Eric Clapton Kicks Off U.K. and European Tour: Set List, Videos
Eric Clapton made his return to the stage on May 7, kicking off a U.K. and European tour with the first of two consecutive nights at London's Royal Albert Hall.
The legendary guitarist opened his set by honoring Gary Brooker, the founder and lead singer of Procol Harum who died in February. Clapton performed “Lead Me to the Water” -- the title track from Brooker’s 1982 solo album -- while a picture of the deceased rocker was shown on stage.
From there, Clapton rattled off some more familiar tunes, including renditions of the Wailers “I Shot the Sheriff” and Cream’s “White Room.”
A third of the way through the show, Clapton switched things up for a series of acoustic numbers, including “Tears in Heaven” and “Layla.” Surprisingly, the latter track would be performed again later in the evening when he returned to his full electric sound.
The show’s complete set list can be found below, along with videos from the concert.
With the exception of a March 19 performance in Bahrain, Clapton has not performed live since last September, when he embarked on a brief tour of the southern United States. The trek made headlines at the time because Clapton, an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates, vowed to not to play at venues that required proof of vaccination, though he ultimately reneged on that promise.
Over the past year and a half, Clapton has criticized the United Kingdom's lockdown measures in a series of songs written with fellow vaccine skeptic Van Morrison, including "The Rebels" and "Stand and Deliver." He also co-wrote his recent solo single "Heart of a Child" with prominent Italian vaccine skeptic Robin Monotti.
Clapton insists he is not an anti-vaxxer, though he claimed he's been "ostracized" by friends, family and fellow musicians because of his polarizing views. He also accused Rolling Stone of running "slur campaign" against him last year because of his vaccine skepticism and lockdown criticism. Nevertheless, the embattled guitarist said his protest songs helped him to feel "socially involved" again and lit a fire in him that had been "dormant" for a long time.
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Layla' (electric)
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'White Room'
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'I Shot the Sheriff'
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Layla' (acoustic)
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'High Time We Went'
Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall, London, 5/7/22
1. "Lead Me to the Water"
2. "Key to the Highway"
4. "River of Tears"
5. "I Shot the Sheriff"
6. "White Room"
7. "Heart of a Child" (acoustic)
8. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (acoustic)
9. "Smile" (acoustic)
10. "Layla" (acoustic)
11. "Tears in Heaven" (acoustic)
13. "Wonderful Tonight"
15. "Little Queen of Spades"
17. "High Time We Went" (encore)