Eric Clapton – Budokan Night 3 (ARMS 150/151 PR)

Budokan Night 3 (ARMS 150/151 PR)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – February 19, 2009

Disc1. Tell The Truth – Key To The Highway – Hoochie Coochie Man – I Shot The Sheriff – Here But I’m Gone – Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? – Driftin’ – Travelin’ Alone – That’s Alright – Motherless Child – Running On Faith
Disc2. Motherless Children – Little Queen Of Spades – Before You Accuse Me – Wonderful Tonight – Layla – Cocaine – Crossroads


ARMS released a different recording (EC JT 009/010) of this very same performance a few weeks ago. Apparently that recording came from a PCM recorder and that’s the reason why it was released on CD-R media. “Budokan Night 3” comes from an excellent DAT tape and is silver pressed as it well deserves.

This was the third out of seven shows at the Budokan and the fifth show of the 2009 Japan Tour.  If you look at the setlist you will notice that it is not significantly different from other nights – in fact the setlist tonight is identical to Osaka’s second show’s except for the order in which the first songs are performed – but do not let yourself think this is just one more show and please do give it a chance… There’ll be no need for you to finish listening to Tell The Truth to realize this is going to be one of those nights… EC is absolutely on right from the start.

No fillers whatsoever during the first electric set. Sheriff is usually the song that steals the first 45 minutes of every show on this tour but on this occassion it does not outshine any of the songs accompanying it: from Tell The Truth up to Why Dows Love they all are killers tonight. No need to mention the rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s Here But I’m Gone is outstanding too. Mr. Mayfield got paralyzed from the neck down in an onstage accident during a windstorm in Brooklyn, NY in August 1990. He would manage to release one more album, “New World Order” in January 1997 which featured this quite desperate song, with clear references to his fate. Mr. Mayfield would pass away in December 1999 at the early age of 57.

The acoustic mini set sees EC dedicate Driftin’ to New Orleans R&B singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin, who had died the previous day. It is a pity that we are one day late to hear EC play Can’t Judge Nobody, who had been performed the night before for the one and only time in the entire Japan Tour.

Both the guitar work and Abe’s drumming are intense on Motherless Children before EC gets bluesy and slows down the pace with Little Queen Of Spades which features the usual extended solos from Chris and Doyle before he closes the song with a sharp solo. The final part of the show does have a stealer – Layla – which features a smoking solo that summarizes the whole night.

“Budokan Night 3”  is housed in a thin trifold plastic gatefold and its front cover features the same picture that was used for the programme of the Tour and which was also used by Mid Valley and Tinkerbell for their respective releases  “City Of Angels” and “Family Plot”. The sound quaility is amazing and EC’s performance is as good making it an essential document of this tour to own. A terrific job indeed from the ARMS label.

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