Eric Clapton celebrated a big milestone earlier this year. The legendary guitarist celebrated his 70th birthday. And he didn’t just celebrate it with a quiet night at home. Instead he celebrated it in front of hundreds of fans at the famed Royal Albert Hall. Now fans around the world will get to take in that celebration in the comfort of their own homes this fall courtesy of the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of the new recording Slow Hand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Slow Hand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall was released earlier this month in a variety of platforms including DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, and an exclusive Deluxe DVD + 2CD edition. For the sake of this review, the attention will rest on the recording’s DVD + 2CD platform. There is plenty to like about this recording beginning with the show’s set list. While not necessarily a career-spanning show or even a career-defining set list it still touches on some of Clapton’s biggest hits. It is just one part of what makes this presentation another impressive addition to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s expansive catalogue and to any Clapton fan’s music library. Clapton’s stage presence and that of his fellow performers is just as important to the whole of this recording as the show’s set list. The concert’s production values round out its presentation. Between the work of the concert’s audio engineers, those behind the cameras, and those that handled the concert’s post-production the production values stand out here just as much as any of the other live recordings in Eagle Rock Entertainment’s vast library of archived concerts. Of course the package’s double gate-fold packaging can’t be ignored either. Together with all of the previously noted elements the DVD + 2CD presentation of Eric Clapton’s Slow Hand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall proves to be yet more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings and why this recording in itself is one more of the best of this year’s new live recordings.
Eric Clapton’s new live recording Slow Hand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall is one more of the best of this year’s new live recordings. Being such an impressive recording it is also more proof (as if the company needed it) as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. The main way in which it shows itself to be such an impressive recording is its set list. The seventeen-song set list comes in at just under two hours. Specifically it comes in at an hour and forty-five minutes. Though the bonus performance of ‘Little Queen of Spades’ pushes that time to just over two hours. While not necessarily a career-spanning or even career-defining set list it is still a set that every fan will enjoy. It includes some of Clapton’s biggest hits of all time including: ‘Key to the Highway,’ ‘Wonderful Tonight,’ ‘Cocaine,’ and ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ among others. There is also a great performance of Willie Dixon’s blues classic ‘Hocchie Coochie Man’ and ‘You Are So Beautiful,’ which was co-written by Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher, and Beach Boys legend Dennis Wilson. As if all of that is not enough, the classic ‘Tears in Heaven’ is here, too as are ‘Layla,’ ‘Somebody’s Knockin’ On My Door’ and ‘Driftin’ Blues,’ which was originally composed by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers in 1945. Between these songs and those not noted here, it can be said that the set in whole plays its own important role in the whole of this concert recording’s overall presentation. It is not the only part of the presentation’s whole that makes it enjoyable. Clapton’s stage presence and that of his fellow performers is just as important to the recording’s presentation as the show’s set list.
The set list that is featured in Eric Clapton’s new live recording is an important part of the recording’s whole in its own right. That is because it presents just a handful of the veteran musician’s songs from his extensive catalogue of songs. It might not necessarily be a career-defining set list or even career-spanning in the traditional sense of the terms. But it is still an impressive collection of songs nonetheless. As impressive as the show’s set list proves to be it is just one part of the presentation that makes it such an enjoyable program. Clapton’s stage presence and that of his fellow performers is just as important to note as the concert’s set list. There are no fireworks or big, bombastic guitar solos here. It is just a straight forward performance in which Clapton and company really let the music do the talking for them. One of the most notable moments to note in regards to the group’s stage presence is Clapton’s performance of ‘Tears in Heaven.’ Typically a slow, emotional piece Clapton opts for a different take in his performance here. He actually speeds up the song here. And while that might not seem like much on the surface, it is quite important to note. That is because it gives the song a wholly different identity from its original recording. ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ gets the audience just as into the show thanks to the group’s grooving energy as it performs the song. And the group’s take on ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ conjures thoughts of a smoky old jazz club even with it being performed in what is one of the biggest and most respected concert halls in England if not the UK. The energy exuded through this performance and that of each of the concert’s other songs shows in whole just why Clapton’s stage presence and that of his fellow performers is so important to the whole of the performance. All involved handle each song with such expertise that it makes the music just as much the star of the show as its performers; So much so that there is really no need for interaction between Clapton and the audience in attendance. All things considered here Clapton’s stage presence and that of his fellow performers throughout each of the show’s songs shows just why it is just as important to the whole of the recording as the show’s set list.
The set list featured in Slow Hand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall and the band’s stage presence throughout the featured songs are both key ways in which the recording shows itself to be yet another solid release from Eagle Rock Entertainment and a recording that any of the legendary guitarist’s fans should have in their own music libraries. While both elements are of equal importance to the concert’s overall presentation they are not the only elements that should be considered. The concert’s production values are just as important to the concert as its set list and the performers’ stage presence. The Royal Albert Hall is a massive venue to say the very least. For those that might not be familiar with the hall’s makeup it is a very large, open structure. That means that the sound absolutely envelopes the hall. It also means plenty of options for camera shots. And the camera crew utilizes every option, too. There are multiple angles captured on-stage as well as from the audience. The on-stage angles include head-on shots of Clapton working his way through each song, his backup singers, Michelle John and Sharon White, singing like two wonderful angels, and even bassist Nathan East when he gets his time in the spotlight. There is also a number of equally wonderful other angles from every possible post on stage that heighten the viewing experience even more for audiences at home. The audience shots are just as incredible. There are incredible shots from atop the hall in its highest balconies and other trucking shots from the hall floor. Both shots capture in their own way the very immensity of the hall’s structure. Together they not only capture its incredible size but also the equally immense size of the audience in attendance. It shows Clapton’s continued popularity and relevance among audiences even decades after his debut. Considering the hall’s size, the audio is just as impressive. Audiences get to hear just how full the sound is as it rings through the hall. Yet thanks to those behind the audio boards (and those that handled the audio in post production) it never feels overpowering either to audiences or itself at any point. One can only imagine how it must have sounded in person. And even considering that it sounded just as incredible in this recording if not better. Coupled with the equally standout work of the show’s camera crew (and those that edited the concert in post) the concert’s production values show in the end exactly why they are just as important to this recording as the show’s set list and the performers’ stage presence. The combination of all three elements in the concert’s DVD + 2CD combo pack makes it just as enjoyable as it is in any of its other presentations. Given there is quite a bit more in the extended deluxe edition for true fans of Eric Clapton. But it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment offered by this presentation one bit. It is just as enjoyable in its own right. The double gate-fold packaging can even be cited in the package’s presentation. It may be more bulky than packages that use those plastic inserts in order to save space. But it also ensures the safety of the package’s discs. Set against the other noted elements, they collectively show exactly why Slowhand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall is one more of this year’s best new live recordings and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.
Eric Clapton’s new live recording Slowhand at 70: LIve at the Royal Albert Hall is one more of this year’s best new live recordings. It also shows yet again why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. It proves both of these arguments mainly through the show’s set list. While not necessarily career-spanning or defining, it is still a set list that Clapton fans of all ages will enjoy. His stage presence (and that of his fellow performers) adds even more enjoyment to the concert. The production values presented throughout the concert and the packaging of the triple-disc set together round out the package. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of this concert. Collectively, they make it a concert recording that every Eric Clapton fan will enjoy and one that is one of this year’s best new live recordings. It is yet more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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