Friday, February 19, 2010

Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck

It was a really good night at the Garden, really good. In fact at points it was great. I just wonder about how well these two guitar legends actually mesh when the play. More on that later though.

Jeff Beck hit the stage promptly at 8:00 so if you are going tonight get there on time. Jeff Beck is a monster player. His innovation and skills are beyond question. I "knew" a few cuts right away (Led Boots, Big Block, and of course the Beatles A Day In the Life) but others were unknown to me. That doesn't stop or limit the enjoyment. It was 45' of simply amazing playing. In particular Nessun Dormar with the mini orchestra was a stunning example of just how great a guitarist he is.

Eric Clapton came on at 9:15 and opened with a string of acoustic numbers. Driftin', Nobody Knows You, Runnin' On Faith (fabulous) and Rock & Roll Heart. Some in the crowd were a bit restless, but I like this side of EC. I've seen him do the hits shows before so a little change up is a good thing. Tell the Truth kicked off the electric portion of the set that saw a killer Little Queen of Spades lead into a crowd favorite ending (Cocaine). Nice tight hour of music.

Jeff joined Eric and his band right away and off into the "together" part of the show. Now you need to understand that this was not exactly a hits section but the playing was amazing and I quite enjoyed the song choices with the possible exception of Shake Your Money Maker. Moon River was absolutely gorgeous. Beck played the killer melody and Clapton sang his heart out on this standard. I am getting older and these standards more and more appeal to me. I think I am just catching up to what I have been missing.

During the blues numbers it becomes clear how different they are as guitarists. Clapton's bread and butter has and always will be the blues. Not so for Jeff Beck. When he plays the blues it seems to me that his great talent is not utilized to the fullest. It's not that he wasn't great, he was, I just prefer Clapton more when it comes the blues.

It was a good night and my son really enjoyed it. It does highlight for me the difference between the two. As good as Beck is I rarely pop on one of his albums. Blow by Blow once in a while, Truth and Beck-Ola more often...but then again those two are more "traditional" band albums. No knock on Jeff Beck and I love seeing him live, but at home it's gonna be Clapton alone more often than Beck alone.

18 February 2010 - Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck

Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

Jeff Beck - guitar
Jason Rebello - keyboards
Rhonda Smith - bass
Narada Michael Walden - drums

Eric Clapton - guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton - keyboards
Walt Richmond - keyboards
Willie Weeks - bass
Steve Gadd - drums
Michelle John - backing vocals
Sharon White - backing vocals

Special Guest(s)
During Jeff Beck's set
12 Piece Orchestra *

Set List
Jeff Beck
01. Eternity's Breath
02. Stratus
03. Led Boots
04. Corpus Christi Carol *
05. Bass solo by Rhonda Smith
06. Hammerhead * (possibly not performed)
07. Mna Na Heireann *
08. Big Block
09. A Day In The Life *
10. Nessun Dorma *

Eric Clapton
01. Driftin' - acoustic
02. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out - acoustic
03. Running On Faith - acoustic
04. I've Got A Rock 'N Roll Heart - acoustic
05. Tell The Truth
06. Key To The Highway
07. I Shot The Sheriff
09. Little Queen Of Spades
10. Cocaine

Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton
01. Shake Your Moneymaker
02. Moon River
03. You Need Love
04. Outside Woman Blues
05. Little Brown Bird
06. Wee Wee Baby
07. (I Want To Take You) Higher
08. Crossroads - encore

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