Derek Trucks & John Mayer Among Eric Clapton MSG Guests

Three-time Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducted guitarist Eric Clapton held the first of two concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City Friday night. The 70th birthday celebration showcased many of Slowhand’s talented guitarist friends, namely Jimmy Vaughan, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II and John Mayer who all joined Clapton as he returned to MSG. 

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, who kicked off the show with “Somebody’s Knocking” and “Key to the Highway.” John Mayer was the first guest to emerge, augmenting “Pretending,” from Clapton’s 1989 solo LP Journeyman. A series of familiar favorites followed as Clapton rolled through classics “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “You Are So Beautiful,” Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” and Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff, before turning to the acoustic portion of the set. 

[Eric Clapton w/ John Mayer -“Pretending” | captured by dmartins07]

After acoustic takes on several songs that concluded with “Tears In Heaven” and “Layla,” Jimmy Vaughan came out to add his axe to “Before You Accuse Me.” Two songs later Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II brought the number of virtuostic guitarists on stage to three a they jammed on “Let It Rain.” Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” and “Little Queen of Spades” followed by J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” closed out the main set.

[Eric Clapton w/ Doyle Bramhall II & Derek Trucks -“Let It Rain” | captured by dmartins07]

All of the guest guitarists returned for the “High Time We Went” encore with Carrack on lead vocals. Clapton’s second show at MSG (which had to be rescheduled from tonight due to a New York Rangers NHL playoff game) takes place Sunday, May 3. 

[Eric Clapton w/ John Mayer, Jimmy Vaughan, Derek Trucks & Doyle Bramhall II – “High Time We Went” -captured by sudorootable]

Eric Clapton Setlist Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA 2015,  70th Birthday Celebration