Sunday night (3/19), Eric Clapton kicked off what may be his final tour ever at New York’s MSG, his first of four shows at The Garden on this run. He played a few Cream classics (“Sunshine of Your Love,” “Crossroads” and “Badge”), Derek and the Dominos classic “Layla,” and solo hits like “Tears In Heaven,” “Wonderful Tonight,” his versions of “Cocaine” and “I Shot the Sheriff,” and more. He ended the show by bringing out openers Gary Clark Jr and Fabulous Thunderbirds founder Jimmie Vaughan (Stevie Ray’s brother) for a rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me.” points out that while Clapton strangely didn’t mention Chuck Berry during the show at all, Gary Clark Jr dedicated the Bo Diddley tune to him. (Gary also shouted out Chuck Berry during his opening set.) also caught the show, and they wrote:

There is nothing flamboyant about him at this point his career. He’s the rare rock star who doesn’t seem interested in showing you how hard he’s working, but is happy to convey a sense of mild-mannered competence.

But his guitar playing remains a marvel – fast and fluid, seemingly effortless even at its most intricate. The giant video screens frequently showed his hands, close up, and it was absolutely mesmerizing.

That’s what people were paying up to $500 a ticket for, and why people will keep coming back, for as many “final” shows as he wants to do.

Clapton hits MSG again tonight (3/20) and then plays two LA shows this weekend. He’ll be back in September for two more nights at The Garden and two more in LA. Tickets are still available.

Pictures from last night’s show are in the gallery above. Videos and a pic of the setlist (via Concert Joe), below.


Eric Clapton at MSG – 3/19/17 Setlist
Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover)
Badge (Cream song)
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover)
I Shot the Sheriff (The Wailers cover)
Driftin’ Blues (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover)
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover)
Tears in Heaven
Layla (Derek and the Dominos song)
Somebody’s Knocking (J.J. Cale cover)
Wonderful Tonight
Crossroads (Cream song)
Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine (J.J. Cale cover)

Sunshine of Your Love (Cream song)
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover) (with Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan)

Eric Clapton — 2017 Tour Dates
Monday, March 20 New York Madison Square Garden
Saturday, March 25 Los Angeles The Forum
Sunday, March 26 Los Angeles The Forum
Thursday, September 7 New York Madison Square Garden
Friday, September 8 New York Madison Square Garden
Friday, September 15 Los Angeles The Forum
Saturday, September 16 Los Angeles The Forum

photos by Dana Distortion