Eric Clapton – Final Show (Tricone 013/014)


Final Show (Tricone 013/014)
Koseinenkin Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan – December 9, 1981

Disc1. Tulsa Time – Lay Down Sally – Wonderful Tonight – After Midnight – I Shot The Sheriff – A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Country Boy.
Another Ticket – Blues Power – Blow Wind Blow – Motherless Children – Ramblin’ On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Cocaine – Layla – Band introduction – Sad, Sad Day – Further On Up The Road.

Two months ago I finished my review of Let Me In hoping Tricone had more in store for us… Thank Heavens they did!! Final Show features EC’s eighth and last performance of his 1981 Tour of Japan and is claimed to have been taken from the master tapes. With Tricone’s latest two releases and Tarantura’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale the presence of this tour in silver media has been boosted lately but there still is room for improvement! We just have the last three shows of the tour covered so let’s keep hoping more tapes continue surfacing… because this tour has been overlooked for many years and I strongly believe it does deserve our attention.

The inevitable Tulsa Time opens the show with EC on slide guitar and is followed by the crowd pleaser Lay Down Sally that has the audience clapping along. Wonderful Tonight is absolutely brilliant and of particular note are ten seconds between 04:10 and 04:20. The emotion that I find in that guitar playing, I just can’t find it anywhere else.

Double-time After Midnight features two great guitar leads that EC saves all for himself. I Shot The Sheriff is a highlight even with EC getting a little bit lost at one point (05:10 thru 05:12) during the solo, which nevertheless sounds fantastic as it is played on wah-wah. EC credits Gary Brooker after the nice rendition of A Whiter Shade Of Pale and then Gary Brooker introduces Albert Lee for the fast-tempo Country Boy.

As far as I know, Another Ticket is performed live for the last time ever at this gig… or at least this is the last Another Ticket known to have been recorded so far. A rousing version of Blues Power preceeds the blues classic Wind Blow Wind which sees a nice combination of piano and guitar leads by Chris Stainton and EC respectively.

The blues centerpiece of the night is a downtempo Ramblin’ On My Mind/Have You Ever Loved A Woman that sees all band members taking turns to showcase their skills. EC’s lead on Have You Ever is particularly good.  EC seems to apologize to the audience for some reason before they play Cocaine, which features a long intro and, like the previous number, is played at an unusual slow pace. Funny to see how after the second verse the band gets ready for Albert Lee’s solo… but EC sings “she don’t lie / she don’t lie / Cocaine” one more time…

Layla is worse than the night before’s. EC plays the solo on slide for a while but it sounds uninspired to me with the presence of some mistakes too. The audience don’t seem to care and EC still gets a great ovation from them. The band is introduced to the audience at the rythm of Further On Up The Road, but the band abruptly stops to perform a two-minute version of the blues number Sad Sad Day – which sounds very appropriate, by the way –  before seriously kicking into the Further On Up The Road / Bright Lights Big City medley that puts an end to the Tour.

This release may be one step behind “Let Me In” as for sound quality is concerned (some fluctuations in the sound level appear between songs and the tape is not as clear clear). Also, this is not one of EC’s best nights. Definitely.

Still all this do not detract from the great release that is “Final Show”. This is another Tricone release that is worth having. I wonder if they will be having more to deliver…

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