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 Eric Clapton
Last Time Around ?

....Will this really be the last time? That's the question that will be on many fans' minds when Eric Clapton pulls into Sacramento Arco Arena. Old Slowhand has threatened to retire from the arena spotlight before. but keeps coming back . Stretching as far back as the '60s off and on off and on up to as recently as  he's wound up right back again . Clapton will likely continue to tour "on a smaller scale" in the future, and he may still play "one-off' shows at major venues like London's Royal Albert Hall, where his current trek .
......Overall, the evening was an intriguing balance of material from his most recent album, Reptile, as well as songs covering everything from Clayton's early years with Cream and Derek and the Dominoes, to a powerful version of delta bluesman Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Koochie Man." A five-piece band backed him up and performed on an uncluttered stage underneath a multi-functional, four-tiered lighting rig. ......
.....Getting really up-close photo's was impossible, he instructed photographers to shoot five hundred feet away. The reason always the same no distractions of cameramen running around in front, fighting for that god almighty awesome shot. And some Rockstar's are getting older hate the way they look close up. A
.....Clayton's first five songs were received with enthusiastic applause rather than tail shaking, standing ovations. It was only when Clapton strapped on a Fender Stratocaster to play "Change the World" that the band and audience seemed ready to break a sweat. It was not until full bore guitar solos sprinkled through "Layla," "Wonderful Tonight" and "Going' Down Slow." that the crowd woke up. Maybe they thought time stood still and being on the road doesn't tired one out? Maybe when a fan pays big bucks for concert tickets they want a performer to jam all night long.
.....But what was different about this version of the man who practically defined the concept of guitar god was the way he seemed to offload much of the burden for carrying this show to its musical high points. Instead of ripping out one mind-boggling guitar solo after another, instead of pleading into the microphone and defining the emotional impact of his beautifully written songs, Clapton seemed satisfied with the bands upper ranges of their instruments as a substitute for using his guitar and voice to propel this band to extraordinary heights.
..... In past concerts, Eric Clapton put more energy if not talked to the fans just to make the atmosphere feel more like Rock n Roll show. ...Maybe it would be great if Clapton only played material that still excited him. I expected more drama and emotion out of show.

by Randy Cohen

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