Eric Clapton – 4 March 2009 – Auckland, New Zealand

Updated 9 March 2009: Video “Driftin’ “

After a few days break, Eric Clapton’s 2009 Tour picked back up with a sold out concert at The Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand today. The New Zealand/Australia Leg, consisting of 4 dates, ends on the 10th of March in Melbourne.



01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. I Shot The Sheriff
05. Here But I’m Gone
06. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
07. Solo Blues (Driftin’)
08. Travelin Alone
09. That’s Alright
10. Motherless Child
11. Running On Faith
12. Motherless Children
13. Litttle Queen Of Spades
14. Before You Accuse Me
15. Wonderful Tonight
16. Layla
17. Cocaine
18. Crossroads(Encore)

The band:

Doyle Bramhall II (guitar)
Chris Stainton (keyboards)
Abe Laboriel Jr. (drums)
Willie Weeks (bass)
Sharon White & Michelle John (backing vocals)

Eric Clapton 4 March 2009 Vector Arena Auckland New Zealand

Review from

Vector Arena didn’t seem like the right place for Eric Clapton’s smoked-out blues, but reviewer Nicholas Russell still found plenty of highlights.Eric Clapton
Where: Vector Arena, Auckland
When: Wednesday, March 5

Eric Clapton and his band had the audience hyped on Cocaine when they closed out a blues-soaked set at Auckland’s Vector Arena.

It was an evening of fiery guitar solos from Clapton, stunning work on the keyboards by band member Chris Stainton and some slide flourishes from second guitarist Doyle Bramwell II.

Clapton hasn’t visited Auckland in nearly 20 years and it was a pretty mellow affair. But he had the crowd on their feet and singing along to his cover of JJ Cale’s cautionary drug anthem by the end.

Cocaine was clearly a crowd highlight, but there were plenty of others.

The obvious ones were a red and green hued version of Bob Marley classic I Shot the Sheriff, and a blistering rendition of Layla, with back up singers Sharon White and Michelle John letting rip.

Another was the third song of the set, the brilliant blues grunter Hoochie Coochie Man, where I spied my first air guitarist of the night.

There were more subtle highlights, like Clapton’s solo acoustic playing on Driftin, and the last track of their five-song acoustic set, Running on Faith.

It was during this song where the spotlight picked out Clapton in the midst of yet another stunning and effortless-looking solo with the rest of the band falling silent.

The keyboards then seamlessly blended back into the guitar lead and they all kicked back into life. It was a fantastic moment and underlined what a slick performance it was.

It definitely seemed like an evening in three parts: It began with rocking blues, moved to a more mellow middle section of acoustic and rock/blues numbers, then finished with a barrage of hits.

While there were plenty of hits it often had the intimate feel of a blues show and in a perfect world you’d be sitting in a small club to see it. I’d have settled for, say, 10 nights at the St James.

Vector just didn’t seem like the right place for some of those smoked out blues numbers.

But you take what you can get. And for Auckland it’s been a long while since Slowhand last paid a visit.

The blues man didn’t really acknowledge that fact, not really engaging with the crowd in a major way and limiting his between-songs banter to the odd, “Thank you”.

But then it was all about the music. And appropriately, Clapton dug back into some classic blues for the encore with Robert Johnson’s Crossroads, a beguiling song to end an entertaining show.

Photos of the concert are on this website.