It was guitar frenzy at the Boston Garden last night as Eric Clapton and his axe-wielding sidemen attacked a bunch of classic tunes. Particularly noteworthy were the treatments of Got To Get Better In A Little While, Little Queen Of Spades (which was "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" with different words) and the encore, "Crossroads". You knew it was going to be a good concert when Robert Cray came out as the opening act. Moving quickly into his blues style, he got the crowd warmed up nicely for Clapton's opening "Pretending". Cray also joined the band for another song or two and was featured on the "Crossroads" encore.
Besides Cray, Clapton had Derek Trucks on slide guitar. Derek, nephew of Allman brothers original Bruce Trucks, now tours with the current Allman Brothers. With Clapton, he reprised the role of Duane Allman on the Derek and the Dominoes songs. The third guitarist, Doyle Bramhall II, played well too, but was mostly overshadowed by the other three.
Before the show started, we were trying to figure out how many songs Eric Clapton had to choose from for his set list. When we figured that he's released or been part of 50 albums (remember Yardbirds, John Mayhall, Derek and the Dominoes, Delaney and Bonnie all count) and you figure a minimum of 10 songs per album, that's at least 500 songs to select from. An Amazon search returns 463 results (albums) for Eric Clapton.
The songs were all extended versions of the originals with the guitarists trading solos as they lengthened the instrumental parts. As they played, the songs flowed seamlessly from one into the next, which I love. I think they are able to sustain the flow because they play the same songs night in and night out. The downside is that Clapton really didn't seem to be enjoying himself. As wonderful as his music is to us fans, maybe it's still a job to him. How about a smile, huh?
Anyway, the Clapton part of the night went on for over two solid hours. We left with a slight ringing in our ears and happy that we had seen the legend, about whom subway graffiti in London used to read: "EC is God".