Review of Cream At MSG October 25th - The Concert!
We took our seats as the lights went off. Cream climbed the stage, and it was on.
(Editors note: This blogger did not know the names of many of the songs played, and he was too drunk besides to remember them all anyway. When a set list gets published, this will be edited.)
Eric Clapton was on the right of the stage, in a dark smock-like shirt, with his usual scruff. Jack Bruce was on the left, in a red hawaiian-type shirt, and the whole time his face was scrunched up with intensity. Ginger Baker was half hidden in the back behind his drums, and all I could see were his blurring hands and his creased face and white hair. He looked like a grand father. Except the guy was rocking out like crazy. I've never seen anyone play drums like that.
The background of the stage was a long rectangular screen that constantly showed trippy/psychedlic colors and shifting patterns. There was a lot of light focused on the stage, but not any spotlights going out into the crowd, like many modern day shows have.
The first song was half tempo, not fast and not slow. It settled the groove, and was chill.
2nd song: Very laid back, the base undertones mixed perfectly with Clapton's guitar, the drums a sweet staccato dividing the melodies.
At this point I looked over to my right, and there was a cool looking guy with long blonde hair...reminded me of my current room mate. We chatted throughout the show.
3rd song: Groovy and rambunctious. Nice progression with a sweet base finish, which led into a short but succinct up and down jam.
By now the alcohol was in my system and I was buzzed and loving it. I alternated between watching the band on the stage, watching the close-up monitor, and just closing my eyes and enjoying the music.
The 4th song was slow, groovy, laidback, with funk, soul and rhythm. A little sad and bluesey, with a southern twang. At that point I realized my beer bottle was vibrating with the music of Cream. Sweet!
The 5th song was "Tales of Brave Ulysses!" Right on! The lyrics were explosive, as was Clapton on the guitar. It was powerful and perfect, soulful, and it gave you a feeling that was like you were watching a saga unfold in your mind. Definite highlight.
The 6th song was smooth and continuous, and the jam was out of this world. It was uplifting and moving, then rockin and groovin. At this point the band was just flying on its own momentum.
The 7th song saw me take a pee break, so I didn't catch much of it.
The 8th song was mellow and fun, with a high pitched guitar solo from Clapton. It was hardcore originally Clapton, and oh so satisfying.
The 9th song had a groovy jam, and had me drumming my arm rests with a dah dah dah dah, dahhh, dah dah dah dah.
The 10th song had a harmonica base, very fast and southern. It made me think, "This is kinda sad. 25 years ago the fans would be teens, fucked up on drugs and tripping, drunk out of their minds, and screaming, dancing in the isles. At this concert most of the fans were way older than me, and were sitting. They became old, and bourgeoisie."
11: Classic, slow, and the jam was basically emotional/touching, which elicited a lot of applause. Ginger Baker was like Ray Charles on the drums.
12. Getting into it, groovy, the percussion was rockin. The lyrics were standard awesome Cream.
13. Born Under A Bad Sign. Nice tempto, the solo was spot on, so fuckin groovy. Guy next to me told me song sounds like politician.
14. Slowey kinda song, guy next to me called it as White Room, but it wasn't. It was still groovy and chill.
15. Last song went right into Cross Roads. The Jam was transcendant, Clapton looked like a dummy, rockin back and forth. His face was a mask, eyes closed. Looked like a rock and roll Raggedy Andy.
16. Slow, but so nice. Astros winning 4-1.
17. WHITE ROOM! It was throaty and so much better than any version I'd ever heard. The guitar sounded like it was alive, full and vibrant. It was over too quickly, but it was masterful.
18. Drum Solo! Ginger Baker blew me away. I couldn't believe how much rhythm that guy has. I bet he could play the drums, solo, for a whole show, and it'd be awesome. Not to mention, the dude had his eyes closed for most of it. He was definitely a rockin drummin version of Ray Charles. One of the highlights of the night.
19. Band leaves the stage to thunderous applause. After 4 minutes they come back and play Sunshine of your Love as an encore. Awesome.
Over all, it was amazing. First the prospect of getting the tickets, then getting them, raised my blood to fever pitch. Then the discovery of the Club Room, and the free drinks, set the stage. The seats were awesome, and there were no annoying people sitting next to us. The show was great, many classic songs I hadn't heard in a long time, and of course the big hits. I would recommend obtaining the CD of this live concert. I only wish they'd play more of them.