2nd Night In Zurich (Beano-054)
Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland – January 21st, 1984
Disc 1 (57:58): Everybody Ought To Make A Change, Motherless Children, I Shot The Sheriff, The Sky Is Crying, Badge, The Shape You’re In, Same Old Blues, Rita Mae, Let It Rain, Key To The Highway, Sweet Little Lisa
Disc 2 (47:31): Double Trouble, Tulsa Time, Bottle Of Red Wine, Blues Medley: Honey Bee / Have You Ever Loved A Woman / Rambling On My Mind, Cocaine, Layla, Band Introduction, Further On Up The Road
After a year of intense touring for Money And Cigarettes, which included trips through the UK, Europe, and the US twice, and a short tour for the ARMS charity late in the year, 1984 was relatively light for live performance for Eric Clapton. Much of the year was occupied by supporting Roger Waters on the Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking tour.
The only solo shows were ten dates in January and February when he made his first trips to Greece, Egypt, Serbia and Israel, and a tour of Australia later in the year.
The first concerts of 1984 were at the 14,000 capacity Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland, on January 20th and January 21st. 2nd Night In Zurich chronicles the January 21st show with a very good to excellent audience recording. Taped very near the stage, it captures the atmosphere of the show beautifully. It is missing the first notes of the opening number, and the first fifty-two seconds are in mono before switching to stereo. The start of “Cocaine” is also missing due to a tape change.
The setlist is similar to that used the previous year. “Tulsa Time,” which opened every show, is played later in the set. Instead Clapton opens with “Everybody Ought To Make A Change” which he used to open the ARMS shows the previous month.
After scorching performances in “Motherless Children” (and Clapton’s restless slide) and “I Shot The Sheriff,” Clapton sings the title for the slow blues “The Sky Is Crying.” Although recorded for There’s One In Every Crowd in 1975, the Elmore James cover was rarely played live (in 1974 in New York and London and a few times in 1975). He brings emotive string-bending and sliding to the piece, evocative of the song’s title.
“Let’s see if you can recognize this one” Clapton teases before “Badge.” They follow with “The Shape You’re In,” one of the more interesting songs from the latest album. He always gives a fun performance of the song.
Afterwards they play the newly written “Same Old Blues.” Only the song’s second live performance, it retains a similar arrangement as it would have when it would be recorded the for Behind The Sun. The lyrics also have some variation including a line where Clapton sings his apology for cheating on the song’s subject (a sentiment that would later be dropped).
“Rita Mae” from 1981’s Another Ticket follows. Also played in the ARMS shows in December, without Ray Cooper on percussion the song is much shorter and more intense. The first disc closes with Albert Lee singing “Sweet Little Lisa.”
“Double Trouble” reaches epic proportions and is followed by “Tulsa Time.” For these European shows Clapton brought back “Bottle Of Red Wine.” A staple from the Derek And Dominoes days, it made a few live appearances in the ensuing decade (Japan 1977 and Detroit 1978 are two good examples). By the mid eighties it sounds extremely dated and out of place, but still fun for nostalgia’s sake.
The show reaches a fevered pitch with a long blues medley based on Muddy Water’s “Honey Bee” and including “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” and “Ramblin’ On My Mind.” It’s the same medley premiered the previous May at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Both Clapton and Albert Lee take turns jamming on the melodies.
The show closes with “Cocaine” and “Layla” which has a stunning second half coda. After the band introduction, the encore “Further On Up The Road.”
Silver titles from this short tour are very scarce. The first Zürich show can be found on Red Wine on the E.C. Is Here label (in their large license plate sized paper sleeve), but others haven’t been pressed. Beano has done a good job in producing 2nd Night In Zurich. The artwork is a bit dark and understated and is adorned with various photographs of Clapton in his mid-eighties new-wave fashion glory. It is a great sounding tape of an interesting show with some rarities and is worth having.