Eric Clapton did something Saturday night during the first of five shows at the Budokan in Tokyo that he hasn't done since 2013 -- the original electric version of "Layla."
"Layla" is a mainstay in Clapton's set, but since 2013 he has been doing the acoustic version made famous on 1992's Unplugged. He has since gone back to the acoustic version for shows two and three in Tokyo.
There is speculation that he decided to break out the electric version following the Japanese government using the song in videos promoting their next imperial era, which begins May 1st when the present emperor, Akihito, steps down and his son, Naruhito, ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Also new for these Tokyo shows is a new Fender Stratocaster that is painted with the Aston Martin car color called "Almond Green;" a much lighter hue than his Strats finished with Porsche and Mercedes car colors. Clapton is a car enthusiast.
Clapton does his last two shows in Tokyo tomorrow (Thursday) and Saturday.
Eric Clapton on his popularity in Japan:
"I could probably play there once a month and they would still show up. They never seem to get tired of it. Their audiences are varied. Sometimes they're almost over respectful, and other times they're just like a bunch of hysterical kids. I mean it's difficult to know."