Flashback: Eric Clapton Celebrates 70th Birthday At The Garden
In 2015, Eric Clapton celebrated his 70th Birthday with a pair of sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. Although his birthday is March 30, the shows didn’t actually take place until May 1 and 3. Clapton was joined by special guests Derek Trucks, John Mayer, Doyle Bramhall II and Jimmy Vaughan on both nights.
Clapton was backed by a band featuring drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Nathan East, keyboardists Paul Carrack and Chris Stainton, and vocalists Sharon White and Michelle John. After a quick salutation to the crowd, Clapton started the show with “Somebody’s Knocking,” and “Key to the Highway.”
The setlist was pretty much the same both nights with John Mayer being the first guest. Clapton and Mayer traded fiery guitar solos with an outstanding version of “Pretending.” Other highlights included a Billy Preston cover of “You Are So Beautiful” with Paul Carrack on lead vocals and an electric version of “Before You Accuse Me” with Jimmy Vaughan.
Trucks and Bramhall helped Clapton close the main set with “Let It Rain.” Late in the night Clapton addressed the crowd “Thank you very much for helping me celebrate this wonderful gift with these wonderful friends.”
For the encore, Eric Clapton brought all the guests back to the stage and ended his ‘birthday’ night with a cover of Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went.”
Somebody’s Knocking (J.J. Cale cover), Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover), Pretending (With John Mayer), I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover), You Are So Beautiful (Billy Preston cover), Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith cover), I Shot The Sheriff (Bob Marley cover), Driftin Blues (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover), Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover), Tears In Heaven, Layla (Derek and the Dominos cover), Before You Accuse Me(Bo Diddley cover), Wonderful Tonight, Let It Rain (With Trucks and Bramhall II), Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover), Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover), Cocaine (J.J.Cale cover), High Time We Went (Joe Cocker cover)