Clapton, Winwood, Santana at Hyde Park: 2018

Share This:

Clapton performing “Got to Get Better in a Little While” in London’s Hyde Park, July 8, 2018

Though he hadn’t done an actual tour in years, Eric Clapton hadn’t eliminated live performances. And on July 8, 2018, Slowhand returned to the stage, though not just any stage. He was the headliner for the day’s star-studded lineup in London as part of the British Summer Time series in Hyde Park. His support acts included Carlos Santana (who joined him for his encore) and Steve Winwood, the latter of whom Clapton famously shared the stage as two members of Blind Faith on June 7, 1969.

Clapton and Levy at Hyde Park (Photo via Clapton’s Facebook page)

On this day, Clapton performed in public for just the sixth time in 2018. In January, he played a benefit concert in Surrey, U.K., as well as a private performance in Paris. Four months later, he was the headliner at the annual Greenwich (Conn.) Town Party, offering a 15-song set. Earlier this month, he played two scheduled concerts in Germany.

What was particularly notable about the Paris and Greenwich concerts 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, and rousing backing vocals by Marcy Levy is a highlight of his 1977 Slowhand album. Until that Jan. 23 Paris show, Clapton hadn’t played it live since 1978.

At Hyde Park, Clapton was joined on stage by Levy for the first time in decades for two songs: “Lay Down Sally,” which she co-wrote with Clapton (and George Terry), and “The Core,” which she and Clapton co-wrote, thus providing a surprise one-two punch midway through his 15-song set.

Watch “Lay Down Sally”

Watch them perform “The Core”

Earlier in the set, the crackerjack band – including guitarist Doyle Bramhall, bass guitarist Nathan East, drummer Sonny Emory, both Chris Stainton and Paul Carrack on keyboards, and vocalists Sharon White and Sharlotte Gibson – performed Clapton’s “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” which he first performed with Derek and the Dominos.

Clapton typically does an acoustic set midway through and the Hyde Park concert was no exception, with acoustic renditions of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and “Layla,” among others. The evening then ended with a flourish. (See the full setlist below.)

Watch “Cross Road Blues” towards the end of the set

Eric Clapton’s Hyde Park Setlist

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

High Time We Went

For the evening’s encore, Clapton returned with Carlos Santana for a cover of Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went,” which he co-wrote with Chris Stainton.

Clapton is touring in 2023. (Tickets are available here and here.)

Winwood’s 11-song set covered songs he recorded with the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith, Traffic and his own prominent solo career. And though the opportunity was in-hand, he and Clapton chose not to share the stage on this evening.

Watch Winwood perform “Can’t Find My Way Home”

The ageless musician noted: “It was certainly not as hot as this the last time I played in Hyde Park, but that was 49 years ago,” referring to that 1969 concert with Blind Faith. “I think it was free then… I don’t know how many of you were there,” he added, as the band launched into the supergroup’s “Had to Cry Today.”

Watch Winwood perform a Traffic favorite

Steve Winwood’s Setlist

I’m a Man
Pearly Queen
Them Changes
Can’t Find My Way Home
Had to Cry Today
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Empty Pages
Light Up or Leave Me Alone
Higher Love
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Gimme Some Lovin’

Earlier, Santana’s set included career highlights such as “Smooth,” “Black Magic Woman” and “Evil Ways.”

The full day’s lineup also featured Gary Clark Jr. and others. Following the concert, Carlos Santana wrote on his Facebook page:

“WOW …What an incredible EVENT
We are Ever So grateful to be invited
To participate and share our hearts
Steve Winwood and Gary Clark
Will forever CHERISH this memorable CONCERT
BLESS everyone That was there with Long LIFE
Good health Peace of mind and JOY

Santana tickets are available here.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Da Mick
    #1 Da Mick 13 May, 2019, 10:21

    After all the many time Clapton and Winwood shared the stage and played Blind Faith songs, it is just downright weird that they “chose not to,” at Hyde Park, where they actually have that history. Love to hear the story behind that!

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.