Eric Clapton Wows Dublin -
Eric Clapton image by Ros O'Gorman

Eric Clapton photo by Ros O'Gorman

Eric Clapton Wows Dublin

by on May 28, 2013

in News

One of the attractions of seeing the great iconic acts of the sixties performing is the sense that it maybe a case of ‘last chance to see’. With the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and The Who all nearing their eighth decade one senses there might not be too many more opportunities to catch them in concert, despite them appearing to be all in fine fettle.

Eric Clapton image by Ros O'Gorman

Eric Clapton image by Ros O'Gorman

Eric Clapton also fits into this category. With his current tour celebrating fifty years as a professional musician and a firm commitment to give up touring when he reaches 70 ( in two years time ) this really was the last chance to see him for the Dublin crowd who made it to the O2 on Thursday 9th May.

What slowhand served up was an assorted mix of hits covering his entire career from Cream, Derek and the Dominoes and his solo work. Hits such as Layla ( the slower acoustic version but played on an electric ), Lay Down Sally and Wonderful Tonight were all lapped up by the audience but personally the highlight of the show was his covers of old blues songs. Clapton may be a multi millionaire with a taste for Ferraris and Armani but as we all know he has had his share of heartbreak and when he wants to he can mix it with the best of the Mississippi bluesmen. The night reached its peak with his Robert Johnson covers, particularly Love in Vain, a searing ode to lost love.

His backing band was like a well-drilled army unit, providing seamless support to the old master. In fact at times Clapton was content to let his band steal some of the limelight with Paul Carrack ( from Mike and the Mechanics) taking lead vocals at one point and the steel guitarist taking the lead while Clapton stepped back into more of a rhythm player’s role at another. Not that Clapton’s guitar wasn’t on show, he gave ample displays of his considerable virtuosity throughout the show without stepping over the line and descending into yawn inducing extended solos. However at times one did hanker over something a little less polished, something rawer and more in tune with the spirit of the blues. The emotional intensity of Love in Vain was rarely repeated during the rest of the show. Certainly it would be interesting to see Clapton in a stripped down threesome á la Cream again, without lush backing vocals and banks of keyboards. Unfortunately it seems unlikely we will see that and perhaps as he enters the home straight of his touring career it would be churlish to expect it, but we can be content to admire one of rock’s finest musicians as he enters the twilight of his career, still at the top of his game, and still covering the fret-board with unmatched virtuosity and panache.

The set list:

Main Set

  • Hello Old Friend (from No Reason to Cry, 1976)
  • My Father’s Eyes (from Pilgrim, 1998)
  • Tell the Truth (from Derek & the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)
  • Gotta Get Over (from Old Sock, 2013)
  • Black Cat Bone (Albert Collins cover)
  • Gotta Get Better In A Little While (from Derek & the Dominos’ In Concert, 1973)
  • Come Rain or Come Shine (from Riding With the King, 2000)
  • Badge (from Cream’s Goodbye, 1969)
  • Driftin’ Blues (from E.C. Was Here, 1975)
  • Further On Down the Road (from Old Sock, 2013)
  • Layla (from Derek & the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)
  • Stones in My Passway (from the DVD Sessions For Robert J, 2004)
  • It Ain’t Easy (To Love Somebody) (Paul Carrack on Lead) (from Paul Carrack’s I Know That Name, 2008)
  • Lay Down Sally (from Slowhand, 1977)
  • Wonderful Tonight (from Slowhand, 1977)
  • Blues Power (from Eric Clapton, 1970)
  • Love In Vain (from Me and Mr. Johnson, 2004)
  • Crossroads (from Cream’s Wheel’s of Fire, 1968)
  • Little Queen Of Spades (from Me and Mr. Johnson, 2004)
  • Cocaine (from Slowhand, 1977)


  • Sunshine Of Your Love (from Cream’s Disraeli Gears, 1967)
  • High Time We Went (Paul Carrack on Lead) (Joe Cocker cover)
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