Right off the bat, this is one of the best performances – if not the best – this author has witnessed. We cover country music extensively here on Outsider, but reliving these three icons absolutely shredding Madison Square Garden like this is near unbelievable.
Within, legends Vince Gill, Albert Lee, and Keith Urban perform “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” live at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, 2013. Their joining comes in celebration of Eric Clapton‘s dream of a guitar festival, one he achieved to great acclaim with the long-running Crossroads Guitar Festival.
It is, in truth, an absolute marvel to watch. Despite their unassuming dress code and sheer amount of exposure each has achieved, it is impossible not to get swept away in this throwback. Gill, Lee, and Urban are in top form here, and the resulting performance – a palpably electric, feel-good jamboree – is one for the ages.
And Vince Gill agrees.
Vince Gill & The Crossroads Guitar Festival
The icon opens the footage with a telling interview. Within, he reveals much of his standing with the festival itself, and what it means to him.
“I’ve been to all of them,” Gill starts off of Crossroads. “04, 07, 10, and now this one,” he adds of the 2013 performance he prefaces. “It’s actually my favorite thing I’ve ever done. In all seriousness.”
Crossroads is a series of music festivals that also serve as benefit concerts. Founded by legendary guitarist, singer, and songwriter Eric Clapton, the festivals benefit the Crossroads Centre he also founded. The center itself is a drug treatment center in Antigua. Each Crossroads festival features the best guitarists alive today – with a specific caveat: each is hand-selected by Eric Clapton personally. As a result, Crossroads serves as a tribute by Clapton to those he has deemed as the very best to play -each having earned his personal respect.
To this end, Vince Gill will always have a deep connection with Crossroads.
“I remember when Eric [Clapton] called me for the first one. He said ‘I’m doing a guitar festival in June, and I’m only inviting people I like,” he says of his beginnings with the festival. At the same time, Clapton told Gill he’s a fan of the way he plays, which means the world to the musician himself.
“And so here was arguably the greatest guitar player that will ever live – that saw me for who I was: which [is] a guitar player. And that spoke into my heart more than he will ever know,” Gill smiles wide.
Without Further Ado: ‘I Ain’t Living Long Like This’
Watch as Vince Gill, Albert Lee, and Keith Urban bring Madison Square Garden down for the 2013 Crossroads Festival. Coincidentally, the first concert of the series was also held here by Clapton in 1999.
Vince Gill with Albert Lee & Keith Urban: “I Ain’t Living Long Like This”. Live at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, 2013.YouTube
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