Wayfaring Stranger

The King vs. The Slow Hand

What does the title mean? Well, let's just say I had the opportunity to see the following two artists:

B. B. King photo
Eric Clapton photo

For those of you who don't know, that's B. B. King (King of the Blues!) and Eric (Slow Hand) Clapton, respectively. I saw BB at the end of January at Bass Hall in Fort Worth and I saw Eric at the end of February at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

BB was WONDERFUL! We ticket holders had quite a scare, B. B. was hospitalized a few days before the concert: On January 26, 2007, while on tour, King was hospitalized in Galveston, Texas due to a low grade (100.4) fever after a recent bout with influenza. He was released on January 27, after an overnight stay. He was scheduled to resume his tour, with his next performance on January 30. [wikipedia.org] Jan 30 was the night that I HAD TICKETS! I feel really lucky that even though BB missed/rescheduled 2 or 3 concerts, he choose MY NIGHT to get back to the tour! It was a spectacular night. The crowd was a little "slow" (i.e. didn't chime in on songs when they should have) but they got there on time and sat down and enjoyed the show. Though described as "slow", they really did recognize BB's songs, clap when they should have, and even called out to the band between songs. I only wish I'd had tickets for a show in Mississippi or New Orleans; I'm sure the crowd dynamic would have been much sharper.

Eric was "Wonderful Tonight" as well. The show was delayed for 30-45 minutes due to a false fire alarm (sirens and trucks and firemen, oh my!). Unfortunately that shortened Robert Cray's opening set. But Eric and band was in top form. They performed some new material before ripping into the tried and true classics. But don't get me started on the crowd. During Cray, I can understand people arriving late and talking and moving around. After all, some people don't like the opening acts or need to eat dinner or get stuck in traffic, not to mention the fire department delay. So I ignored all that and enjoyed the opening act anyway. But when people were chating, arriving late, coming in, going out, or eating during Eric's set; that irked me a little.

Crowd aside (it's their loss), it was a GREAT night! Among the classics Eric did was "Running on Faith" and "Wonderful Tonight", two of my favorites. And they did "Layla" and others, which may not be in my top two, but they were awesome songs with lots of technical musical talent. It was fun to watch the crowd and, as in BB's concert, I thought it might be a better experience somewhere other than Dallas. But with BB the obvious choices were Mississippi or N.O. But with Eric, where are the obvious choices? Back in England perhaps? I don't know.

Robert Cray was not only the opening act but closed with Eric in the encore! Eric and band played the first song and the lights dimmed and came back up with Eric and Robert side by side for "Crossroads". It was a wonderful ending for a wonderful tonight. :-)

What I do know is: (A) I have been a fan of both BB and Eric for a long time and I will always remember both concerts and (2) I got to have a fun evening out with fabulous company.

More info:

Reviews at GuideLive:
B. B. King
Eric Clapton
Background information:
B. B. King
Eric Clapton
Robert Cray
Robert Cray photo

2 Responses to “The King vs. The Slow Hand”:

  1. Thanks for reading my post and comments that follow ...
  2. M.C. @ 3/2/2007 8:19 AM said:

    I bet these were AWESOME concerts! I really wanted to go to the Eric Clapton concert but had a conflict that night - RATS!!! I've seen a couple other performers over the past year or so that were also outstanding - Paul McCartney and Elton John are obvious picks, but the best part was seeing that they were truly enjoying themselves. The best, however was last May - a gal-friend of mine and I went to see Tony Bennett at the Meyerson. WOW, what an amazing experience. We were in the 5th row, center, and it honestly felt like it was just "us" and "him." At 70, he still has an amazing voice, and again, it was so obvious that he was truly enjoying himself. Definitely a class act. I came away from that concert putting him on my list of "fantasy dinner guests" - somehow I suspect that man has some amazing stories! :-)

    I agree, it would be so cool to see B. B. King in New Orleans or elsewhere where the crowd would really get into it. I went to James Taylor at Nokia two years ago and although HE was great, the crowd really stunk. People talked - will full voices throughout the entire concert - either to their neighbor or ON THEIR CELL PHONE. And the continual flow of people coming in late, going in & out for drinks & such - was very distracting. I swear DVDs and TIVO have us all spoiled now - rather than sitting for an hour & a half and FOCUSING, we expect the rest of the world to just "pause" for us whenever we want. Kinda scary..


  3. I had row C tickets at BB! I get the Bass Hall newsletter and as soon as I saw the presale I nabbed them. I got the Eric tickets on the first day of public sale and I was in section 114. So the tickets were good but I would have prefered floor. Maybe there would have been more serious fans down there. Plus I love seeing the "blues faces", but you don't get to see those as much in the stands.



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