Clapton and Winwood at the Pepsi Center

Monday, June 22, 2009
Last night I went to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the Pepsi Center with the Smart Man, our Smart Friend and the Incomparable Anne.

The show was exceptional (of course). Their play-list included numbers from the 1969 Blind Faith release, as well as individual releases. They even did a short acoustic set, including Layla, my all-time favorite Clapton* song, which I prefer acoustically.

And who knew that an organ would seamlessly blend with the more traditional rock instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, drums and keyboards? Not me, but Steve Winwood obviously did.

For me, though, the best part of the show from a visual perspective was watching the drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr.:


Every time he was on the big screen, this guy was grinning like a madman, bopping around like he didn't have a care in the world. The expression on his face said, "I can't believe I'm playing with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood! And they're paying me to do it! I have the best life EVAH!"

Watching someone do what they love, especially when it so obviously brings them great joy to do so, is a real treat. I couldn't help smiling with him (and I might even have giggled a little) every time they showed him. Since he graduated from the Berklee College of Music and has played with a wide variety of musicians, he's obviously got some craft. But his craft didn't kill the child-like excitement of making music. I love watching people like him.

Good show. Good drummer. Thanks for the date night, Smart Man.


*Yes, I know it was released by Derek and the Dominos, but to me, it's a Clapton song. Especially the acoustic version.

15 comments:

vince said...

I haven't seen either Clapton or Winwood live for years, so I admit - I'm jealous. But in a good way. :-)

"Layla" is definitely a Clapton song, as he wrote it about his love for Pattie Boyd, at the time married to George Harrison. I like the more melancholy acoustic version, but the original electric boogie version with the long piano-filled coda still remains my favorite.

The organ can make a rock band. Listen to The Nice or Emmerson, Lake, and Palmer with Kieth Emerson on keyboards, or Windwood with the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic, or Doug Ingle with Iron Butterfly.

Glad you enjoyed the concert.

Tegan Dowling said...

Well observed! We saw the concert in the Twin Cities last Thursday (fantastic), and between us my own Smart Man was the sharper-eyed who noticed how dynamic Laboriel was.

Janiece Murphy said...

Vince, I did know that - just trying to appease the music purists out there (cough, Eric, cough). :)

Welcome, Tegan. I'm glad you enjoyed the show, and that your Smart Man was tickled by Abe, too.

Nathan said...

Eric Clapton was the first concert I ever went to. A band I'd never heard of called Santana opened for him. They played encores together.

It kind of spoiled me for ever expecting to see better, but hey...I can live with that.

Eric said...

Actually, I also prefer the acoustic version of "Layla." And to add to the related trivia, Pattie Boyd is the cute (sort of chipmunkish, but not in a bad way) blonde on the train in A Hard Day's Night.

What Vince said about the organ; might I predictably lobby for Rick Wright's Farfisa organ work with Pink Floyd, as distinctive a part of the Floyd sound as David Gilmour's guitar? If you're wondering how organ seamlessly blends with trad. rock arrangements, it might be time to dust off Dark Side Of The Moon or Animals again.

And then there's classic bits like Al Kooper's famous turn on Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." The organ, esp. a Hammond B3 played through a Leslie rotary speaker to give it that classic warble, is a distinctive part of late '60s and early '70s rock, and you really can't go wrong with it.

Oh, and glad it was a great show!

Carol Elaine said...

Exceedingly cool. I've never seen either live, but I can image how fantastic it must have been.

Next month Colin Hay is playing in Burbank, not too far from where I live. I am soooo getting tickets.

Re: people doing what they love and allowing their joy to show on their faces - a few years ago I saw Common Rotation live in a very intimate setting. One of the vocalists (Adam Busch, better known as Warren on Buffy) was a complete and utter dork, in the best possible way. Soooo much fun to watch.

Janiece Murphy said...

Is that an actual photo of Eric in his avatar?

::gasp!::

Is he no longer incognito?

What does it mean?

Eric said...

It means I was pleased with the haircut I got last week. You're only now noticing the pic?

I've been meaning to slip in an actual pic (as opposed to the photo of my shadow) for awhile now. The original plan was to let a friend (who is a brilliant photographer) take a portrait, but I regret to say I've given up on that. So last week I set up the tripod and remote after I got home from work, and there you are--a photo that omits my pear-shape and splint (deceptive cropping, sorry). My Dad says the pic makes me look judicial. Anyway, yeah: that's me.

Janiece Murphy said...

Um...yeah. I just noticed. I suck. Sorry...

Jeri said...

I just noticed too. Haven't revised my opinions re: list status any. ;)

Anne C. said...

It was, indeed, better than awesome. Thank yous AGAIN to the SmartMan.

(I'll save my comments for my own write up. ;)

Random Michelle K said...

Eric, FYI I've been meaning to say I *LOVE* that picture.

Though I though you look like a professor rather than a judge. ;)

Carol Elaine said...

I think Eric's avatar is rather handsome. I agree, Michelle, quite professorial.

Eric said...

::blush::

You folks do know that everybody looks better in black-and-white, right?

Janiece Murphy said...

Eric, hush up while the trollops ogle you. You're a member of our Seraglio - it comes with the territory.