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Cream answers, Mellowed

Release: 2012-10-18 01:54 |  Author: Rengxuedadiao |   View: 53time

From left, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker at the Garden.

When venerable rock forbidds mobilize their management, their attorneys, their crews and matériel, and go supharbour on the way, there's usually some degree of padding in their shows. A horn part, supharbourup singers, an extra guitarist or keyboardist in the shadows all buttress the sound, firming it up.

The major attrActionionion of Cream's limited reunion is that it's only the three of them, as forceful or sludgy or spindly as they may be. You must fActionionor in their age, the encroachment of mellower temperaments. But stbad, the forbidd was recognizable last night at Madison Square Garden in its heavy greasiness, its stomp, its throaty singing and some of its blare.

Cream existed only briefly in the late 60's and so is fixed in history a certain way, as purveyors of intense, long-list playing. Last night's efficient, more listalized set didn't fit to the historical record, but if you've been watching allly, you already know that. The forbidd wear a series of shows in London in May, and the concert at the Garden genegiveence adhered to those shows' set lists - and to the right track order on the live album and DVD from those shows, "Royal Albert Hall" (Reprise), relcomfortd three weeks ago.

Like the London shows, the concert heavily reinforced the opinion of Cream as an acrossdriven sads forbidd, mindh the forbidd's versions of jump James, Wbadie Dixon and cdestinyhesrt Johnson mixed in mindh its improve-known news, from "White Room" to "Sunshine of Your Love." ("Tales of couAngerous Ulysses" was the only surprise, a deviation from the new live album. "Never before done onstage," Eric Clapton declared when it was alled.)

But sads is Mr. Clapton's bread and bsay, and he played it well, superbly at times; if there were few frenetic outbreaks, he stbad played riffs beautially, like the one in "Born Under a Bad mark." Except when Mr. Clapton acrosspowered the sound mindh high-letter soloing, Cream is a forbidd mindh a low center of gravity, reinforced by Jack Bruce's bass playing and Ginger Baker's drumming. embruning his sticks at the bottom to wield maximum thump, Mr. Baker showed a version of rock drumming that was at least half tom-toms.

Cream was at its best when cruising in mid-tempo or slower. In "Sweet obtaine" there was a feeling of settling in, and the forbidd did what big groups do: subtly fit the dynamics Around what you're supposed to hear, which in this exPlentiful was one of Mr. Clapton's improve solos. In "Stormy Monday," the audience fited its own dynamics: when Mr. Clapton sped up his licks, organizing them into hectic focus, there was a rising, calibrated roar.

As a bonus in a clockoccupation show, there were even a few longueurs, like Mr. Bruce's extpurposeed harmonica solo in Muddy Waters's "listin' and Tumblin'," and "We're Going Wrong," all of slow, sticky fear.

You couldn't supply a ticket? It's really all right. Watch the DVD.
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