Tour Final (no label)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – February 28th, 2009
Disc 1 (42:35): Opening, 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
Disc 2 (66:14): Driftin’, Travelin’ Alone, That’s Alright, Motherless Child, Running On Faith, Motherless Children, Little Queen Of Spades, Before You Accuse Me, Wonderful Tonight, Layla, Cocaine, Crossroads
Eric Clapton played eleven shows in Japan in February. Two were in Osaka, two in Saitama with Jeff Beck and seven in the Budokan in Tokyo. Tour Final uses and excellent sounding, clear and balanced DAT audience recording to present the eleventh and final show in Japan. The mastering and presentation of the tape is perfect and the audience are extremely silent throughout the performance. Every detail i the sound coming from the stage is crystal clear, including the back up singers, that there is such a cozy and intimate feel to the show that it’s hard to believe it was recorded in a big venue like the Budokan. Clapton and the band sound like they’re playing in a small club.
A review on the Where’s Eric? website complains that in this show ” EC and the band played well but it wasn’t what you call ‘one of the greatest ever,’ ‘out of this world,’ ‘a night to remember’ etc. in my humble opinion. On some occasions, Eric threw a thunderous solo, as in the introduction of ‘Little Queen Of Spades, shoving my napping head to wake me up. But the entire performance finished without Eric stepping into the real ‘red zone.'” While it is true the show never reaches the emotional or artistic peak as the Saitama shows, it is very enjoyable until it begins to peter out by the end.
The set list is the same as the previous evening with an intricate version of “Tell The Truth.” Second guitarist Doyle Bramhall takes many of the solos in this and in much of the set. A series of covers follows with “Key To The Highway,” “Hootchie Cootchie Man” and the funk-reggae “I Shot The Sheriff.” A cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Here But I’m Gone” is extremely catchy and one of the set’s highlights.
The latter half of the set continues with the covers taken from the Fron The Cradle setlist including Barbecue Bob’s “Motherless Child.” “Little Quen Of Spades” is the long epic of the set with all of the musicians taking a short solo during the song’s duration. “Wonderful Tonight” is played in a hard rock arrangement and the set closes with a limp version of “Layla” which segues into “Cocaine.” Before the encore Clapton says, “thanks for the great time the last few weeks.” Tour Final is packaged in a double slimline with attractive inserts with the artwork and the first fifty copies come with a limited special edition sticker for the front cover. The sound quality is enough to make this recommend as one of the best sounding documents to surfaces from Clapton’s latest tour of Japan.