Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY
23rd June 2004

Review by : Paul Ouderkirk

I pretty much agree with Kurt and Dave. I last saw Eric at the Pepsi on his "last tour" a couple of years ago, and I think he was better this time. His playing has never been better, and his slide work continues to get better with age. I liked the set list, and I can't believe that he played Got to Get Better in a Little While....very cool, and brought back memories of the live Derek & Dominoes version.....for me, a high point of the evening.

Review by : Kurt

The concert for 6/23/04, at the Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY, was a great evening in all facets. The music was great, arena mostly full, and an electric feeling felt throughout by most people attending.
Why am I surprised to see that Eric is playing better than ever. For what it is worth, I do play guitar and insist that his playing was brilliant; not consistent with the average aged star.

The set was pretty much as described on the site. "Sheriff" was a big highlight as Eric lit into a very soulful rendition of the Marley classic. It was fun to see Doyle B. just looking up and smiling as Eric found his melody. "I Want A Little Girl" was pleasantly done in the taste of Ray Charles. "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" was also a guitar strongpoint of the evening.

The E.C. standards were fun. I own loads of his concerts and often skip these numbers, however, live the whole arena belted these out. The band really enjoyed this aspect of the show and bought into the hype just as well.

I was unusually blessed to be in the fourth row center. I mention this for a couple of reasons. First, I have never had such great seats to a big act before. Also, when this close you get a good look into the inner-workings of the band. There were several instances when Eric was playing that the band all looked at the other and smiled approvingly. These were great moments as I was feeling just the same.

Eric was not too talkative, in fact, he was down right quiet; yes, I have actually seen him before when he was chatty. I often wonder why this is so as surely he is aware that his audience wants to know more of him. Anyway, the show was strong right through.

The band was solid as all had their moments in the spotlight and delivered with a high level of professionalism. The warm up band of Randolph was a good opening act. To be honest though, I am not really a big Hendrix fan. This guy reminded me a bit of Jimmy as he had a very beefed up sound and seems to enjoy the attention he gets when playing over-the-top solos. Nevertheless, the man does not need me tell him he has great talent. Just not to my taste.

I was almost disturbed to read one of the reviews bashing the performance of another show in Europe (?) The complaint was on the cost and the set list itself. This bewilders me as the show is clearly marketed as a partial blues tribute the late Robert Johnson. Sorry, and with all due respect sir, but what did you expect? And for the price, 40-80$ is not that high in today's market. Simon and Garfunkel are getting double that price in Albany, with Vanhalen, the same as Eric. Eric is not worthy of these people? That is your call, but he is still number one on my to see list.

Personally, I am so tired of reading about people who want Eric to play like he did when he was in his 20-30's. I have news for you. Eric Clapton is a much better guitar player and singer now than he was then. No comparison! What people fail to understand is that Eric is refined. The things Eric was doing in the 60-70's are old hat now. His peers nor other musicians alike would not own the reverence they do for this man had he stopped growing as a musician.

Just go, and when you are watching E.C., remember, you are watching a legendary guitar player/musician/artist at work. Enjoy him folks as nothing lasts forever!

Thank you for your time!

Review by : Dave Freeman

CLAPTON IS GOD! He still can rock 'n' roll and sing the blues for a 59 year old man. His licks and riffs were incredible. Mr. Johnson would be right proud of him. Hot tamale and a red hot!

Eric totally dominates the sound with his multicoloured Stratocaster. He sounds just as good live (if not better) than in the studio. I hated to see the show end. He does not interface much with the audience. He lets his guitar do his talking. Eric is a class act!

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