstanding (guitar and vocals) and Chris Stainton as well as Tim Carmon were in the spotlight, too. "Before You Accuse Me" featured Andy, Chris and Tim, Eric followed with a great finish. After "Wonderful Tonight," Doyle Bramhall II joined for "Layla" which went from acoustic to electric on 26th May and I much prefer the powerful electric version! Doyle gave it a wonderful kick with his beautiful slide work on the piano coda. He stayed on but Andy Fairweather Low completely stole the show in "Cocaine". Andy is not a dominant guitar player so it was great to see him performing a raucous wah-wah solo. Chris Stainton followed suit on keyboards. The musicians then left the stage to rapturous applause and returned for the encore "Crossroads".

It's my turn to take a bow now! Thank you, Eric! Although my set list dreams were not fulfilled, it was a great run with fantastic music. Would I have to single out the night I enjoyed most, I'd say it was Tuesday 26th May.

Official Recording: 

 

Bootleg Recording(s):