Eric Clapton may have aged a bit too gracefully for many fans of his incendiary work with Cream, abandoning that youthful urgency in favor of a gentlemanly school of easy listening. And Back Home, his latest effort, clearly plays to Clapton's older, wiser, less exciting side. As the title suggests, he's in comfortable shoes, light years removed from "Sunshine of Your Love" or "White Room." But as anyone who caught that recent Cream reunion can attest, the man still warrants his fair share of "Clapton is God" graffiti on a good night. On the right song. In the right mood. Chances are, you'll have a chance to see both sides of Clapton at the U.S. Airways Center. He'll be doing songs from Back Home, sure. But he's been drinking heavily of "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs," blowing the dust off such time-honored classics as "Little Wing," "Key to the Highway," "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" with a band that features Derek Trucks on slide guitar. And the version of "Layla" they've been doing? Not the crappy unplugged version.
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