Since Eric Clapton is the current vote winner, I'll start a brief post about his visit to Salt Lake. This post will expand as I get the real experts--Margaret and Misha--to add comments.
The story in brief: Margaret (my wife) and I, after trying insanely to win tickets to the Clapton concert by calling 103.5 "The Arrow," decided to buy them--which we did, and gave them to our son Misha for Christmas. Part of the gift was that he would get to go with his mom, who has been a Clapton fan for many years. Some Christmases ago, I gave her the Cream of Clapton CD. (As she notes below, daughter Kaila gave her Clapton Unplugged.) Misha, who is 15, has become a Clapton fan and is following in his footsteps by becoming an amazing guitarist. Eric Clapton is arguably the finest rock guitarist in the world. I would also put the late George Harrison in the running (Harrison and Clapton were friends, and Clapton plays the guitar on Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), but some think there's no competition.
The concert took place in Salt Lake on March 8. (Margaret and Misha went and made an evening of it; besides the fact that Margaret loves Clapton, it was her turn because some years ago I "got" to go to an 'Nsync concert with daughter Julie.) You can click here or here for stories on the concert and here for photos. But Margaret and Misha need to tell the real story . . .
First off, Kaila gave me "Clapton Unplugged." You gave me "Cream of Clapton."
Installment #1: Christmas season. Bruce and I both have speed-dials set for all three numbers of 103.5 fm. When we hear "Cocaine" or anything else by Clapton, we start madly pressing buttons--home phone, office phone, cell phone. We get busy signals. We never win. Finally, we buy the tickets. Then we break the news to Michael that we tried and tried to win the tickets but we just couldn't.
Meanwhile, I wrap the tickets in a video box with some a few little things to make it rattle and put it under the tree.
Christmas morning arrives. Michael opens several gifts before getting to that one. He opens it, looked shocked, says, "I thought you said you didn't get them."
I answer, "No, I said we didn't WIN them."
He breaks into one of his wonderful, ever subtle smiles.
Now we need to hear from Misha. And here he is (in the form of a report prepared for school):
On March, 8th, 2007, I attended the Eric Clapton concert at the Energy Solutions Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. I loved it. I thought it was great. Eric Clapton only said 13 words to the audience: “thank you and good evening” and “thank you” four times. But it doesn’t really matter because he spoke with his guitar.
There were lots of people. Most of them were old, and a lot had long hair. A lot of them were drinking beer and “having a good time.”
The opening band (Robert Cray) was good. All they did was blues.
The songs Eric Clapton played were:
1. Tell the Truth
2. Key to the Highway
3. Got to Get Better in a Little While
4. Little Wing (By Jimi Hendrix)
6. Driftin’ Blues
7. Outside Women Blues
8. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
9. Running on Faith
10. Motherless Child
11. Little Queen of Spades
12. Further on up the Road
13. Wonderful Tonight
They brought the opening band to come out in the encore. The concert was just five minutes short of two hours, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I consider Eric Clapton one of the best guitar players in the world, and it was very entertaining to watch him. But I think all the other members of the band were really good too:
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar
Derek Trucks – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
They all got a chance to solo and they all very talented, but Eric Clapton is the most talented. He’s played with tons of different bands, and he’s had lots of practicing at guitar and singing over the years. He’s the main reason I went. Eric Clapton played on both electric and acoustic guitar. He was very good at both. Eric Clapton played blues and rock. My favorite songs were “Little Wing” (a ballad written by Jimi Hendrix), “Layla” (he did the “Derek and the Dominoes” rock version), “Cocaine” (also a rock song), and “Wonderful Tonight” (rock but a bit softer).