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Eric Clapton Jams With Jimmie Vaughan and Gary Clark Jr. at First 2017 U.S. Concert

Eric Clapton returned to Madison Square Garden last night for the first in a small handful of 2017 U.S. performances, joined by special guests Jimmie Vaughan and Gary Clark, Jr.

As previously reported, Clapton’s March 19 stop at the Garden was the beginning of a brief return to the road in honor of his 50th anniversary as a recording artist. Although initially Clapton only planned on delivering four shows — including a second Garden set tonight, followed by dates at the Forum in Los Angeles on March 25 and 26 — he’s since added two more. Citing “popular demand,” the Madison Square Garden website announced return engagements scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8.

In recent years, Clapton has periodically threatened retirement, and admitted to a variety of factors that have sapped much of the enjoyment he once took from live performance, but by putting together extremely limited engagements, he seems to have struck a necessary balance.

“I love what I do and always have done, but over the last few decades I’ve found what I was always really looking for, a loving family who love me just the way I am, which means I can relax and rest when I need to, and more and more I treasure the beauty of that,” wrote Clapton in the initial announcement for his 2017 dates. “Hopefully, I might be able to remember and breathe some life into this old stuff … believe me, with these great guys to play with, I’ll be having the time of my life!”

Check out the March 19 opening number “Key to the Highway” above, and you can see a complete set list — along with a jam featuring Vaughan and Clark on the show-closing “Before You Accuse Me” — below. Eric Clapton tickets are now on sale for the rest of this select run of 2017 dates.

Eric Clapton, Madison Square Garden, 3/19/17
“Key to the Highway”
“Badge”
“I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man”
“I Shot the Sheriff”
“Driftin’ Blues”
“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”
“Tears in Heaven”
“Layla”
“Somebody’s Knocking”
“Wonderful Tonight”
“Cross Road Blues”
“Little Queen of Spades”
“Cocaine”
“Sunshine of Your Love”
“Before You Accuse Me”

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