Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Date: 4th March 2014
Promoter: Lushington Entertainments
Review by: Nate Eileen Tjoeng
Special Thanks: Lushington Entertainments team
Photos by Alvin H.
Weeping Tears in Heaven
That was probably what the crowd felt when they packed the Indoor Stadium to watch Eric Clapton on his last tour.
The stadium was nearly filled up full house with fans that looked like they saw him through his career as most of them were in their middle ages and up. Not a concert for the young? You’re wrong. These die-hard fans brought their kids along despite the expensive tickets (cheapest ones were priced at S$108 and premium ones S$298), to inculcate good music into their youths.
Eric Clapton was fashionably (not too) late for a reason. Singapore minister Shanmugam had to make his entrance and seated well before the star could start. Backed up by his band members which all looked like veterans, they kicked the night off with “Pretending”. Clapton, armed with his electric guitar, was standing in line with his skilled-looking sidekicks. C’mon, if you are playing alongside Eric Clapton, one of Rolling Stones’ top 100 guitarists of all time, you must be good, right?
The modern day godfather of blues and protégé of B.B. King, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters entertained fans with dedicated solos. The video screens made it easy to watch as they were habitually zooming in to Clapton’s finger work.
Clapton, the man of few words, was backed up by two singers that flanked the band on stage. He occasionally just delivered a “thank you” after applauses, and his neatly cut hairdo made him look a lot younger than his crowd was.
The luxury of bringing booze and food which could be bought from the stadium stalls meant that the fans could choose between sitting down and enjoying him over dinner or dancing at the back, where they created their own dance floor with cups of beer in their hands.
Clapton led his band to deliver a mixture of covers and songs from his older band, Derek and the Dominos. He helped fans who have been with him for a long time reminisce his days with that band when he performed “Tell The Truth” and “Layla”. For the latter, he shed the limelight and let his other musicians complete the song with their own moments by solos on their guitar or keyboard.
Covers such as “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Hoochie Choochie Man” resonated with the crowd as it was a familiar tune for their age group.
In the middle of his set, Clapton changed his gear to an acoustic guitar and the whole auditorium quieted down for his cover of “Driftin’ Blues”. The song sounded so full even though he was only accompanied by drums and later by the keyboards.
Seated and brandishing his true brilliance on the guitar by wielding an acoustic, Clapton delivered cover songs such as “Alabama Women Blues” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”.
He then eventually moved to his most famous song, “Tears In Heaven”, which reminded everyone of his tragic past of him losing his son.
Not letting anyone mope, he grabbed his electric guitar back and let his keyboardist, Chris Stainton, sing “How Long” while concentrates on his instrument.
Coming back into the limelight, he led the audience through Robert Johnson’s songs “Little Queen Of Spades” and “Cross Road Blues” to end his set. And of course he came back for and encore with Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went”, as the crowd savoured every minute of their final encounter with Eric Clapton, the legend.