Eric Clapton 2018 Cologne concert review

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Eric Clapton 2018 Cologne concert review

Post by 12bar »

Lanxess Arena, Cologne @ 31 degrees Celsius...
EC'S first concert in four years in Germany. Only four concerts this year. Last chance to see him live? I had to go.


1. Somebody's Knocking
2. Key to the Highway
3. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
4. I Shot the Sheriff
5. White Room
6. Driftin'
7. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
8. Layla (acoustic)
9. Tears in Heaven
10. Crossroads
11. Got to get Better in a Little While
12. Wonderful Tonight
13. Litte Queen of Spades
14. Cocaine
15. High Time we went

Total playing time: approx. 1:45

Eric Clapton (g,v) :big_smile: - Fender strat and Martin
Sonny Emory (d) - fantastic job!
Paul Carrack (k,v) - a great singer, a great keyboard player, but to be honest - not needed. Lame solos.
Chris Stainton (k,v) - good as always.
Nathan East (b,v) - good as always, played the intro to Cocaine
Doyle Bramhell (g,v) - played an ES335 with a sometimes strange sound
Sharon White, Sharlotte Gibson - backing vocals, great classical voice, but not needed IMHO

Pics: ... pwSzrz1K-1 (external link)

Supporting act: Floy (without "d") and the Messengers. Singer/songwriter style, desperately trying to warm-up the crowd with no success. Good voice, good band, but absolutely not my taste. :icon_whoknows:

EC with short hair and casual wear looking healthy entered the stage with his band. "Good evening" and an occasional "thank you" was all he said - as always. EC hasn't played live for a while now.

The first three songs left no good hope for a nice evening. Same old licks, solo Chris, solo Paul, Solo Doyle, solo EC, no magic. The intro to Sheriff wasn't coordinated either. But during the song he found his way back and with every song his playing got better.
Sheriff turned directly into a great version of White Room - EC was back. He still can play.

The acoustic set was as usual, very good sound quality. Tears in Heaven played in Reggae style - well, not for me. I prefer the original. Crossroads was OK, GTGBIALW was fantastic, like in the Seventies. Wonderful Tonight - leave it out next time... :wink:

Little Queen again show his Blues soloing qualities and Cocaine ended in standing ovations when the musicians left the stage. The crowd was great and - as usual - the band came back for the encore. But it was disappointing and seems to be a concession for Paul Carrrack.

Personal conclusion:
This was together with the Hamburg concert supposed to be a warm up for London. I'm sure it's more polished there.
The good thing - he still can play fantastic and his singing is getting even better. The sound was perfect a some adjustments. His band is tight. His health seems to be much better, his fingers are still magic.
The bad thing - the setlist, as usual. So many great songs to play, but they play Wonderful Tonight. :cry:

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Re: Eric Clapton 2018 Cologne concert review

Post by VikingBlues »

A bit of a mixed bag. A tricky thing for a set of musicians is the task of finding the groove and getting the music to take off.

It must be even more difficult when you haven't played live much recently, and it must also be difficult when you've played the song so many times over the years.

Good to hear there were some gems in there where it hit the spot, despite the dread WT. :thumbsup:

You never know when the really special bit of live music will turn up. The most memorable live blues rendition I've ever heard wasn't from anyone famous - it was from Maggie Bells backing band in the middle of the concert when she took a break. They played "Hoochie Coochie Man" and I got that swimmy light headed feeling and was suddenly totally immersed in the music and I wasn't concious of anything else. Surprising I got immersed like that given how so many of the crowd were more interested in talking at the tops of their voices than listening to the music. The bad thing was coming back out of that trance like state to reality, but it was a great experience. The last rock / blues gig I went to - maybe because I know that really special moment won't be repeated.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!
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Re: Eric Clapton 2018 Cologne concert review

Post by Blindboy »

At least you got to see him live. My only Clapton concert experience was back in the early 80's... It sold out before I could get a ticket, so I went to the stadium hoping to get a ticket from a scalper (or sneak in :wink: ). I had no luck so I stood outside the doors and listened to the show from there.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"
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Re: Eric Clapton 2018 Cologne concert review

Post by 12bar »

Meanwhile there are so vids on Youtube. Reviews in the papers were mostly positive, he enjoyed playing and after a while he was "on" and played those notes you can't learn. :music1:
The show in Hamburg was similar, some adjustments as expected, I think in London there will be a great show. Maybe a duet with Santana? :drool:
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