Review: Eric Clapton falls short in long-awaited return to Bay Area

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Chase Center isn’t even a week old yet, but it’s still hosted two of the three biggest rock concerts of the year.

The first came on Sept. 6 when the building opened to the public with a performance by Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony.

And the second came on Wednesday (Sept. 11) when first-tier guitar hero Eric Clapton — the only three-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — made his long-awaited return to the Bay Area with a performance at the new home of the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco.

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The only one of the trio of top rock shows that wasn’t held at Chase, of course, was the Rolling Stones, who performed in August at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Fans had been waiting a long time for this show. Clapton’s last Bay Area date came way back in March 2011 at the SAP Center in San Jose.

And, suffice it to say, fans were feeling lucky – even privileged – to get to see ol’ Slowhand at all, especially given that he only is doing three dates leading up to his big Crossroads Guitar Festival. Following San Francisco, Clapton moves on to Las Vegas on Sept. 13 and Phoenix on Sept. 14, before hitting Dallas for the two-day guitar extravaganza Sept. 20-21.

Unfortunately, Clapton could do no better than to turn in another uneven – and, ultimately, unfulfilling – performance during his first Bay Area show in over eight years.

It suffered from pretty much all the same things that hurt that uninspired 2011 San Jose show — a questionable set list, low energy and a failure to engage the crowd for any sustained periods of time.

Sure, there was some great guitar work – it was, after all, Clapton onstage. But even the fret board fireworks didn’t quite light up the night as brightly as one would’ve hoped.

Clapton — who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist as well as for being a member of both Cream and the Yardbirds — opened the show on a semi-high note with “Pretending,” the lead track from his last great studio album, 1989’s “Journeyman.”

The fans were thrilled to see him take the stage, but they grew noticeably less enthusiastic as …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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