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The Wallflowers to open for Eric Clapton at Arena

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Special photo The Wallflowers will open for Eric Clapton at the Gwinnett Arena.

If you go

• What: Eric Clapton, The Wallflowers concert

• When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

• Where: The Arena at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth

• Cost: $59 to $99

• For more information: Visit www.gwinnettcente...>

DULUTH -- After a five-year hiatus, The Wallflowers were ready to get back together, record a new album and hit the road for a tour.

On Wednesday, the two-time Grammy Award winning group opens for the legendary guitarist Eric Clapton at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

"We needed a break after 10 years," Greg Richling said, who plays bass in The Wallflowers. "Things just got a bit difficult for the band and we all have other things we wanted try to work with. We never said we're only going to do The Wallflowers our whole lives."

So the guys went their separate ways to dabble in other ventures, but they couldn't stay away from their original creation.

"Within those seven years, we did a little bit of touring together for our greatest hits album," Richling said. "We always felt that we had more gas in the tank. It was a good thing to take the time off because we gained a different appreciation for the band."

With the addition of drummer Jack Irons (formerly with the Red Hot Chili Peppers), the group hit the studio to create its newest album "Glad All Over."

Now The Wallflowers are on the road with Clapton on the 15-city tour. But how did that come about, you may ask?

"It was presented to us," Richling said. "He was going on the road and there was an offer for us to go out with him. We're all proud to be on this tour. I know we're all excited to finish our set and watch his (set). There are a lot of guys in his band that we admire."

For the die-hard Wallflowers fans, the group plans to incorporate their older hits with the new ones for a balanced show, according to Richling.

"I think that our shows are half the new record mixed with older records," he said. "We aren't shy about playing the new stuff ... We're excited for the new stuff. We're not interested in being a nostalgic act."

Some of the group's most popular songs from the '90s include "6th Avenue Heartache," "One Headlight," "The Difference" and "Three Marlenas."

The doors open at 6:30 p.m.