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Eric Clapton and The Wallflowers Concert Review, Austin TX 3/17/2013

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It was the tail end of SxSW 2013 and my ass was worn the hell out.  Come show day I really didn’t want to go as I was just so damned tired and sore from the previous week’s festivities.  Not to mention that I had trouble finding someone to go with me.  Fortunately my friend Leah was in town and was able to accompany me.

Historically, I’ve always been a moderate Clapton fan.  Cream and Blind Faith had some great songs and I like some of his solo and Derek and the Dominos songs.  His 80s/90s ballads/MTV Unplugged stuff totally turned me off, though.  Some of his 80s pop stuff was fantastic like Forever Man, It’s In The Way That You Use It, Rock and Roll Heart, She’s Waiting, Pretending etc.  Lots of good stuff.  Oddly enough, I never really paid attention to his guitar playing.  Sure I know he’s considered a legend and a great blues player, but I just never noticed anything beyond taking in his songs as the whole and not in its parts.  Add to the fact that in general I’m not much of a blues fan.

Last night changed my perception of him a bit.  Watching him play his riffs and solos was pretty mind-blowing.  The dude is almost 70 and still can play like a bad ass.  Even the slow blues stuff he played, primarily with no pick, was pretty impressive to watch.  His voice is still strong too.  Am I going out and buying his back catalog?  Absolutely not.  I have the songs I need from him, but I do have a new appreciation for his playing.  The setlist pretty much left out his 80s pop stuff altogether which was a bit disappointing, but it was enjoyable.  Jimmy Vaughn came out and did a song.  The one thing that made the night more special for me was that he had Paul Carrack on keyboards.  Who is Paul Carrack?  You may not know his name but you’ve certainly heard some of his music.  I was pretty excited to see that Tempted (Squeeze) and How Long? (Ace) were on the setlist.  They sounded great.  Of course the rest of the band was killer, especially Steve Jordan on drums.

The Wallflowers opened the show and I was a-ok with that.  Bringing Down the Horse is a fantastic album and last night’s show had 4 songs from that album.  They sounded great in general and I’d been wanting to see them for quite a while.

Unfortunately I have no pictures to share.  We had decent seats but my camera sucks.  However, I will be uploading Tempted and How Long? to YouTube later this week.

Glad I went.  I’m seeing YES later this week.  Rock on!