Eric Clapton Ends Royal Albert Hall Show With ‘Purple Rain’

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Eric Clapton performing “Purple Rain” at London’s Royal Albert Hall, May 13, 2019

Eric Clapton began his three-night residency at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Monday night (May 13) with a pair of surprising covers that bookended his 17-song set. For the opener? No one could have seen this coming: he performed “Que Sera Sera,” in tribute to Doris Day. The actress-singer died earlier in the day at 97. And for an encore: a seven-minute tour-de-force of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” (Watch it below.)

Also back on the setlist was “Motherless Children” from his 461 Ocean Boulevard album.

Clapton included many of his classic rock favorites like “Pretending” and “Tears in Heaven.” Missing, however, were such career staples as “White Room,” “Cocaine” and “Lay Down Sally.”

The London dates feature Clapton’s regular seven-piece band: Doyle Bramhall II (guitar), Paul Carrack (keyboards), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Nathan East (bass), Sonny Emory (drums), and vocalists Sharon White and Katie Kissoon.

Watch “I Shot the Sheriff,” which East started with a bass solo

Slowhand has two more shows at the RAH (aka his home away from home), plus June dates in Germany and Austria.

Clapton ended the set with “Layla,” and as he did at his first night at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan on April 13, it was the (increasingly rare) electric version.

In March, he announced the return of his Crossroads Guitar Festival. At the fifth installment, to be held over two nights at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on September 20 and 21, Clapton will be joined by an assembly of many of the world’s foremost classic rock guitarists including Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Frampton, Robert Cray, and dozens more.

He’ll precede those shows with three other U.S. dates. (See below.)

Watch Clapton close the concert with “Purple Rain”

Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, May 13, 2019, Setlist

Que Sera Sera
Motherless Children
Key to the Highway
Pretending
I’m Your Hootchie Coochie Man
I Shot the Sheriff
Driftin’ Blues
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Tears in Heaven
Change the World
Running on Faith
Tearing Us Apart
Holy Mother
Crossroads
Five Long Years
Layla

Encore
Purple Rain

Related: 10 great Clapton collaborations

Eric Clapton 2019 Concerts (Tickets are available here and here)

May 15 – London, U.K. – Royal Albert Hall
May 16 – London, U.K. – Royal Albert Hall
Jun 04 – Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena
Jun 06 – Vienna, Austria – Wiener Stadthalle
Jun 08 – Mannheim, Germany – SAP Arena
Jun 10 – Dresden, Germany – Messe Dresden
Sep 11 – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center
Sep 13 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
Sep 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
Sep 20 – Dallas, TX – Crossroads Guitar Festival at America Airlines Center
Sep 21 – Dallas, TX – Crossroads Guitar Festival at America Airlines Center

Related: Links for 100s of classic rock tours

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