Thursday, April 04, 2013

50 Years Of Playing The Blues...

Went to a weekday concert on Tuesday.  Up in Charlotte.

To hear a fantastic Blues legend.

First time I recall seeing Eric Clapton close-shaved.

He always wore that "stubble effect" growth.

He had it when I saw him before - in 2007 - also in Charlotte.

But his music .... ah yes, the music.

I had a good seat - on the aisle - in the 12th row. The sound was excellent. So was my view.

People would rush up the aisle past me to take a picture, closely pursued by a Security person, who politely said they needed to return to their seat.

And they would snap a picture , turn and go back down the aisle.

There were a few cameras but mainly, the fans used their phones to take away a souvenir photo.

Some persisted and were slow to respond but Security really didn't seem to have a problem with people taking pictures. How refreshing.

They mainly were concerned with keeping the aisles clear.

An eight-person band backed Eric.

Two backup singers, keyboardist, drummer, bassist, second guitar, mandolin and piano man.

A tight group that has played together enough to be a cohesive unit. Knowing when to play, how long and when to step aside. Smooth.

Eric began the evening, standing at center stage.

At least an hour into the show, a chair was brought out and most of the band stepped away.

He sat and played an amazing acoustic set before standing again.

He has a HUGE array of songs that were known and loved by the audience.

He played many Tuesday night.

The sound, as I said, was great. The overall staging and lighting was superior.

You expect a lot when a big ticket touring super star comes to town.

It's mind-boggling to think that the stage was bare when the trucks pulled in.

All of the effects, lights, mics and speakers are moved from city to city by experienced technicians, stagehands and roadies.

And, then, it's all packed up and headed to the next concert, starting even as we are slowly shuffling toward the exits.

The Time-Warner Cable Arena is huge. Seats about 18,000.

If you come out after the show and turn the wrong way, it's quite a walk to get back to where you started.

I know this for a fact.

Locals call the venue The Cable Box.

By the way, all of these pictures were taken from the same spot in the 12th row.

My newest camera, the Canon sx260 has given me a 20x optical zoom lens to bring me in close after starting with a fine wide-angle that can take in the whole stage.

Appreciated the no-hassle attitude of Security and I even complimented one of the guys on my way out.

Don't do THAT too often.

(Click on the pictures to see more detail.)

Inside I saw "authorized"  t-shirts on sale for $25 but didn't buy one this time.

They looked nice but I still have my 2006-2007 Tour one at home.

There also was a $75 poster that came with a protective sturdy mailing tube.

For that price, I hope it was signed by Eric.

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