Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA
4th July 2004

Review by : Chinacatsunflower

I'd like to add my two cents on my first Eric Clapton show and 4th Robert Randolph show.

Robert Randolph is just about the hottest thing going. I saw him a few years ago, and ever since have been convincing friends to go see him. He played skilfully and soulfully, but the crowd was a real dud. The March was awesome as usual, but my boyfriend and I were the only ones dancing, actually we were the only ones standing up. Minutes later we were confronted by an angry mob to sit down. I've never been at a concert where people are stetting down! Honestly who sits at Robert Randolph or Eric Clapton?! Well, we danced for a while, but the crowd proceeded to get more angry so we went up to the lawn for the remainder of Robert Randolph's set. That was my only complaint for the show, although it weighs heavy in my opinion.

EC came out, and I got goose bumps just seeing him. From beginning to end he commanded his guitar so effortlessly. I know a lot of people complained about the blues numbers, but I couldn't get enough. Me and Mr. Johnson is a gem in my CD collection, and I would've loved to hear every track, although Layla was nice to hear.

All in all a good time, however I really think the crowd would have more fun if they just got the led out.

Review by : Steve Skalish

Time for me to add my two cents on this tour. I got to see the man on the birthday of our nation in the Boston area. I have heard mainly great reviews on this tour, and I have also heard from a couple of people who were disappointed. Maybe I am biased, but i am definetly giving this show a positive review. Maybe he had a couple of off nights early in the tour. I find that tough to believe but maybe it happened. I am here to report that in my humble opinion, he was on his game tonight. Some random thoughts...

- It was really good to see that Billy Preston has rejoined the band. He provided a spark that may not have been there in the shows he did not do. He plays with a soul that compliments Eric's work. And he is a music legend in his own right too.

- Many people have commented on Doyle Bramhall. My opinion is that he was good. But I miss Andy Fairweather Low. Bramhall's style of playing is technically sound and brings a lot to the table. But he seems like he is in his own world a bit detached from what is going on. During the Sunshine of Your Love encore, knowing that Bramhall is a decent singer, I expected him to take the singing part that Andy used to take. Instead Nathan East took that part and his own as well. Not that I minded Nathan singing because I love Nathan East. But Bramhall should have grabbed a part there and didn't. I don't know why that is.

- The backup singers were decent, but again not too exciting. I have always been a big fan of Katie Kissoon and Tessa Niles. I know it has been years since they have toured with Eric. I really miss them and they would have been perfect for tonight.

- Add me to the Robert Randolph bandwagon. Man, I saw that band come on at the beginning, and with each song they won the crowd over more and more. At the end of their all too short set, they got a standing ovation. And I remember this place, the Tweeter Center formerly Great Woods, booed Eric's opening act off the stage in 1992 (Curtis Stigers for the record, and he deserved the booing because he did not bring it that night).

- Of course, it is always good to see Nathan East and Steve Gadd do their thing. Nathan is the one person that has been with Eric for all 8 shows I have seen of his dating back to Journeyman. It's just not a Clapton show to me without Nathan East. Although I know back in the 80's Donald "Duck" Dunn was no slouch either on the bass. Eric has always had good rhythm sections.

Here is the setlist. It is pretty much the exact same from previous shows.

Let It Rain
Hoochie Coochie Man
Walk Out In The Rain
I Want A Little Girl
I Shot The Sheriff
Me & The Devil Blues
They're Red Hot
Milkcow's Calf Blues
If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
Kind Hearted Woman
Got To Get Better In A Little While
Have You Ever Loved A Woman
Wonderful Tonight
Layla - classic version

Encore - joined with Robert Randolph
Sunshine Of Your Love
I Got My Mojo Working

Hearing Walk Out In The Rain and Got To Get Better In A Little While were treats for a real Clapton geek like myself. I know many people in the stands don't know those songs. Walk Out In The Rain was a personal favorite of mine from an album that was one of my first Clapton albums. Got To Get Better In A Little While absolutely smoked! Eric with the wah wah pedal going was the highlight of the night for me. That was definitely something for the real fans to enjoy.

The Robert Johnson songs sounded good. He was in good voice for all of them. But I might have done without one or two of them in favor of a classic Eric song like She's Waiting. Of course, I would fall over and die if he ever whipped out Mainline Florida or The Core in my presence. I would die a happy man at that moment. But maybe that is just me.

It was a good crowd tonight, but not a sold out one. Booking the Tweeter Center on 4th of July meant a lot of people were out of town who might have normally come to the show. There were some seats to be had. But the ones who were there showed good enthusiasm.

To sum up the long review, Eric's playing was dead on. He had more fire tonight than I believe he may have had before. If you saw him and didn't feel that way, then I feel bad for you. All I know is that I saw it tonight, and it was brilliant!

But I would have liked it to go longer (about 1 hour and 50 minutes for Eric's set), and there were a few songs I would have loved to hear but didn't. What I did hear was truly great EC form. Thanks again for a great show #8, Eric!

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