[Slowhand] Ramblings and belated musings from the FLA shows

Jeff Elliott jnt.elliott at comcast.net
Sun May 11 13:43:07 EDT 2008

I've been remiss in not offering up my thoughts of Eric's recently completed
shows in Florid, so, after finishing the weekend chores, here goes:

Tampa show was excellent. Eric and Doyle really seemed to be on fire from
the beginning with steady and excellent fret work that sounded more like
mid-tour strength than first show adrenaline. After seeing them two nights
later at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, perhaps it was the adrenaline after
all. Neither was as crisp as the other on the opening night show during
which they both, and the entire band for that matter, were just plain on
fire. The encore presentation of Crossroads with Robert Randolph was
excellent and Eric and the rest of the band seemed to really enjoyed
Robert's steel guitar work.

Speaking of the Hard Rock.great hotel, the rooms were phenomenal, the casino
was smoky, but the venue, Hard Rock Live, was not as good as I would have
expected. With all due respect to fellow Slowhander, John Roe, I found the
place to be just one big box with terrible acoustics. We were sitting in
the cheap seats (at $300 a pop) on the right side of the stage in section
202 and I constantly heard the drums reverberating off the back wall in a
steady competition with Ian Thomas with his own beat. Very strange,
particularly noting that the venue was built for the Hard Rock chain which
one would think would result in a much more refined acoustic chamber for
live performances.

About those cheap seats; is it Florida or the state of audiences in general
these days? Constant conversation throughout the shows. This was less the
case in Tampa (maybe not as noticeable due to the fact it was an outdoor
venue) but we were surrounded by nits who couldn't stop yapping, even after
several other folks pointed out they couldn't hear the show through their
chattering. I can handle someone pointing their rudeness at me, but come
on, you going dis the Man while he's playing a very nice rendition of
Drifting on solo acoustic?

As for that solo acoustic performance of Drifting at the Hard Rock, the
Tampa show started the acoustic set with Nobody Knows You which included
Doyle and I'm wondering if the Drifting solo was a spontaneous thing, only
because it appeared Doyle was having some equipment issues as Eric was
sitting down. Then again, maybe I'm making this all up because at this
point in the show, I was ready to step over the chairs up into the row
behind us and throttle the high-maintenance wannabe CSI Miami b@$*h who just
couldn't shut up.

I think I could have taken her ol' man because he was clearly up against 55
or 58 and well past his fighting prime! Like I've ever kicked any body's

All in all, great shows and was the first time I've ever had the pleasure to
witness back-to-back shows like that. (The significant other is still a bit
upset at my non-aggressive approach to buying tickets to Winwood-Clapton in
MSG last February.) It was great to hear Eric play Little Wing which is
one of my all time favorites. I suppose Eric can't go on tour and NOT play
Cocaine or Layla. Don't get me wrong, I love both tunes but Eric has so
many other fabulous songs that I would prefer he leave some of his tired
"radio" songs off the set list and hit some of those less heard songs. Like
The Core or perhaps Stormy Monday (okay, it's not really HIS song but I've
heard a live version he played that kicked butt).


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