VINCE TALOTTA/torstar news service
Guitarist Eric Clapton is set to play Shanghai this month, the latest rock legend to take the stage in China’s business and entertainment hub.
Best known for solo hits such as After Midnight and Wonderful Tonight, Clapton, 61, is scheduled to appear Jan. 20 at the Shanghai Grand Stage — the same venue where the Rolling Stones made their Chinese debut last April.
Ticket prices for the show run from about $230 US for stage-side seats to $38 for the upper balcony, Emma Entertainment, one of the organizers, said in a statement.
Western stars from Sir Elton John to the late James Brown and the Black Eyed Peas have played Shanghai in recent months. The Stones’ concert was considered the most lavish and high-profile rock shows ever staged in the communist state.
Yet while such appearances point to Shanghai’s increasingly affluent and cosmopolitan profile, they also underscore some enduring limitations.
Most of the audience at the concerts have been expatriates because many Chinese remain unfamiliar with such stars or are unwilling to pay high ticket prices.
Meanwhile, China’s conservative culture czars still call the shots. They ordered the Stones to strike three songs from their set list due to sexual content and cancelled permission for a concert by rapper Jay-Z.