According to the website Where’s Eric last Saturday night’s performance (May 29) at the Gelredome with Steve Winwood marked the half-way point in his European and American tour.
Highlights of the concert included a “Voodoo Chile” set jam that lasted close to 15 minutes just before closing the set with “Cocaine”. Of course, the audience wouldn’t let them off the stage just yet, and brought them back for an encore of “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. The only thing missing was a second encore of, oh, my pick would have been “Tears in Heaven” but anything to keep him coming back on stage would have been appreciated by all.
Clapton played on his Signature Fender Stratocaster (aka Blackie), but mostly on a pretty turquoise Jeff Beck Stratocaster, as well as his acoustic. Winwood wowed the crowd with his playing on the piano, but mostly on the organ – doing some amazing solos that you can only get at a live concert.
Among all the great performances of the evening, seeing Winwood do “Georgia” on the piano, as well as the two of them jamming through the acoustic version of “Layla” with just their guitars were among my favorites.
The Gelredome (used for soccer games) rolled away its grass field, but only open half way for the concert, giving those who were standing below the seats a chance at intimacy with the performance. We were able to find places to stand near the side, and ended up less than 100 yards from these amazing artists. But for those further afield (in all senses of the word) or in the bleachers, there was always the possibility of watching close-ups on the four huge HD screens provided. This made the whole experience almost interactive, as we were able to go from watching them on the stage directly, and then switch to looking at the screens to watch tight shots of the organ or guitar solos.
The thing that made it all the more wonderful was that the crowd was made up of about every age group one could imagine. I saw kids in their teens along with people who could easily have been their grandparents. This made going there with my 25 year old son not the least bit unusual, and we were all rocking to the beat, or swayed by the blues, equally. One could also appreciate how polite the crowd was, even as they were getting into the music – never pushing or shoving, and one tall fellow standing in front of me even asked if he was in my way! This made the whole experience a once in a lifetime one for me, and thankfully no one stopped my son from taking pictures or videos (although technically, it isn’t allowed). Here are a few stills, and I’ll upload a video or two after my son gets them up on YouTube.
The tour isn’t over yet. For more information about dates of Eric Clapton’s concerts and purchasing tickets on-line, check out this page from his website.