When Eric Clapton Headlined the Greenwich Town Party

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Clapton (and friends) performing at the Greenwich Town Party, May 26, 2018

Though he wasn’t touring in 2018, Eric Clapton hadn’t eliminated live performances. In fact, while they didn’t appear on his concert schedule, he gave two concerts that January, one at a benefit in Surrey, U.K. and another at a private event in Paris. It took another four months, but Clapton returned to the stage on May 26.

The occasion was the Greenwich (Conn.) Town Party, for which Slowhand was the headliner. Tickets for the annual event, at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, are available only to residents or those employed there. The day-long event also featured the Tedeschi Trucks Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band..

The city is just 37 miles from New York City, a relatively easy commute for many. Since 2011, artists that have performed at the event have included Steely Dan (Walter Becker’s final live performance), John Fogerty, the Doobie Brothers, Santana, James Taylor, Paul Simon and Buddy Guy.

The Memorial Day weekend event is described as “an annual celebration for the people of Greenwich to come together and participate in a day of music, food, fun, family, and friendship to experience the strength of community.”

On this Saturday night, Clapton’s 15-song set featured songs from his years with Cream, Derek & the Dominos and his vast solo career. Joining him onstage were keyboardists Chris Stainton and Walt Richmond, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, drummer Sonny Emory, and vocalists Sharon White and Sharlotte Gibson.

As with his concert at Paris’ Théâtre Mogador, a highlight for many was the inclusion of “The Core” on the setlist. The exceptional song with two extended instrumental sections of Clapton’s guitar with saxophonist Mel Collins, is a highlight of his 1977 Slowhand album. Until that Jan. 23 Paris show, Clapton hadn’t played it live since 1978.

Watch Slowhand perform the first – and only – #1 U.S. single of his storied career

For years, Clapton has preferred to perform “Layla” acoustically, and that’s how he played it on this night.

Watch his take of the Dominos’ “Got to Get Better in a Little While”

You want “The Core”? You got it!

Watch him perform “Cocaine,” the final number before the encore

For the evening’s finale, Clapton was joined by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks on “Cross Road Blues.”

Eric Clapton, Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, Greenwich, CT, May 26, 2018 Setlist

Somebody’s Knocking
Key to the Highway
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
I Shot the Sheriff
White Room
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Lay Down Sally
Layla
Tears in Heaven
Got to Get Better in a Little While
Wonderful Tonight
The Core
Little Queen of Spades
Cocaine

Encore
Cross Road Blues

Clapton has moved his 2020 tour to 2021. Tickets are available here and here.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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  1. Chris
    #1 Chris 27 May, 2020, 02:06

    The Core! Great song. I did see him play it in 1978 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia!

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