Friday, July 18, 2008

Clapton and Winwood at Madison Square Garden

Wow, thirteen months and change since I last blogged... seems a bit silly to bother but let's give it one more college try, now that my somewhat derailed life is back on the track...

I can still barely believe I allowed myself to say "sure, get me a ticket" to a friend that actually was insane enough to fly from California to NY just to to go see the Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood reunion concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in late February. As it turned out, it was the week of my mother's 90th birthday (you go, girl!) and I was going to fly back to NY that week anyway...

So there I found myself, inside that cavernous arena on a chilly Monday evening in February. I was more than half expecting to be at least halfway disappointed, but as it turned out the show was as good as it could be – the band was terrific, the principals were clearly enjoying it and in excellent form, they played a satisfactorily long time (a bit under two and a half hours), and even the sound was good inside that huge hockey barn.

They opened with the thundering riff of "Had To Cry Today," from the Blind Faith album, and then Winwood's magnificent voice came in with the first line of the song, and from there it was smiles and grins for the rest of the night. Throughout the night they played most of the rest of the Blind Faith material ("Can't Find My Way Home," "Well Alright," "Presence of the Lord," "Sleeping In the Ground"), a couple of Traffic songs, a couple of Derek and the Dominos songs, several songs from each of their solo careers, and a real surprise or two (notably the Buddy Miles tune, "Them Changes," and the Hendrix classic, "Voodoo Child"). Of particular note to me was how well their voices sounded together (when they were in Blind Faith Winwood did all the vocals), especially on the Dominos tune "Tell the Truth."

Anyway, if you're interested, this site has the set list, a bunch of photos, and reviews from attendees.