Monday, September 25, 2006

Clapton at Van Andle Arena

It is always great to see an artist put together a top-notch performance. It’s even better when that performer seems to be at the top of his or her game, at a point where they seem to be right on the money most of the time. It is better yet when the performer is legendary. That’s what Bryan and Ron and I got last Thursday night at Van Andle Arena in Grand Rapids when Eric Clapton and his band came to town. Eric has put together yet another first-rate band but this time he has two young guitar-slingers to bounce off of and, with so much guitar talent on the stage, put together a set of tunes designed to let them jam and to show their stuff.

Eric served as host giving both Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II ample opportunity to show what the next generation of great guitars players has to offer. But then, on every song, Clapton stepped up to the front to show that, not only had he not lost a step, but that he was still the guy to beat. His tone was unbelievable. His singing was right on target and he showed himself to be a consummate professional. The tone that he and Doyle got on their unison slide intro to “Motherless Children” was astonishing. His singing on “I Am Yours” was great and the tasteful slide work of Derek was just right – of course, that was true in almost every song. There wasn’t really a dull moment in the program. Clapton put together a program with few of his many hits. This was a program made for the fans with a couple of songs from Layla, a couple of songs from 461 Ocean Boulevard and even one from Money and Cigarettes! I gave the set list in my previous post. The Grand Rapids Press reviewer ended his review by writing “For more than two hours, Van Andel Arena resonated with something beyond the usual rock 'n roll fare, something truly enduring. It was the kind of show some fans will likely tell their friends and kids about for years to come and wish they could have brought 'em all along for the ride. Some artists are that important, some performances are that unforgettable.” I agree and I’m glad I took Bryan along with me! I wish I could have taken the whole family.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, soundz like a great show. Ev was talking to another woman at work (her new job) who saw Clapton here in Chi-town and this woman sed that the show here was great. Glad Bryan got to go along.