I'm still glowing from the experience last night at the Eric Clapton/Robert Cray concert. It was without a doubt, the absolute BEST concert that I have attended.
I think I may have said the same thing the last time I went to an Eric Clapton concert but this one was better than the last. The thing that set this concert apart, in my own opinion, was the addition of Robert Cray and Derek Trucks.
Imagine for a moment, the opportunity to see three of the greatest guitarists on one stage playing together. It was mind-blowing. Listening to live music is one of my favourite things to do.
Yesterday afternoon, prior to leaving for the concert, I went onto Napster and purchased Eric Clapton's Back Home cd and Robert Cray's Twenty. Jack and I played them on the way into the city. It's a great way to get in the mood.
I'm actually listening to them again now, as I write this.
The Air Canada Centre was packed. We were in section 302, row 1, seats 11 and 12, which was dead centre in that section. It was far higher than what I would have liked, but I consider myself lucky to have gotten tickets. I had been lax in checking upcoming concerts because financially, I felt that I couldn't afford to be going to too many concerts. For that reason, I had been deleting my HOB concert newsletters. I can't remember how I stumbled across it now, but it was quite by accident that I found out that Eric Clapton was coming to Toronto again.
The tickets had already been on sale for a few weeks. I was certain that I had missed the boat. When the search came back with those tickets and I looked at the seating chart, I decided it wasn't that bad. We were slightly to the right of centre stage in a balcony.
Binoculars would have been handy, however, I just kept changing my viewpoint from the stage to one of the large screens placed on either side.
The only negative part of attending a concert like that and being squeezed like sardines into the tight seats, is that you can't get up and dance.
I gazed enviously at the fortunate people in the front row and wondered what kind of lifestyle they live. How do you become a front row concert attendee? Is it something that I will ever attain in my life earning the modest living that I do? Probably not, but one can dream!
I'm still in shock over the fact that Derek Trucks was playing with them. He is one of the best guitarists. He absolutely puts me in a spell with his mind-numbing riffs. I could listen to him all day long.
Robert Cray is another long time favourite of mine, so the fact that I just had all three....wow. That seems so inadequate. WOW! There isn't an adjective great enough to describe the sensation of watching three greats performing, and all three are definitely in their element. They are so into playing the music they love that at times, I'm sure they are unaware of the thousands of fans looking at them adoringly.
Again, I am looking at them enviously. What an exciting life they must lead. I'm sure there are aspects that are tedious, but to get on stage with people that you admire and play together, plus make tons of money doing something that you love, has to be wonderful.
Robert Cray opened the concert and held the audience in rapture with his smooth, subtle style that grabs hold of your attention and never lets go. He had the whole venue riveted with his new "Soon To Be Number 1" hit called Twenty. If you haven't heard it, try to find it so that you can listen to it in its entirety. I am certain that this song has what it takes to be a classic such as Hotel California, Stairway To Heaven lore. There is this wonderful riff that is absolutely addicting. It had me hooked before he was halfway through the song. I was almost disappointed when he left the stage. What?! Disappointed that Eric Clapton was now going to start? Well, yes. For a moment, I was because I hadn't had enough of Cray. I was elated to see that he joined Clapton on stage for a couple of other tunes including the encore which was Crossroads. That was AWESOME! I imagined that Clapton and Cray were both dueling each other for their souls, but both had lost because their love of music was too strong; the devil owned them both.
Eric Clapton proved over and over again that he is the master. His age has not depleted his talent in any way. As mesmerized as I can become when Derek was doing a solo, or Robert when Eric would ease in at the end of their solos; I couldn't help but feel that I was witnessing one of the greatest events in music history.
I would highly recommend that you get tickets to see this concert when and if it lands in your neck of the woods! You will not be disappointed.