A hot Chicago hosted Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, Saturday at Toyota Soccer Park. It was a spectacular lineup with Hall of Fame blues rock guitarists mixed with many of the new guitar superstars. All gathered for the third installment to benefit Clapton’s Antigua Center for Rehabilitation.
The sold out crowd endured the twelve hour classic through the extreme heat which reached nearly 100 degrees on field level.Medical stations were filled to capacity with fans suffering from heat exhaustion.
Event MC Bill Murray reminded the audience “ to keep hydrated and claimed that on this day beer qualifies as a hydrant”.
The conditions may have been tough but those who attended the festival enjoyed an historic day filled with outstanding music played by various combinations of legendary musicians. It was a marathon show filled with musical highlights. With every performer coaxing the other and carrying the audience to the highest levels of music heaven.
Host Eric Clapton asked as he began his set, “ Can you take any more lead guitar?” After a resounding yes, Clapton played with a purpose, dueling with his guest, Jeff Beck, and Stevie Winwood each pushing each other’s talent to the limit. Clapton sounded like the guitar god of the past. Its obvious that he is at his best when he is challenged.
I spent the entire day in the photo pit leaving for only small periods of time and then worrying what photos I could be missing. It was a guitar lover’s dream and by far the best show of my 2010 season.
If you missed the show you will have a second chance, as both of Eric Clapton’s earlier Crossroads Guitar Festivals were previously captured on DVD. The 2010 installment is now out on both Blu-Ray and regular DVD. If your lucky enough to find one at Best Buy’s initial release you get an extra disc of five additional songs and a Clapton interview.
The two disc set consists of 40 songs and four hours capturing the musical highlights of the day. It was a show, I relived in my head over and over anticipating the release of this DVD.
Martyn Atkins did a perfect job in picking the best performances of the show and the atmosphere of the day. His artistic direction covered the entire event , from the excited crowd shots, to detailed artists interactions and all aspects of the venue. Even those of us that were lucky enough to attend the show, will enjoy the complete picture portrayed in this video.
The DVD is loaded with behind the scene interviews and many interesting discussions with the new generation of guitarists, like Derek Trucks and John Mayer on how they learned to play and who they patterned their styles after.
A most interesting segment was the history of the slide guitar, and the interview with Eric Clapton.
- Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood’s complete set Voodoo Chile had people talking in the parking lot. Clapton’s guitar solo is breathtaking!
- Buddy Guy, Ronnie Wood and Jonny Lang playing the Stones “Miss You”
- Robert Randolph and Joe Bonamassa dueling between each other on “Going Down”
- Jeff Beck’s playing “Hammerhead”
- Derrick Trucks , Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes, Chris Stanton, Cesar Rojas and David Hillgado- Trucks Guitar was on fire on “Space Captain”
- Sonny Landreth and Eric Clapton :The Promised Land”
- ZZ Top “ waiting for the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”
- Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton “ Shake your Money Maker”
- EC and Sheryl Crow
- John Mayer
- Robert Cray with Jimmie Vaughn and Hubert Sumlin
- Warren Haynes “ SoulShine”
- Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crowe and Gary Clark
- B.B. King and a stage full of guitarist to close the show with “Sweet Home Chicago” Crossroads 2010 was an incredible day. If you were in attendance or not , this collection you’ll be glad to own. It’s historic in the sense some of these legendary guitarist are coming to an age you may not see a this lineup many more years.
Here are the ages of key performers at Saturday’s Crossroads festival. The average age is slightly more than 54 per artist, with a few twenty somethings lowering the curve:
B.B. King, 84
Hubert Sumlin, 79 Buddy Guy, 73 James Burton, 70
Jeff Beck, 66 Albert Lee, 66 Bert Jansch, 66
Johnny Winter, 66 Eric Clapton, 65 Stefan Grossman, 65
Steve Winwood, 62
Jimmie Vaughan, 59 Sonny Landreth, 59 Keb’ Mo’, 58 Robert Cray, 56
Earl Klugh, 56 David Hidalgo, 55 Cesar Rosas, 55 Pino Daniele, 55 Vince Gill, 53
Sheryl Crow, 48 Doyle Bramhall, 41
Susan Tedeschi, 39 Joe Bonamassa, 33 John Mayer, 32 Derek Trucks, 31
Jonny Lang, 29