Eric Clapton Bookends 2019 Royal Albert Hall Show With Surprises

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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 May 13, 2019, 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.

Watch the evening’s opening number, “Que Sera Sera”

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

Watch “Tearing Us Apart” from this same May 13 concert

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.

Clapton has moved his 2020 tour to 2022. Tickets are available here and here.

Watch Clapton close the concert with “Purple Rain”

Related: 10 great Clapton collaborations

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

Que Sera Sera
Motherless Children
Key to the Highway
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
Five Long Years

Purple Rain

Related: Links for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

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