Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood – Budokan 1st Day (Tarantura TCDECSW-6-1, 2)

Budokan 1st Day (Tarantura TCDECSW-6-1, 2)

Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – December 2nd, 2011

Disc 1 (65:55):  SF, Start, Had To Cry Today- Blind Faith, Low Down – J.J.Cale, After Midnight – J.J.Cale, Presence Of The Lord – Blind Faith, Glad – Traffic, Well All Right – Buddy Holly, Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters, While You See A Chance – Steve Winwood, Key To The Highway – Big Bill Broonzy, Midland Maniac – Steve Winwood, Crossroads – Robert Johnson, Georgia On My Mind – Hoagy Carmichael

Disc 2 (61:54) – Acoustic Set – Driftin’ – Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, That’s No Way To Get Along – Robert Wilkins, Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton, Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith, Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group, Voodoo Chile – Jimi Hendrix, – Encore – Dear Mr.Fantasy – Traffic, Cocaine – J.J.Cale, SE

The ninth show of the Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood tour, and the first of five in the Budokan in Tokyo, was on the night of December 2nd, 2011.  The importance, since it is the first Clapton / Winwood show in the nation’s capital, insured a great tape would surface from the event. 

Where’s Eric?, the premier Clapton online fanzine, gave this show its own news item, writing:  “Bandmates in Blind Faith, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood reunited with three shows at Madison Square Garden (and captured on DVD) in February 2008. Since then, they have performed across the United States, Europe, the UK and now, Japan. On 2 December, the duo kicked off a 5 night residency at Tokyo’s famous Nippon Budokan which will conclude their Japan Tour.

“Fans have flown in from all over the world to attend these concerts. One checked in with Where’s Eric! moments after the first concert at the Budokan ended and writing, ‘Great first Tokyo night; very energetic. My favorites were Presence Of The Lord (great wah-wah!), a stomping Crossroads, Midland Maniac, That’s No Way To Get Along in the acoustic set, Gimme Some Lovin’ and Voodoo Chile.'”

Budokan 1st Day is Tarantura’s edition of the show, one of the very few silver pressed titles to be released (the market is, of course, flooded with countless CDR titles).  The label uses a Maiko recording, the same person who taped the final night in Budokan (and pressed on Play For Dick Sims (Tarantura TCDECSW-4-1, 2)). 

The sound quality is very good to excellent, taped close to the stage.  The set list is the same except that “Midland Maniac” is played instead of “Pearly Queen” early in the set.

A review of this show claims that this is a good example of both artists going through the motions and playing this tour for the cash.  But the performance is opposite of that.  They don’t need the money or exposure, but are playing for the joy of music.  And that is what comes through.  

The show starts off with a passionate “Had To Cry Today.”  Although both artists augment the performance, Winwood especially is inspired with creativity and throws in great parts throughout the show. 

Winwood plays a very jazzy piano in “Glad,” and the transition into “Well Alright” is pure magic.  Another highlight is “Midland Maniac.”  With the reggae tinged rhythms in the middle, it certainly is a nice change of pace from the blues and soul that comprise much of the night’s music. 

The acoustic interlude is another highlight.  “Driftin'” sounds especially dramatic, as does the Robert Wilkins cover “That’s No Way To Get Along.”  The four song set ends with “Can’t Find My Way Home.”  A cover of the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin'” and the slow, bluesy cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” close the show.  The encores are two songs, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Cocaine” with a long piano interlude in the middle. 

Budokan 1st Day comes packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve.  Tarantura utilize thick glossy paper with several photographs from the event as the artwork.  It is a great sounding and packaged title worth having.

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