Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Concert

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June 13th, 2009

Verizon Wireless Center, Washington DC


      We went to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood June 13th.  We'd never been to a DC concert venue outside of Wolftrap, so we looked forward to seeing what DC had to offer...turns out it's a large venue, four levels and they use the arena for hockey and Basketball as well as other concerts/event.  Not that spectacular; pretty much the same as John Paul Jones arena and other large venues. Our seats were in the first non floor level (the best level unless you are in the first 10 rows on the floor).  We were about 1/4 of the way from the stage, so that was pretty nice.  However, we couldn't see them THAT well so I was glad they had screens up.  I don't know how other people (75% of the people were worse off than us) fared... We met some cool people at the show and had a nice conversation with this guy and his roommate/friend. 

       As usual, food/drinks were limited (beer and soda and water) and was very much expensive as usual.  My small bottle of water was 4.00.  While walking to the venue, we were hit up by a couple homeless people and I found it sad that the seat of government sees this daily and does not find a solution.  We ended up giving change to one, denying another (he obviously was scamming) and buying a cheeseburger for another who literally looked ill. It was a sad thing.  I forgot to take a photo of the venue itself, which is located at 601 F St NW.

        We decided to leave our hotel (Wyatt) in Arlington and take the metro to the center because parking at the event is 25.00 and the traffic/street parking would be so congested we'd be frustrated.  We had already paid 16.00 parking at the hotel, so that was a bit much!.  What an experience. I'd not taken it before and we did get confused but it was me who had the largest was hot and sticky there and smelly.  it was crowded and one of the escalators was squealing so much we thought it might blow up.  But the worse problem was that I didn't realize if you buy a round ticket, you have to punch it out (I went through the gate) so when you come back in, you can't get in.... your ticket will kick back out.   I put it in a million times and was hot and tired and the woman in the booth who is there to helped people put her hand on her cheek (resting her head on her elbow) and just watched me and said nothing.  Finally my hubby got pissed and went to her for help (could she not just wave me over????? UGH).  Finally she said Maam, you need to come here that's what I am here for but you have to ask me.  In other words, she wasn't going to OFFER help! So my husband punched my ticket out for me from the other side but then was stuck on my side with no money left on his ticket because he had to come over to give me my ticket.  Again, the woman watched the scene and did NOTHING.  Finally, I said "F" it, jump the turnstile; and he did.  If she would've come out of that booth to scold him, I'd definitely have to call the police to restrain me at that point! Anyway, before you use the metro, get a map, check the signs well to learn the line (Red, Blue, Orange etc) and make sure you punch in and out as well as bring a lot of extra dollars/change in case you get off accidentally and have to buy another ticket.

      As for the concert, it was okay but not the best I've been to.  Eric and Steve played together and not separately and shared the songs.  It wasn't completely one or the other at any time and to be honest, they skipped a lot of their songs and I felt a little cheated.  Mostly, they did a lot of the blues and less of the rock songs; Though that's what they're know for, I kept hoping Eric would do "my Guitar Gently Weeps" or any of his major hits like Lay Down Sally, Tears in Heaven, Change the World, I Shot the Sheriff etc (yet he did do Cocaine and Layla thank goodness). Steve only had like two songs that I knew... Here's the setlist:


01. Had to Cry Today 02. Low Down 03. After Midnight 04. Presence of the Lord 05. Sleeping in the Ground 06. Glad 07. Well, Alright 08. It's Too Bad 09. Pearly Queen 10. No Face, No Name, No Number
11. Forever Man 12. Little Wing 13. Georgia On My Mind 14. Driftin' 15. Nobody Knows You 16. Layla 17. Can't Find My Way Home 18. Crossroads 19. Voodoo Chile 20. Cocaine Encore: 21. Dear Mr. Fantasy


     The venue doesn't allow you in till 30 minutes before so you will need to stand out in the heat so be prepared.  You are not allowed to video or photo (professionally) but small cameras are allowed most times.

     It was an expensive weekend/concert but hey, you gotta see Eric Clapton once in a lifetime right?  He's an icon and I will admit his guitar playing is mesmerizing; he's really deserving of the title of one of the best guitarists in the world.

     I believe (he never introduced them one time) the band members were: Steve Winwood Piano, Chris Stainton Keyboards, Abe Laboriel drums, Willie Weeks (Bass) Michelle John & Sharon White (Backing vocals)


Left to right: 1) The Whole Band 2) The Band again 3) Steve Winwood 4) Steve Winwood from the big screen 5) The band


Left to right: 1) Keyboardist Chris Stainton 2) via the big screen background singers/dancers Michelle John and Sharon White 3) Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton 4) Eric on the big screen and Eric, the Singers and Drummer


Left to right: 1) Eric and Steve 2) The band again 3) The band in yellow and 4) the finale...bye!



Wikipedia Link



Live Nation

Steve Winwood

My Steve Winwood page


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