Eric Clapton Opens 1st Tour Since 2014

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Eric Clapton performing “Got To Get Better in a Little While,” Fort Worth, Tex., Sept. 13, 2021

Eric Clapton opened his first tour in seven years last night (September 13, 2021) in Fort Worth, Tex., amidst months of a sustained stance he’s taken against the U.K.’s lockdown policy. His 14-song set included such career highlights as “Layla,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Got to Get Better in a Little While.” Perhaps because the concert was in America, he chose not to play “This Has Gotta Stop,” the anti-lockdown protest song he released on Aug. 27.

Clapton performed only twice in the pre-pandemic days of 2020, including a tribute concert to Ginger Baker in London that he organized. His last full concerts were in September 2019–also in the U.S.–in the days leading up to his Crossroads Guitar Festival.

Before that, he’d criss-crossed the globe to play brief residencies at such venues as Tokyo’s Budokan and London’s Royal Albert Hall. His last sustained tour was in 2013-2014 when he played several dozen concerts across several continents.

Clapton’s band for the 2021 tour includes Doyle Bramhall II, Paul Carrack, Nathan East, Sonny Emory, Steve Gadd and Chris Stainton with Sharon White and Katie Kissoon on backing vocals. The shows feature Jimmie Vaughan as special guest.

Watch Clapton perform an acoustic “I Shot the Sheriff” on opening night at Dickies Arena

Midway through his set, Clapton performed the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac track “Man of the World,” It’s featured on his newly announced The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions recorded in lockdown that offers versions of songs that had a profound effect on his career.

Watch his acoustic performances of “Kerry” and “Man of the World”

Clapton turned 76 on March 30. He had previously announced that he’s done with extensive touring, preferring to do occasional performances without the rigors of full-length tours.

Watch the acoustic performance of “Layla”

Watch an electric performance of Derek and the Dominos’ “Got To Get Better in a Little While”

Carrack sang lead vocals on the evening’s final number, “High Time We Went.”

Thanks to Mitchell Frost and Yuki and Sakakibara for the videos.

Eric Clapton, Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Tex., Sept. 13, 2021 Setlist
Pretending
Key to the Highway
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
I Shot the Sheriff
Kerry
Man of the World
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Tears in Heaven
Layla
Got to Get Better in a Little While
Wonderful Tonight
Little Queen of Spades
Cross Road Blues
High Time We Went

Clapton’s 2021 U.S. tour continues through Sept. 26. He has a lengthy European tour scheduled in 2022. Tickets are available here and here.

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