Classic Rock Corner

Saturday Night: Eric Clapton at Toyota Center

Eric Clapton, the Wallflowers Toyota Center March 16, 2013

As the house lights went up on the near-capacity crowd at the Toyota Center, there was an audible collective gasp. Thousands of concertgoers looked at each other with wide, stunned eyes. Could this be possible? Was it a cruel joke?

Would it take another round of screams, stomps, and cell-phone-light screen-wavings to bring him back out to rip into that famous seven-note opening and cause classic rock creaming in the collective jeans of all around???

Surely, when Eric Clapton didn't play the slower-tempoed, MTV Unplugged version in the show's middle acoustic set, it was just setting the stage for the final song of the night. But no, after an encore that included a bombastic version of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," and a spirited, raucous cover of Joe Cocker's "High Time We Went," the headliner and his crew took the sentiment of that latter tune and calmly walked offstage.

It was true. A Clapton concert. With no "Layla."

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero