Clapton, Winwood Play Madison Square Garden

Having seen Cream play at Detroit's Grande Ballroom in the autumn of '67, like many fans I was disheartened when they disbanded. Also being a fan of Steve Winwood's Traffic, my excitement was quickly renewed when I learned that Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker were teaming up with Winwood to form Blind Faith. Their one and only album shortly hit the streets in August of '69.

That fall I saw them at Olympia Stadium (then home of the Red Wings)—the worst venue ever at which to stage a concert of any sort. The warm-up acts that night included one-hit wonders Friend & Lover (Reach Out of the Darkness), followed shortly by Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Yes, I had reserved seats, but because the stage was set "center-ice," mine faced the rear of the band's speaker columns! Only on occasion would my heroes duck around between their Marshalls to play a few bars for us poor sods relegated to the "low-rent district." (As the promoter of this fiasco, you owe me one, Russ!)

With the exception of paying the big bucks to see Paul McCartney at "Echo" Arena a few years back in Sacramento, I've managed to steer clear of the large indoor "concert venues"—instead enjoying arena rock on my 52" video/surround sound system. So preferring my couch-potato venue for the really big acts, to my delight Steve Winwood was the featured end-of-show performer at Clapton's 2007 Crossroads benefit concert held outside of Chicago. First performing many of Traffic's chestnuts as a frontman, he then teamed up with the concert host to perform several Blind Faith numbers.

I had seen advertisements for the current Clapton~Winwood concert tour online, but had no idea—until today—that a DVD release of their February Madison Square Gardens tour stop was in the works. Among many others, tracks include Had To Cry Today, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Pearly Queen, Tell the Truth, After Midnight, and Voodoo Chile (for which Winwood played keyboards on Hendrix's original Electric Ladyland release).

PBS will be broadcasting this terrific performance in June, so check your local TV listings. Below is an amateur video from that event featuring the rocks legends' version of Hendrix's Little Wing. While it gives you an idea of what to expect from both the video and any forthcoming live concert of theirs, please remember that this sample is not at all representative of the quality provided by the authorized DVD. Enjoy!