Left: Five of the 22 guitarists onstage for the Crossroads finale: (left to right) Derek Trucks, Pino Daniele, Warren Haynes, James Burton, and Jimmie Vaughan. Second from left: Citizen Cope
(right) plays his song “Hands of the Saints” during Eric Clapton’s set. Second from right: Eric Clapton’s famous Blackie (the real deal) was on display with his Cream-era Gibson ES-335 and
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lenny (both not pictured) in a temperature- and humidity-controlled booth in the Guitar Center Village. Right: Robert Randolph—who played second on the main stage
with his Family Band, Joe Bonamassa, and Pino Daniele—has fun at his clinic on the Ernie Ball Stage.
Eric and Buddy Guy! And James Burton and
Albert Lee are probably the reason I wanted to
play a Telecaster. It’s a heady day.”
Everyone we talked to had their prized highlights. One of Haynes’ was watching Winwood
accompany Clapton for much of his 90-minute
set. “He’s one of my favorites,” Haynes says.
For Burton, the fun-filled Guy-Wood-Lang
set stood out. “It was great seeing my buddy
Ronnie Wood. He and Buddy were just having
a blast out there onstage—and I love seeing
my buddies out there enjoying themselves.”
But, predictably, Beck stole the show for
much of the audience—including the per-
formers. “The one thing I won’t soon forget
was Jeff Beck’s performance. It was far and
beyond the best I’ve ever seen him,” says
Lang. Clark and Haynes both cited Beck’s
performance as one of the highlights of their
day as well. “He tripped me out!” says Clark.
For one of the originally scheduled bands,
however, watching performances was out of
the question. This year’s Crossroads lineup
was supposed to include a performance
by the Allman Brothers Band, but Gregg
Allman ended up getting his chance for liver-transplant surgery on June 23, just three
days before the festival. Band members
Trucks, Haynes, and Oteil Burbridge (bass)
put together a last-minute set with the Derek
Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band backing
them. The group set up in a rehearsal room,
patching together their set while the acts
before them performed.
Trucks and Tedeschi’s band lineup was fairly
new—Trucks says Crossroads was maybe their
8th show—and getting them all to Chicago
wasn’t easy. “Not everybody had that time
off,” Trucks explains. “One of our drummers
was in Montreal and had a gig that night,
so he couldn’t make it. The other one was
playing in Ottawa and we somehow got the
group he was playing with to let him off the
hook. He flew in the morning of the show.
We had never used one of the background
singers and had never played with one of
the drummers—it was very seat-of-the-pants.
Between trying to work in all the guests and
trying to figure out a day or two before the
show which tunes to work up, it was total
mayhem. But it was fun!”
5: 22 p.m.
Bill Murray comes out
dressed as a ’70s-era
Elvis to introduce the
next act. He dressed as
Buddy Holly earlier in
The biggest surprise of
the evening is delivered
as Ronnie Wood joins
Buddy Guy and Jonny
Lang for the funnest
set of the show, which
like “Forty Days and
Forty Nights,” “Five Long
Years,” “Let Me Love You
Baby,” and the Rolling
Stones’ “Miss You.”
7: 45 p.m.
Dressed all in white, Jeff Beck drops jaws with a raucous
set that includes “Hammerhead,” “Dirty Mind”/”Big
Block,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Muddy
Water’s “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” and Sly and the Family
Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher.” He finishes with
Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.”
8: 43 p.m.
Bill Murray dons a psychedelic Hendrix outfit—complete with wig, upside-down Strat,
and cigarette—to welcome the man of the
show, Eric Clapton, to the main stage.
6: 45 p.m.
5: 25 p.m.
The John Mayer Trio—Steve Jordan
on drums and Pino Palladino on
bass—tears through a four-song set
that includes Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No
Sunshine” and Hendrix’s “Wait Until
Tomorrow.” Mayer plugs into his
Dumble Steel-String Singer and signature Two-Rock amps, and dons a Fender
Custom Shop Hendrix Monterey Pop
Festival Strat for the Hendrix tune.
The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band lead a
star-studded gathering that stepped up to fill in for
the Allman Brothers after Gregg Allman had a sudden liver transplant. Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and
David Hidalgo grab center stage for “300 Pounds
of Heavenly Joy,” Warren Haynes takes over for the
Allman Brothers Band’s “Soulshine,” Johnny Winter
offers a shaky rendition of Hendrix’s “Red House,”
and keyboardist Chris Stainton sits in for a cover of
Joe Cocker’s “Space Captain.”
8: 45 p.m.
Clapton greets the crowd with a ripping rendition of
“Crossroads,” then delves into a 90-minute set full of
hits. It begins with “Key to the Highway” and a collaboration on Citizen Cope’s “Hands of the Saints.” Jeff
Beck returns for Elmore James’ “Shake Your Money
Maker,” followed by Clapton’s recent touring partner
Steve Winwood, who switches between Hammond B- 3
organ and guitar on songs like “Had to Cry Today,”
“Low Down,” “Glad,” “Well Alright,” “Voodoo Child,”
“Cocaine,” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”