Clapton and Winwood Night

Eric Clapton is one of my all time favorites. The dude is frakking awesome! I saw him many years back at ASU and it was a fabulous show. When I saw that he was coming back to Phoenix, I jumped on the tickets. In fact, I was even late for a meeting because I had to get them as soon as they came online.

It seemed like it took forever to get to the concert date but it finally arrived. The show was at arena which is 30 miles from my house. Even with an 8 PM start, if we wanted to eat over there we were going to have to fight lots of rush hour traffic. My companion had a great idea which was to eat at the Outback in our hood then head to the show. Very smart.

Our waiter at Outback informed us in his chit chat that he'd just come back from a one week vacation. Unpaid. After having to correct both of our orders and him still getting the salad wrong, we were guessing it was a "take the week off to think about whether you're really right for your job" vacation. Fortunately, the food was delicious and they cooked my steak nearly the way I like it (which is to say, not very cooked at all).

We got to Westgate with time for a pre-show cocktail and briefly thought about checking out the Fox Sports Bar replacement, McFadden's. It was a very brief thought as the line to get in was quite long. So, we hopped over to Margaritaville for a beer and got to say hi to Carlos as he was tending the outside bar. That dude is one very fast drink pourer.

We headed over to the arena and had time to buy one last drink. I'm not sure which is a bigger ripoff – an $8 16 oz. beer or a $5 20 oz. water. I'm thinking both, actually.

As soon as we sat in our seats, my ticket buying efforts were shown to be justified. They were awesome! One section off the stage at mid-level. Sweet!

The unzoomed view from our seats.

The show started a few minutes past 8 and it was nearly non-stop action from there until 10:30. They all took a very short break and everyone but Winwood took another break while he did a solo of Georgia on the organ. That was an unexpected song for the night.


The set was cool – not too fancy but complemented the tunes. They had two big screens and one of them was almost always on Clapton's guitar. The guy made everything look effortless but when you watched what he was doing, you couldn't help but be awed. Winwood moved from piano to organ to guitar and Clapton alternated electric guitar for the acoustic and the rest of the band were top notch players.

The whole band.

I have to admit, both Winwood and Clapton are showing their years. And, so is their audience. 30 seconds into the first song and all the old geezers sat down. I guess those replacement knees and hips can't take standing for long.

We met up with Amy and Jim after the show and pretty much all we could say was, "Wow". That was the first thing my boss said to me this morning in my office because he was at the show, too. The only complaint I had was that the vocals could have been clearer.

Amy wanted to do some more shopping which was the only prodding I needed to buy a new keychain. It's cool; kind of a ying/yang design. Very much appealing to my inner hippie.

Amy wanted to get a picture of us so we asked this chick standing near us to take it. I can't imagine how bad the first one was that she took but we said OK to the second. Let's just say, it was a little fuzzy and I think it was her BAC that made it so.

The line at McFadden's was just as long when we got out of the show as when we went in. Guess we'll have to check that out some other night. We decided to head back to our side of town and ended up closing down the Chuy's on Baseline. It was karaoke night. Bad karaoke for the most part, too. But, hey it was still entertaining.

What a great evening – I wish all my Fridays were that awesome!

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