Eric Clapton played the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday proving to fans that, even with his ailing body, he can still play the guitar better than practically anyone in the world.
This time around, Clapton is touring without any additional guitarists in the band, something that had been standard for recent tours. All despite suffering from peripheral neuropathy, a nerve disease that gives his extremities both pain and occasional numbness.
In place of other guitarist’s solos, Clapton is now allowing other instruments in the band to take their turns including the two keyboard players. He also brought on guests Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan for the show closer, Before You Accuse Me.
Clapton said of this year’s shows “I swear this is it, no more”. He plays again tonight in New York, next week in Inglewood, CA, three nights at Royal Albert Hall in London in May, and a repeat of the two nights each of shows in New York and Inglewood in September.
The set list:
Key to the Highway (from Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)
Badge (from Cream’s Goodbye, 1969)
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (from From the Cradle, 1994)
I Shot the Sheriff (from 461 Ocean Boulevard, 1974)
Driftin’ Blues (from E.C. Was Here, 1975)
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (from Clapton, 1973)
Tears in Heaven (from the Rush soundtrack, 1992)
Layla (from Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)
Somebody’s Knocking (from I Still Do, 2015)
Wonderful Tonight (from Slowhand, 1977)
Cross Road Blues (from Cream’s Wheels of Fire, 1968)
Little Queen of Spades (from Me and Mr. Johnson, 2004)
Cocaine (from Slowhand, 1977)
Sunshine of Your Love (from Cream’s Disraeli Gears, 1967)
Before You Accuse Me (with Gary Clark, Jr., Jimmie Vaughan) (from Journeyman, 1989)