Joe Bonamassa had been looking forward to his very first gig at London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall last night for some time. Lucky for him, it turned out to be one of the finest nights of his life.

The blues virtuoso and “New King of the Blues” was deeply moved to be finally playing at the prestigious and historic venue, site of such legendary concerts by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who, among others. The memorable night, however, took a surreal turn for Bonamassa when he was joined onstage by one of his own personal heroes, the legendary Eric Clapton.

Slowhand led Bonamassa and his band through a blistering rendition of the blues classic “Further On Up The Road,” which was originally written by Joe Medwich and Don Robey, but popularized by Clapton after its release on his 1984 album Backtrackin’.

“Twenty years of professional sweat and toil all culminating into one moment,” Bonamassa told the sold-out crowd. “This is the best moment of my life.”

When asked specifically what he thought about playing with Clapton after the show, Bonamassa responded, “I get f@#&ing goose bumps. Playing with Eric Clapton is a dream come true.”

Clapton’s appearance came about halfway into Bonamassa’s two-and-a-half hour show, and brought the capacity crowd to its feet. The performance was also filmed for a live DVD expected to be released later this year.

Clapton’s first appearance at Royal Albert Hall occurred on Dec. 7, 1964, with the Yardbirds. He has booked 11 performances for the venue for May 16-31, with the May 19th show marking his 150th solo concert at the Hall. Clapton is also scheduled to begin a 14-date summer tour with his former Blind Faith bandmate, keyboardist Steve Winwood, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 10.

Last night’s show was part of Bonamassa’s ongoing tour in support of his latest release, The Ballad of John Henry, which was released this past February and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Blues Album chart. The European leg of Bonamassa’s tour continues through an Aug. 1 date at Norway’s Notodden Blues Festival, after which he returns stateside for a number of shows through November. He then heads back to Europe to finish out the year with a few shows in Paris, Amsterdam and the U.K.

For a complete list of Bonamassa’s tour itinerary, click here. And don’t forget to check out his Inspired By Les Paul from Gibson Custom here.

Here’s an audience video of Bonamassa and Clapton performing “Further On Up The Road” last night at Royal Albert Hall.

Photo Credit: Christie Goodwin