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Eric Clapton Rocks Staples Center

Shaun Hague

Hollywood may be filled with some of the best musicians in the world, but they all got schooled tonight when Eric Clapton took the stage. It was a beautiful, warm night at the Staples Center... and it was ROCKING!!!
I have to add first, that I was sitting front row so I got to take some great photos and even had seats right next to Eric's wife and kids! They were very cute, bopping and dancing to their dad's music.
Anyway, the night began with Robert Cray and his band. Robert is without a doubt, one of the best blues players out today. One of the few guitarists who does not use distortion, he gets some amazing tones from that Fender Strat. The crowd showed up early to give their respects to such a legendary artist and Robert provided some great entertainment. He played a tasteful set for about 40 minutes and then dotted off (although we would see him again later).
Lights go down, crowd roars...CLAPTON!!! I have seen Eric five times since his 1998 Pilgrim tour and the man just gets better every time. Joining him for this tour were smoking guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Allman Brother, Derek Trucks. Talk about triple threat guitar work, this was on FIRE! Eric started out the night doing a sweet set of Domino tunes, really dipping into his past repertoire. "Tell The Truth", "Anyday" and the Hendrix cover "Little Wing" made you feel like you were seeing Eric back in 1970.

Following the 'Derek is Eric' part of the show, Clapton slowed it down with some unplugged gems. "Driftin' Blues", how I have waited to hear this song live... Eric hasn't done this one since the mid 70's. Next camr a stripped down Cream song, " Outside Woman Blues". I thought it was really great to see him do a heavy blues song and turn it into a nice acoustic number. Also included in this set, was the melodic "Runnin' On Faith"..very well done!

Now, back to the rock and roll... Eric and hs guitar army came out strong with 461 Ocean Blvds' "Motherless Children". All three guitarists played the opening riff and slide part too, what a sound. Derek Trucks played some really excellent slide guitar in the moments he got to solo. This guy has some real taste and is a spawn of Duane Allman for sure. Doyle also played some great stuff and always looks cool up on stage. Eric of course, was magnifcent as always. Althouh he has recently said his guitar playing is slowing down, I disagree. I feel that he is THE guitar player up on that stage and no one else can step foot in his shoes. His voice and guitar are always right on the money and you cannot help but shake your head in amazement every time he finishes a solo.

Finally, the night came to a close with Mr. Cray Joining Mr. Clapton for a rousing version of Robert Johnson's "Cross Roads". Tonight, the "city of angels" was taken over by God and his apostles...and what a night it was!
-Shaun Hague
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got to Get Better in A Little While
04. Little Wing
05. Anyday

Sit Down Set
06. Driftin' (EC Solo)
07. Outside Woman Blues
08. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
09. Running On Faith

10. Motherless Children
11. Little Queen of Spades
12. Further On Up The Road
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Layla

15. Cocaine
16. Crossroads (with Robert Cray)