Air Canada Center, Toronto,
7th July 2004
Review by : Matthew N
Well, I thought I'd seen my last Clapton show after he announced his retirement a few years back. Like many others, I was very glad that he changed his mind, again. He is in great form on this tour and I only hope he tours again soon. With a new studio album planned for release next year, there is still a chance last night was not the "last night" for me. I will keep this review short as many others have said exactly what I would say about the man, he was great! Highlights include Let it Rain, I shot the Sheriff, Got to Get Better in a Little While, and a smoking version of Sunshine of Your Love with Robert Randolph. For a Derek and the Dominos fan, seeing "Got to Get Better" live was a real treat, as close to seeing D&D live as I'll ever get. Clapton's solos on this song and I shot the Sheriff were the best of the night, as others are reporting. Clapton's band is very tight and I cannot say enough about Billy Preston. He is a wonder to behold and really rounded out the whole performance for me. Doyle Bramall's playing was also right on, and his slide work very good. He adds another dimension to the band that was missing with Andy, no offence to him, as he is a fine musician in his own right. Bramhall, however, is such a gifted guitarist that Clapton appears to push himself a little more in his presence. I am not saying anything new here as others have reported this also. Robert Randolph is also a wonder in his own right and no one should miss this opening act. He blew the roof off the ACC and his opening act received one of the longest standing ovations of the night. He and the family band are the real deal, no doubt. I will end this review by sharing with you all a very special moment that occurred after the show. As we had floor seats, we walked very close to the VIP back stage area after the show. I saw people with "Guest" badges being ushered by men in dark suits to a lower level room. One person said he needed to get his camera. It was obvious to me that these people were about to do what I was trying to do, meet the band, and perhaps, the man himself. I asked someone what the chances were of meeting Clapton and he said that he had already left the building. I didn't believe him, but thanked him anyway. My family used the washroom before leaving and thank God they did, for who walked down the hall towards us moments later but Doyle Bramhall himself. He was very gracious and signed my poster and actually stood at a table and talked to us for a good five minutes. He was very relaxed and spoke freely, answering all of my questions. I asked again if perhaps Clapton could sign my poster and he hesitated slightly, and with a look of regret, said that Clapton was with his family right now. I understood completely and thanked him anyway. Meeting Doyle was more than I had expected. A great ending to an amazing night.
Review by : Bill
Last night we saw this show and i have to say the single best Clapton show I've ever seen, I've seen him 6 times in the last decade and he has yet to disappoint. The highlight was his reworking of I shot the sheriff he played a new intro to it (that he also played at the crossroads guitar festival) but he had refined it that much more. the solo he played was probably the single best solo I've ever heard Clapton play...and that in a song that is so old just breathed all kinds of new life into it. i have every Clapton album save "another ticket" and i have to say there were a few songs i didn't recognize, including one that in June at Crossroads he used as an intro for cocaine, it seems the song took on a life of it's own. either that or I'm seriously out of it. anyway, the show was only 2 hours (which means we were out at 1030 which is weird because last time Clapton played Toronto we got out much later) however, the show was amazing, he certainly left EVERYONE wanting more. Having Robert Randolph open for him and then come on stage for the encores was great. I've never seen an opening act get a standing ovation before, unless it was a co-headlined show, like Dylan and Santana in 94. Robert Randolph is an exceptional player.
Clapton had on stage with him, Billy Preston (I believe, it sure looked like him but we were at a distance), Doyle Bramhall playing guitar with him, Nathan east on bass, Steve gad on drums and another keyboardist that I didn't' recognize. surprising was the fact that Andy Fairweather low, long time Clapton staple was absent at both this concert and at crossroads. a true shame, because when low and bramhall played with Roger Waters a few years back they owned the stage and were amazing firebrands together.
All in all the best Clapton concert I've seen in the last decade, one that I wish I could relive!
Review by : Derek
Absolutely incredible... first shows and I can honestly say that Clapton is, in my opinion, the best guitarist to hit this earth. Soooooo amazing, same set as usual, but the I shot the sheriff, badge and a whole bunch of stuff from the early days made it an unforgettable experience.
Review by : David S
I just got back from Eric's concert at the Air Canada Centre... absolutely the best EC concert I've been to since the Cream Farewell gigs many moons ago.
I expected more blues, but was amazed and delighted to hear a magical cross section of EC hits from across the years. Undoubtedly the greatest guitarist ever - at least in my opinion - EC thrilled the ACC crowd flipping from Blues to rock ,including a wicked rendition of "I shot the Sheriff'. The Badge, Layla and other classic EC favourites were there, but a couple of my favourites, Mainline Florida and Motherless Children, didn't make it.
The crowd absolutely loved the concert stamping their feet and yelling to get EC back for more after the first encore. No luck, but we'd all been treated to an evening in which EC showed that he's got better with the years. It was great to have Billy Preston on the key board. I would have loved to have seen Andy Fairweather-Lowe on 2nd guitar...as the guy holding this spot down seemed a bit too detached from the EC experience.
I'm sad as hell that the concert has been and gone, but as it was my fifth EC concert, I think I just saw one of the best.
Long may EC reign!
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