Every three years since 2004 Eric Clapton has called upon his famous guitarist friends and those young axeslingers he admires for a benefit called the Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise funds for Clapton’s Crossroads Centre drug treatment center in Antigua. Following the 2004 edition in Dallas and 2007 and 2010 editions near Chicago, this year’s Crossroads Fest takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Last night was the first of the event’s two nights at the “World’s Greatest Arena.”
[Photos by @languagestrange]
Clapton took the stage as the evening’s first act for a five-song acoustic set and returned at points in the night to sit in with many of the performers on the bill. Booker T was up next and was joined by Steve Cropper, Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Keb Mo for a set of MGs classics. A summit of guitar gods followed, which saw Clapton team up with B.B. King, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan. Sonny Landreth delivered a song while the stage was set for Doyle Bramhall II, who welcomed Citizen Cope and Gary Clark Jr. during his five-song performance. From there, Philip Sayce, Earl Klugh and Al Turner and Kurt Rosenwinkel each took turns leading the proceedings with Clapton joining Rosenwinkel for If I Should Lose You and Way Down That Lonesome Road. Gary Clark Jr. returned for a quick solo interlude which was followed a John Mayer set. Country star Keith Urban helped out Mayer and his band for a cover of Don’t Let Me Down By The Beatles. For Buddy Guy’s set the Chicago legend was joined by Robert Randolph and his protege – Quinn Sullivan. The evening’s MC Dan Aykroyd paired up with Keb Mo for a few tunes before he introduced the Allman Brothers Band to close out the show. The Allmans finished off the evening with a five-song set that included sit-ins from David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, Taj Mahal and Clapton himself for Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
We’ve compiled photos, videos and the setlist from last night’s show…