Gund Arena, Cleveland, OH
10th July 2004
Review by : Mark Alessio
It seems like just when you have Eric figured out-he throws you a curveball, just like he did when I saw him last in State College, PA three years ago. I have a good collection of his CD's and DVD's and have seen him in concert twice before this one, but I have neither heard nor seen him play a solo like the solo he played in I shot the sheriff. It was truly amazing, he has added a more rhythmic dimension to his playing that is nothing short of brilliant. The solo started out with a cool funky rhythm and built into a kick-ass, guitar-screaming EC style melodic solo which brought the crowd to its feet and I'm not ashamed to say-tears to my eyes. I would love to have a copy of that solo! The set-list was as far as I could tell, the same as previous shows. Non-diehard blues fans may get bored with all the Robert Johnson selections, and I found myself wishing for a song from Journeyman-but it wasn't to be. Eric's voice was as good as I've ever heard it, and the addition of Doyle Bramhall II as his rhythm guitarist is an excellent compliment to the band and Eric's playing. Eric was very quiet as usual, but boy did he let his guitar do all the talking-a great show. Through his own self admission years ago, Eric feels he has little left to prove, but on this night he proved to me that he may be the best guitarist ever. We missed the opening act so I can not personally comment on their show, but others I talked to enjoyed it.
Review by : Jared
WOW! That's about all I could say after seeing this guitar god at work on Saturday. I thought Mr. Clapton was on tonight. His solos were incredible, his voice was excellent, and the atmosphere was awesome. Robert Randolph and the Family Band were amazing. That guy can sure play the slide guitar. I read all the other reviews and they said not to miss them, and I now know why, they were awesome. I have never seen an opening act get a standing O at the end of their set, but these guys got one Saturday, and for very good reason. Then came Clapton. All the way from the Opening song of Let it Rain, until the end, he had me in awe. The cameras did a very good job for those that couldn't see too well. They were on his hands for almost all of his solos. His solos, wow. That's all there is to say about them. The version of "I Shot the Sheriff" was great, with probably the second best solo of the night in my opinion. The best song was "Have you ever Loved a Woman." In this song, everyone but the bass guitar and the drummer did a solo and they were all amazing, especially Eric's. The set list was exactly as what was listed in the other reviews. Since I am only 20, this was my first Clapton concert, and I can't imagine anyone else playing a guitar any better than he does. It was truly a great concert and I didn't want him to stop playing, but after over an hour and 45 min of straight playing, even his hands must be tired. Thanks Mr. Clapton for an unforgettable night! If you have a chance to see this guitar god at work, DON'T MISS IT!
Review by : Marty
Eric is still God. If you have a chance - don't miss this tour! The set list was the same as the other reviews.
Funkiest version of Hoochie Coochie Man I have ever heard! The highlight of the night was the guitar work in I Shot The Sherriff. Brought a few butts right out of their seats. Truly awesome! Then those butts went right back into their seats for the Mr. Johnson songs. I hadn't heard anything about the new album and I kind of like to hear new stuff live, first. I wasn't disappointed. Can't wait to get it, now. It was all good. Then things got even better - Got To Get Better In A Little While rocked. I think that Doyle was good - but I always got the sense that he was holding something back and he never did let it all hang out. It was great to heard "Badge" Layla the way you remember Layla - (but we miss you Duane!)
My only problem (and it's probably only me that has the problem) is that I think that he should have retired "Cocaine" from his set list 20 years ago. Come on - she does lie, and people did die. Then it was all Sunshine of Your Love and that MoJo was sure working. Robert Randolph came out and made me regret that I missed the opening act. No matter what - I Shot The Sheriff was worth the price of admission. Wow... Don't keep us waiting too long, Eric. Come back soon!
Review by : Ed
Eric Clapton is still the greatest guitar player in the world. He certainly proved that in a Saturday night performance in Cleveland.
The show got started promptly at 7:30 p.m. with the Robert Rudolph Band taking the stage. They played an energetic set for about thirty minutes. This is an opening band worth seeing.
Clapton came on at 8:30 p.m. and lead off with "Let it Rain". He followed that up with "Hoochie Coochie Man" and then spent much of the next 45 minutes on newer material, mixing in a rousing version of "I Shot the Sheriff". Clapton's new material is excellent and he seems most comfortable while playing the new songs.
The concert was a mix of new stuff and extremely classic material. There was no middle ground. The songs that everyone will recognize include "Layla", "Cocaine", "Badge", "Sunshine of My Love", and "Wonderful Tonight". He did not play any of his material from the 80s or 90s. The show lasted exactly two hours, including encores.
The concert was not nearly a sell-out, which I thought was a huge surprise. This may be a commentary on the price of tickets. We paid $90 per seat, including convenience fees, which was the mid-level price. Obviously, there are many fans who feel that this is simply too much.
I had never seen Clapton before and I am glad I saw him this time. He is a fantastic musician. I would love to see him again, but I would like to see those ticket prices come down a bit.
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