God made an appearance in Raleigh Monday night.

by Charles Womack

Roger Daltrey of the Who, and guitar God, Eric Clapton, brought together 14,000-plus fans to enjoy two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers on one stage

Opening the show, Daltrey told the screaming crowd, “This tour is our first opening slot since the Who opened for the Rolling Stones in 1964. And they did all right for themselves.”

Daltrey and his tight-knit band that included Simon Townshend, the younger brother of Who guitarist Pete Townshend, played for nearly an hour.

When the 65-year old Eric Clapton came on stage, the crowd seemed to settle in for his 90-minute performance. Clapton started out slowly and seemed to want to wind down even more as he spent nearly a third of the show sitting down with his acoustic.

As I watched and waited for that spark of warm peace that always seems to come to me during certain moments at a Clapton concert, I waited and waited. About 25 minutes in, I thought it was happening. As the band broke into a reggae beat I knew what was coming: “I Shot The Sheriff.” Clapton’s remake of the Bob Marley classic.

As it started to get going it started working. Then the guitar solo… and I was sooo close to getting that magic. Since it had been nearly three years since I had seen Clapton, I thought, Maybe this is where the sweet spot is for me now.

Then my old friend EC pulled up a chair and plopped down for five acoustic tunes including “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and the highlight of the night, “Running on Faith.”

The songs first verse says, “Lately I’ve been running on faith/ What else can a poor boy do?/ But my world will be right/ when love comes over you.”

That moment the hairs on my arms stuck up and all was great in the world. He did it to me again. The show overall was slower than most Clapton shows and featured other classics such as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Cocaine,” closing with “Crossroads.”

—Charles Womack