[Slowhand] Honda Center, 3/17

Dave gtr_player2003 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 18 16:17:45 EDT 2007

OK, my 2nd and last show of this tour. Eric added Why does Love got to be so sad? to the set list last night and it was a big treat to hear that one for the first time live. Derek Trucks (and some of the keyboard explorations) were still annoying but not quite as much as the Staples show last Wednesday. In fact the interplay between Eric and Trucks at the end of "Why does love got to be..." was very interesting. The volume was higher at Honda Center, but sound clarity was better at Staples (imo). Besides Why does love... the big standout for me was Eric's intro solo for Queen of Spades. It was astounding! Unfortunately the song degenerated from there into extended solos for the other band members which were a far cry from what Eric had just played. As at Staples, the acoustic set was outstanding and really showed off Eric's vocal talents.

Robert Cray was again great and played a fantastic solo on Crossroads. He is one of the best blues players in the world, imo, and he proves it every time I get a chance to hear him live.

So, it was great to hear the master again live but I hope if he embarks on another major tour sometime in the future that he will reconsider giving so much time to extended solos by other band members, particularly if they really don't mesh very well with Eric's melodic, and always interesting phrasing. In last night's concert I was so struck by the fact that other players (i.e. Trucks and Doyle to a lesser degree) strive so hard to be flashy or virtuosos, while Eric just effortlessly reels off solo after solo of the most interesting and passionate playing imaginable. In contrast to what others have said about Trucks, I think there is a HUGE difference in the muscianship of Eric and Trucks. Derek needs to learn that its not about how many notes he can play, or how aggressive or screeching tone he can get, but its about phrasing, feeling, and choice of notes. I also found Derek's regular lead lines (no slide) much nicer than with the slide, except for a few of songs
where the slide sounded good ('motherless children", the acoustic set, and "why does love..").

Anyway, Eric was great, it was a good show overall, but could've been a LOT better with some line-up changes and less emphasis on the sidemen. Eric should remember that most of us are coming to hear him, not other players whose styles we may or may not like.


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