Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
28th June 2004

Review by : Fast Mike

Have known Eric's music now, for some 30 years or so, I still find his ability to create innovative melodies during solos remarkable. His interpretation of and use of the blues scales is, truly, most enlightening. Not to mention his technical abilities that only could be from GOD. Having seen Eric numerous times over the years I will add he has lost nothing over those years, but has gained a deeper passion for his music. The first of three NYC concerts was great; I cannot add anything to what has been stated by others. Eric is truly seeing a "master skilled in his art" at work. And having seen Eric provides a new perspective when listening to him.....try it, believe me! If you have not yet figured out that I am one serious Eric fan; I listen only to him (or other blues artists) and maintain THE Eric CD/DVD collection, not to be compared! You must see Eric live; it will provide you a deeper appreciation.

Review by : Sid N

The first of three MSG shows, it began at 7:30 with an explosive performance from singer/lap guitarist Robert Randolph and the Family Band, who played several exciting funk-rock jams. In the final song, Randolph and his band mates switched instruments with each other, but were still able to hold their own. I feel bad for the people who arrived after they were done-Randolph could be the main act at a lot of concerts!

At 8:30 Eric Clapton and his band came out and went into a set very similar to what they've been playing for the rest of the tour-they opened with "Let It Rain," followed by "Hoochie Coochie Man." He ended his first set of classics with a jaw-dropping four-minute solo to cap "I Shot the Sheriff."

Eric then went into five songs from "Me and Mr. Johnson,"-Me and the Devil Blues, Milkcow Blues, They're Red Hot, If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day, and Kind Hearted Woman Blues. He played mostly rhythm guitar on these tracks, allowing his backup guitarist, Doyle Bramhall, several solo opportunities.

He went back into his older stuff with a great rendition of "Got to Get Better In a Little While," in which he showcased his mastery on the Wah Pedal. He moved through his classics like Wonderful Tonight, Badge, Layla, and Cocaine flawlessly-he was so good that on Cocaine he actually broke a string and continued soloing as though nothing happened. His encores were Sunshine of Your Love and Got My Mojo Workin', both of which featured Robert Randolph.

All in all, it was a great night, and I was lucky that I got tickets to the first MSG concerts because Eric's organist, Billy Preston, did not play the next two nights due to illness.

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