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By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton played two sold-out performances yesterday and Sunday, October 9th and 10th, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. This week has seen the nineteen-time Grammy winner’s first return to Brazil since 2001, beginning with a show on October 6th at FIERGS Exhibition & Convention Centre in Porto Alegre.

Eric Clapton performing Old Love in Rio de Janeiro October 9, 2011 at the HSBC center in Barra de Tijuca, image recreation.
Eric Clapton performing Old Love in Rio de Janeiro October 9, 2011 at the HSBC Arena in Barra da Tijuca, image recreation.

The nearly two-hour shows were, according to Ultimo Segundo reporter Luiz Antonio Ryff, “flawless.”  Another concertgoer mentioned that the song “Old Love” had the night’s first of many extended solos and was his personal favorite.

The first set took 41 minutes and included just five songs, an average of just over eight minutes per song, which the crowd loved. Devoid of outfit changes and stage pyrotechnics, Clapton used just two guitars and demonstrated why he is an icon of rock and blues.

Both night’s were opened by American guitarist Gary Clark, Jr., whom international critics have hailed as “the savior of the blues.”  He also joined Clapton onstage for an encore performance of Delta blues legend Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads.”

Initially selling-out Sunday’s performance in just two days, Clapton decided to schedule an extra performance for the 10th.  He continues his Brazilian tour tomorrow, October 12th, where he will play a sold-out show to nearly 70,000 at São Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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