[Slowhand] One Jump Ahead of the Storm

Almighty Geetarz almighty_geetarz at yahoo.com
Sat May 31 11:25:09 EDT 2008

Hello, and greetings from the road!

Last night's show was held at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater in Noblesville, which is basically just a suburb of Indianapolis. Pity the show wasn't held at the Conseco Fieldhouse, long a favorite venue. The crowds are usually good, serious music fans.

The band took the stage promptly at about 8:40. The setlist generator, which became unstuck at the Borgata show in Atlantic City, may have had a malfunction as the show began with "Tell the Truth". I'm not sure if this counts as a setlist change if it's back to the original setlist? LOL.

EC's playing was really spot on, lots of emphasis on the high strings. Things felt a bit rushed as inclement weather moved into the area.

Never fear, the setlist generator wasn't broken, merely stuck, as EC began the acoustic set not with "Driftin" but with the solo acoustic "Let's Talk it Over". I have no idea where people get some of these setlists they post ... gotta wonder if they were even at the show? Again, "Driftin'" was *not* played, regardless of what you may read.

To paraphrase EC, he has mentioned in interviews that he would watch the exit lights, seeing who he could keep in the seats with his playing. Last night's show was no exception, as EC seemed to really crank up his playing to compensate for the weather. Say what you want about music fans from other cities, the folks here are hardcore, as the folks on the lawn didn't budge as the wind blew, the rain began to fall, and lightning lit up the sky.

Finally it really did begin to rain in earnest. EC cut from "Little Queen of Spades" directly into the obligatory "Wonderful Tonight", skipping "Before You Accuse Me". EC's shortened WT into a fairly inoffensive piece, but a minor quibble ... since it's shortened, I can only get in 3 or 4 obligatory WT calls. Perhaps I can request a longer, Journeyman era version so that more people could enjoy the vicarious pleasure of a WT call? Then again, that would dilute the exclusive nature of the calls, so perhaps not.

After WT the weather really turned nasty, and the band launched immediately into a torrid version of "Layla", again with very few people leaving the lawn area. The band rushed off stage, coming back in mere moments and launching into "Mojo" as fast as I've ever heard EC play it, which actually kind of worked - EC really did lay into the solo, making up for all the bad weather, and the absence of Robert Randolph. After this the band practically ran from the stage. I must admit, I enjoy EC's normal lack of stage banter, but other than a quick "great weather, huh?" at the beginning of the acoustic set, he didn't say good bye, good night, or anything, which was particularly rude in my opinion. If thousands of people brave a full fledged thunderstorm to watch you play, the least you can do is say "thanks for staying, please be safe". Somebody needs to teach that guy some manners!

Then again, I'm not so sure the setlist was cut short due to weather. Trophy Wife was probably ragging on EC's ass all day ... "how the hell do you schedule a concert on the day the Sex and the City movie opens, Eric? I'll bet you think this will get you out of going, but I have got news for you, you are gonna cut that thing short and make it to the last showing, and I won't hear any excuses or you and Sir Paul are gonna be swapping divorce stories!!!!!"

All hell really did break loose after the show ended. East of the city there were many roads closed, power lines down, trees and tons of debris in the roads. Even I-70 was closed for a while. I never heard the "T" word, the news reports kept saying "straight line wind", but it certainly looked like a tornado had gone through in parts.

It was great seeing Animal Man, the legendary Cutshaw, poor James (who had an incredibly horrible day but still made it to the show, talk about an EC Road Warrior), and other friends. I did note that while Animalman was on the road, we haven't heard from "Bill". I still think that Eddy may have been right, that "Bill" is Animalman's alter ego when he gets drinkin'. We shall see. Y'all would have loved the shirt Animalman had made for the show ... "DON'T TALK TO ME I AM HERE TO SEE GOD". Gotta love it!

Weather aside, it really was a nice performance and I'm looking forward to seeing the band and friends tonight outside Cleveland ... see you on the road!


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