Motor City Blues Power (Beano-026)
Pine Knob Music Theatre, Detroit, MI – June 11th, 1982
Disc 1 (39:17): Blues Power, Lay Down Sally, I Shot The Sheriff, Blow Wind Blow, Wonderful Tonight, Pink Bedroom, Double Trouble
Disc 2 (46:36): Key To The Highway, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, After Midnight, Ramblin’ On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Cocaine, Layla, member introduction, Further On Up The Road
Eric Clapton’s only touring in 1982 was a seventeen date tour in June of cities in the Midwest and east coast. This is far from making up for the forty-seven cancelled dates from the previous year. It is a further anomaly that the big cities like New York, Chicago and Boston were ignored in favor of smaller cites and venues like Binghamton, Portland Maine, and Savannah Georgia.
Detroit was an exception. This is perhaps the biggest city on the tour and Clapton played two nights at the 15,000 capacity Pine Knob Music Theater, which is now named DTE Energy Music Theatre. Poor sounding audience tapes have circulated for both shows but have never been booted. Motor City Blues Power uses a new tape for the second Detroit show. Whereas the older tape source was very poor and for completists only, this one sounds much better. The taper was closer to the stage and produced a very clear but slightly distant recording.
A live echo is prevalent on the recording which helps the atmosphere greatly. There is a tape flip after “Double Trouble” which cuts out the beginning of “Key To The Highway” but otherwise this is uncut and contains the complete concert.
The set list follows the same pattern as the short tours of Scandinavia and Japan did at the end of 1981. Only one song, the Muddy Waters cover “Blow Wind Blow,” is played from the new album Another Ticket and the album’s big hit “I Can’t Stand It” is ignored in favor of older material. Clapton seemed to be going through deep period of wanting to hide his talents behind other musicians and notable names. These shows featured Gary Brooker, but he would collaborate with Roger Waters in the coming years and it wouldn’t be until Behind The Sun that he became comfortable again taking the lead in his career.
Nevertheless the performance is very good for one of the first shows played in several months. “Blues Power” begins the set followed by “Lay Down Sally” and a very long version of “I Shot The Sheriff.” The mid tempo “Blow Wind Blow” replaces the frantic “Rita Mae” in the set. Albert Lee has his slot, playing “Pink Bedroom” instead of “Country Boy” of past tours. Brooker’s “A White Shade Of Pale” is played later in the set and this performance has a stange emphasis upon the guitar rather than the swirling organ.
The segue between “Rambling On My Mind” and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” is retained from previous tours. “Cocaine” and a very boring, uninspired version of “Layla” close the show. Clapton introduces the band before the only encore “Further On Up The Road.” With so few tapes from 1982 pressed on silver and available, Motor City Blues Power is a welcomed release. Beano have issued great titles the past couple of months and this id definitely one of them.