My memories of the show that evening was the thrill of a lifetime. Clapton had been my favourite guitarist for several years and he was actually playing in Fresno, California!
The show was opened by Blue Cheer. What a contrast. Blue Cheer sounded pretty much like their first record. They were a sludgy sounding band that completely washed out the drums* and most of the vocals. What you heard was a poor mix of the bass and guitar that thudded at the audience with waves of mind boggling sonic punches**. This was the band that Owsley Stanley named a potent form of LSD after [and were managed by a former Hell's Angel called "Gut"]. Truly hideous in the confines of Selland Arena.
In contrast, Cream came out with a very well mixed sound playing out of the stacks of Marshall Amplifiers. They played tunes from the first three albums. I don't recall a lot about the evening due to the thrill of the event.
I remember that Ginger Baker had cut his finger with a wood working knife*** and there was some concern that he might not be able to perform. You wouldn't have known it to see him play. Ginger has always been quite up front about how he feels he ranks with rock drummers and to see him play, it was hard to argue the point. If memory serves me, "We're Going Wrong" was one of the highlights of the concert. Unfortunately I am unable to provide anything like a set list - I was 19 and the notion of saving such things did not occur to me.
It might have been that in the context of Cream because, although I am still very fond of all the principals, I have never heard or seen anything by any of them since that left me feeling that sense of "religious experience" that one enjoys all to seldom.
* Paul Whaley took up wearing gloves and filing his drumsticks down so he could bash louder [Graeme]
** Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stevens (guitar at this time) used three Marshall stacks each (see EC's photo below)
*** Probably adding finger grip notches to his sticks.
At Selland Arena (taken with Light Show going)
Review and Photographs copyright 1998 by George Hiatt