Eric Clapton Announces 2021 U.S. Tour

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Eric Clapton (Photo via his Facebook page)

Eric Clapton has announced a 2021 U.S. tour with eight concerts in September. Tickets for the shows go on sale starting this Friday, June 18 at 9 a.m. local time here. See the dates below.

The concerts will be Clapton’s only North American dates for 2021 and will precede his European tour, which was rescheduled to Spring of 2022 due to ongoing COVID restrictions in Europe.

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

Throughout spring of 2021, Slowhand expanded his 2022 European tour with several additional dates. That tour now consists of 21 concerts.

Many of the European dates were originally scheduled for 2020. In March of that year, they were initially moved to 2021. Then, on March 1 of this year, an announcement citing the “ongoing COVID restrictions to mass gathering” pushed the shows to 2022. What was planned as Clapton’s first tour in some time has thus been delayed two years and is yet another blow to the live concert industry.

In a letter to the editor published in the May 12 edition of The Telegram, Clapton criticized the “propaganda” associated with the vaccine. (The letter was shared to the paper by Robin Monotti Graziadei, a lockdown activist.) Clapton wrote that after taking “the first jab” in February, he “straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days.”

When he had the second dose, “the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.”

Later, he wrote, “I continue to tread the path of passive rebellion and try to tow the line in order to be able to actively love my family, but it’s hard to bite my tongue with what I now know.”

Clapton has eschewed tours in recent years, preferring to play brief residencies or small clusters of concerts.

On March 16, Clapton announced that two of the four dates of his brief residency at London’s Royal Albert Hall, originally scheduled for May 2021, were being moved to May 2022. (Bookings for the two concerts remain valid.) However, a lack of available dates on the RAH calendar has forced the cancellation of the other two performances. The concerts were first announced last Oct. 6.

At the time of the original March 24, 2021 postponement, Clapton’s camp cited “the advice of global healthcare agencies and local government instructions.” The European tour, originally revealed on Oct. 2, 2019, was to start on May 29, 2020. It will now take place almost exactly two years later in Spring 2022.

In recent years, the classic rock legend, who turned 76 on March 30, has avoided a lengthy run of dates, preferring to do a handful at a time.

Watch Clapton perform a favorite at Royal Albert Hall

When the 2020 tour was moved to 2021 on March 24, Clapton’s Facebook page noted, “The health and safety of our band, crew, venue staff and fans are our top priority.” All of the venues remain the same; see the new schedule below. Tickets are available here and here.

On Sept. 20-21, 2019, the legend held his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival, with such guests as Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, and Billy Gibbons. The two events, in Dallas, Tex., were the first of those festivals he had done in five years. The concerts are being released in a variety of formats on Nov. 20, 2020.

On March 3, 2020, Clapton performed at an all-star benefit concert in London.

In recent years, Clapton has suffered from a variety of physical ailments and avoided the rigors of touring. Yet in 2019, he still gave nearly 20 performances. At many of those shows, he’s toured with such fellow blues rock guitarists as Jimmie Vaughan and Gary Clark, Jr., who each do their own brief sets. Clapton and his band then perform perhaps 15 songs including such career-spanning favorites as “Layla,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Tears in Heaven” and “Key to the Highway.” He often performs several songs while seated.

Watch him perform on September 11, 2019, in San Francisco

Related: Our 2017 review of Clapton at MSG

When the original 2020 dates were revealed, it was expected that Clapton would once again be joined by the musicians Nathan East (bass), Paul Carrack (keyboards), Chris Stainton (Keyboards), Doyle Bramhall II (guitar), and the backing vocalists Sharon White and Katie Kissoon.

Eric Clapton 2021 Tour (Tickets are available here and here)

Sep 13 – Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena
Sep 15 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
Sep 17 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Sep 18 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
Sep 21 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Sep 23 – Atlanta, GA – Infinite Energy Center
Sep 25 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
Sep 26 – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock

2022 European Tour
Mar 19 – Bahrain – Al Dana Amphitheatre
May 07 – London, U.K. – Royal Albert Hall (was May 14, 2021)
May 08 – London, U.K. – Royal Albert Hall (was May 17, 2021)
May 17 – Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
May 18 – Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum
May 20 – Bologna, Italy – Unipol Arena
May 21 – Bologna, Italy – Unipol Arena
May 29 – Berlin, Germany – Berlin Waldbühne
May 31 – Stuttgart, Germany – Schleyerhalle
Jun 02 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle
Jun 04 – Vienna, Austria – Wiener Stadthalle
Jun 05 – Prague, Czech Republic – O2
Jun 07 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
Jun 08 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
Jun 10 – Dusseldorf, Germany – ISS Dome
Jun 12 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpalais
Jun 14 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
Jun 15 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
Jun 17 – Tampere, Finland – Nokia Arena

Cancelled – St. Petersburg, Russia – Ice Palace (was June 19)
Cancelled – Moscow, Russia – Crocus Hall (was June 21-22)

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

9 Comments so far

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  1. Da Mick
    #1 Da Mick 2 March, 2021, 04:06

    He’s pretty much just going through the motions, anyway.

    Reply this comment
  2. King
    #2 King 2 March, 2021, 08:32

    What happened to “No More Lockdown?” His participation with Van No Longer The Man was a disaster. the song was simple-minded and just plain irresponsible and I lost a lot of respect for Clapton and Morrison.

    Reply this comment
  3. dime4abeer
    #3 dime4abeer 2 March, 2021, 11:53

    Oh no! No chances to hear “Cocaine,” “Layla,” or “I Shot the Sheriff” again? Does this matter to anyone besides Van Morrison? Eric has been going straight down since D&D.

    Reply this comment
  4. JC
    #4 JC 23 March, 2021, 03:57

    A bit of respect is such a small thing to ask .
    These guys may be famous , but imperfect and human just the same.

    Reply this comment
  5. Da Mick
    #5 Da Mick 15 May, 2021, 13:19

    Is it disrespectful to call out musical legends on the disrespect they show to their own legacies? You can say what you want, but Clapton, as great as he once was, and despite his many demons, has pretty much been a loafer every since Derek & The Dominoes. Aside from those marvelous Crossroads festivals, which I give him full credit for, the man has been trading on the legendary status he built as a young man his entire life. If you like his later records, that’s your call, but his shows and his playing are are just plain limp. The once greatest articulate guitar player became a common noodler, for some reason. And no one seemingly noticed. One would like to have seen him go down the path of so many old bluesmen that he admired — bringing honor to the music they, and we, cherished. until they’re dying days. Instead, he’s turned into an old carnie, who’s cashing in on his name, and bringing disgrace to his legacy. Then to come and, somehow, hook up with that nutjob Van Morrison, who is an even bigger disgrace, for a conspiracy cause that Clapton, seemingly, didn’t even believe in himself, based on his actions, defies logic.

    Reply this comment
    • Dew
      Dew 31 May, 2021, 18:00

      Do you play guitar? Do you know he got seriously sick after the vaccine? It’s his opinion, I also don’t agree with him but he has a free speech right. And by the way I do play and have so for over 50 years and I think he’s doing great!

      Reply this comment
  6. SharkSandwich
    #6 SharkSandwich 15 May, 2021, 19:53

    Had I been aware of past bigotry, I would have skipped seeing him twice live. I hate rewarding people for bad behavior. Then, the Van Scam has left me loathing the both of them. Good riddance ye old fart.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bird Lives
    #7 Bird Lives 31 May, 2021, 01:58

    In total agreement with these comments. We’ve put up with a lot from this guy for decades, delivered our non-stop empathy and humanity in the midst of his chronic tragedies, even though they were most often self-inflicted. And we paid for his big houses and cars: bought his new records when we wished they were his old records, attended his unpredictable concerts because fading glory is better than none at all. But these past couple of years have caused the loss of, and damage to, lives at an unprecedented scale in this world and only three things have held us together: our faith whatever that may be; our support of one another as stranger-to-stranger, neighbor to neighbor, young to old; and the extraordinary speed at which vaccines became available. During this time Clapton (and Morrison) chose to fail the humanity test, which would have been to let their defining grace be to care about what matters most, and to use their influence to help guide us away from danger and to safety. They deserve to be remembered for this now, as narcissistic, whiny bitches who have zero sense of accountability for the harm that their words can do, and who have absolute disregard for the actual lives of their fans. Look at any news report of the current horror in India and Brazil where suffering human beings would give anything to be vaccinated, then look at Clapton’s comments that might cause someone who actually can get vaccinated to hesitate to take it. There isn’t a single song by this douche that balances that particular scale.

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