News Column

Bob Mehr's Memphis Music Beat: Eric Clapton at Mud Island, a BAT Bump and more

January 24, 2014

By Bob Mehr, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

Jan. 24 --British blues-rock titan Eric Clapton will usher in the 2014 Mud Island Amphitheatre concert season with a show at the venue on April 30 . This marks Clapton's first appearance in town since a March 2010 concert at FedExForum. That show paired him with the Who's Roger Daltrey , who opened the show solo and thoroughly blew Clapton off the stage. It wasn't that Daltrey was so incredible, but rather that Clapton was so shatteringly boring. As I noted in my review at the time, the playing and pacing of the set was bereft of any spark whatsoever, as he labored through a "seemingly endless succession of snoozy mid-tempo blues numbers -- both electrically and acoustically -- that quickly began to bleed into one another." Apparently my crack that "Clapton ... played with all the energy of man who'd just ingested a large turkey dinner before hitting the stage" hit a nerve. I was soon swamped by dozens of angry calls, e-mails and public missives defending Clapton (including one from The Commercial Appeal's then editor, Chris Peck ). Still, I maintain that among the many thousands of performances I've seen, it stands as one of the most bored and unenthusiastic I've ever witnessed. Here's hoping that Slowhand will be a little perkier for his Mud Island turn this spring. Tickets for the show are $65 to $125 , and go on sale Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. They're available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000. 'Big Ass' Bump: Tickets for the Feb. 13 "Meanwhile in Memphis " documentary screening after-party concert -- featuring Sons of Mudboy , Alicja Trout and a headlining reunion by '90s funk rockers Big Ass Truck -- has been bumped from Minglewood Hall's 1884 Lounge to the venue's main room. Tickets for the event -- which will see BAT play together for the first time in 14 years -- went so quickly, so early, that Minglewood decided to move the concert onto its main stage. Here's a teaser for the show from "Meanwhile in Memphis ": Tickets are available for $15 in advance at the box office ( 1555 Madison Avenue ), minglewoodhall.com or by calling (901) 312-6058. Oh, Yeaaaaah!: Memphis rapper Don Trip releases his latest mixtape today at noon. Titled Randy Savage and featuring a cover image of the late, great wrestler, the 10-track offering features guest appearances by Juicy J, Young Dolph and Trip's Step Brothers partner, Starlito. Production comes courtesy of several heavy hitters including multiple-Grammy-nominated Yung Ladd and Trip's longtime Bluff City -based collaborator Street Symphony. Trip has been busy of late, dropping the second Step Brothers effort last fall and prepping a proper solo album -- his long-awaited "debut" following an aborted deal with Interscope -- set to arrive later in 2014. In the meantime, download Randy Savage here. MIM movement: For those wondering, Memphis in May has yet to replace its longtime executive vice president Diane Hampton , who served as the public face of the Beale Street Music Festival before leaving last June. Here's my story on her departure. Memphis in May president/CEO Jim Holt says they're still "interviewing candidates" for the position of director of marketing and expect to have someone "in place by mid-February." Early passes for the 2014 BSMF go on sale Feb. 27 . Though the lineup is still officially unconfirmed, Internet reports list a handful of acts (including Primal Scream, Buddy Guy and Fitz & the Tantrums) as likely performers. ___ (c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


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