No, Clapton is not God; however, for a sixty-five-year-old man who partied and lived really hard for most of the first sixty or so years, he is still alive, and he still has some chops.
For our Christmas present last year, we got tickets to his show in Portland, which was last night. Opened by Los Lobos, the show ran a little over three hours, and the house was full.
Clapton looks beat-up, like a blues player should. Came out in baggy jeans, a green plaid shirt, a week's worth of beard stubble. But the man can play them guitars ....
It was loud–Lord, it was loud, save for Clapton's few acoustic numbers. And he mostly stayed with his blues catalogue–stared with "Key to the Highway," did "Hoochie-Coochie Man," "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," "Going Down Slow," like that.
I'd have been perfectly happy to sit and listen to him by himself on the acoustic guitar for as long as he wanted to play, but he had a keyboardist, an organist, bass, drums, and two backup singers, and they were all outstanding. Very tight, some nice solos, and they meshed like fine watch gears.
He was all business. Came out, cranked it up, said "Thank You!" for the applause after each number, then rolled right into the next one.
"I Shot the Sheriff," "Wonderful Tonight," "Layla," and ended with "Cocaine." Sixteen or eighteen songs. The single encore was "Crossroads."
We had a fine time. As one of the guys who brought the blues back from obscurity as part of the British Invasion of the sixties, we always wanted to see Clapton onstage and letting it roll. Last night, we did. Got our money's worth and then some.