Who knows why Eric Clapton chose to spend the first night of his U.S. tour in St. Paul? More importantly, who cares? The fact that I was there on Saturday night, sitting in row 25 on the floor with our daughter Biz is really all that matters.
Biz and I discovered a few years ago that we have some musical preferences in common. I attribute this to her eclectic taste, which is far broader than mine. Among our mutual favorites: The Beatles, Jack Johnson and Eric Clapton.
When we heard that Eric Clapton would play the Twin Cities in July of 2003, Biz and I bought tickets and made our plans. Who could have guessed that my husband, Steve, would contract salmonella poisoning that would manifest on the same day as the concert? So instead of listening to Eric Clapton, I spent the night at the hospital, holding Steve’s hand while a nurse gave him morphine for the pain. Biz took her then-boyfriend, Mark (a young man who probably could never appreciate Eric Clapton’s music as much either Biz or I do) to the concert and had a great time. I did not have a good time.
Fast-forward to September 16, 2006 and my next opportunity to hear Eric Clapton in person. I was determined to go. The tickets had gone up from $86.00 to $125.00 each in three years. I bought them anyway. It was worth it.
Robert Cray opened the evening and closed it, too, playing an encore with Clapton that was amazing (picture at left). He was terrific. So were the musicians who backed up Clapton. Biz proclaimed the drummer, Steve Jordan, to be “hot.” I thought both guitarists were excellent, too, but Derek Trucks, who looked to be about 18 although he is 26, held my attention the most. That’s because I kept wondering how it would feel to be good enough to play with a music icon at such a young age.
It may have been nothing more than my imagination, but I thought Clapton played and sang better than I had ever heard him before. That may have been becuse of wrapping the experience of a live venue around his talent, but I think it was something more. I like to think that some of us improve with age—with time and seasoning. This man sounded seasoned in every number.
Biz asked me if I would like to look at the T-shirts. When we got to the make-shift shop I discovered that what she really meant to ask was if I would buy her a T-shirt. We walked away with a cute little top that cost $50.00. I must be crazy…
I took my camera and tried for a few shots. None of them turned out all that well but I’m adding a couple of them for you to see anyway.Here are Biz and I with the world’s biggest smiles. This was before I spent $50.00 on the T-shirt.