Eric Clapton Returns to London’s Royal Albert Hall

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Clapton performing “Key to the Highway” at London’s Royal Albert Hall, May 22, 2017

Eric Clapton returned to the stage for the first of three concerts at his home away from home, aka London’s Royal Albert Hall, on Monday (May 22). The performance marked his return to the stage following the abrupt postponement of his March 25-26 concerts at The Forum in Los Angeles due to “severe bronchitis and doctor’s advisement.”

Clapton and his six-member band played a 15-song set with tunes culled from his work with Cream, Derek & the Dominos and solo material, including such classic rock staples as “Badge,” “Layla,” “Tears in Heaven,” “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Key to the Highway.” (See the complete setlist below.)

Slowhand was accompanied by Paul Carrack (keyboards, vocals) who has played with Clapton a lot in recent years, plus Chris Stainton (keyboards), Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), and backing vocalists Sharlotte Gibson and Sharon White. Doyle Bramhall II is the opening act for all three RAH dates.

Watch Clapton perform a great “Key to the Highway”…

The concert was just his third of 2017 following his two billed as “A Celebration of 50 Years of Music,” at New York’s Madison Square Garden in March.

Related: Our review of Clapton’s March 19 concert at MSG

Watch him perform a reggae-ish version of Derek & the Dominos’ “Bell Bottom Blues”…

Watch his now-customary acoustic version of “Layla”…

And an extended version of “Cocaine,” the final number before the encore…

Eric Clapton, London’s Royal Albert Hall, May 22, 2017 Setlist

Somebody’s Knocking
Key to the Highway
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
I Shot the Sheriff
Driftin’ Blues
Bell Bottom Blues
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Tears in Heaven
Wonderful Tonight
Cross Road Blues
Little Queen of Spades

High Time We Went


The concert was the same evening of the terrorist attacks at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K.

Still scheduled are two more dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 24-25, two back at the Garden on September 7 and 8 at MSG and now four, September 13, 15, 16 and 18, at the Forum in Los Angeles.

Tickets for the U.S. shows are available via Ticketmaster and on the secondary market here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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