Andy McKee's 40 minute 8 song set ended at around 9:00pm, and Eric Johnson and his three piece band took the stage about a half hour later at 9:30. Johnson was touring with a bass player and a drummer, and that was it. They took the stage. Johnson mumbled a brief "hello"to the audience, and they launched into their first song.
That would be pretty consistent over the set that would last for about an hour and a half. Sometimes Johnson would say something to the audience between songs, but more often than not, one song would just move into the next. Generally, the extent of his banter with the crowd would be along the lines of "how's everybody doing tonight?". But what Johnson may lack in charisma and stage presence, he more than made up for in ability. I have seen some great guitarists live, including Clapton several times, ditto Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughn once (Spectrum 1982 opening for the Moody Blues), and Derek Trucks, and I can honestly say that none of them could match EJ purely on speed. The man's fingers simply flew across the neck of his Strat (or Gibson SG some of the time), and perfectly cleanly and with fantastic clear tone. Words cannot really do justice to his technical ability.
|My autographed CD...|
Merry Christmas to me!
[Afterthought and update - A little digging around after writing this post found that some of the names of the songs he did were When the Sun Meets the Sky, Zap, and Dry Ice (by the Electromagnets, an early Eric Johnson band) as the final encore song. Songs I have since positively identified from the newer Up Close album include Fatdaddy, Gem and On the Way, but I am sure there were others as well.]