The Eagles Soar 

at Nationwide Arena

April 10, 2018

The Eagles flew into Nationwide Arena in Columbus last Sunday night for an evening of southern California rock.


I must admit I was a bit leery when the Eagles announced that they would be touring again after the death of co-founder Glenn Frey.  How could the addition of Deacon Frey (Glenn’s son) and country music star Vince Gill carry on the tradition of the iconic Eagles sound?


Let me tell you, the band sounds fantastic and they don’t miss a beat.


It’s actually a bit eerie watching Deacon perform because he sounds exactly like his father and he he even looks like his dad circa 1972, but without the mustache.


Proving their harmonies are still spot on, the band opened the show with the classic “Seven Bridges Road,”a song they used to use as a vocal warm-up in the 1970s.


Deacon Frey and Vince Gill traded lead vocal duties on the songs that Glenn Frey sang lead.  For example, Deacon sang lead on “Take It Easy,” while Gill took over on “New Kid In Town.”


Don Henley was all over the stage; he started behind the drum kit where he played and sang.  He then moved away from the kit to other percussion instruments for a couple of tunes and then made his way to the front of the stage where he sang lead and strummed an acoustic guitar.


Unlike Henley, Timothy B. Schmit remained stationary as he sat on a stool with his left foot (which was in a medical boot) propped up on a small riser.  He mentioned that he had taken a fall in the shower and had a moment where he thought he said, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” However the boot didn't detract from his singing or playing duties as he sang lead on both “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive."

Then of course, there's Joe Walsh.  After the first song, Joe stepped to the mic and said "Good morning, Columbus!  How ya doin'?"  He got his turn to sing lead about a quarter of the way into the set with "In The City."

The vocal harmonies really stood out on "How Long" with all five members of the band standing at the front of the stage.  Before they played the song, Henley said that it was written by their long-time friend John David Souther.  He mentioned that the song was on their first studio album that the band had released in twenty-nine years, which led him to quip, "Because we didn't want to rush anything!" 

It was Vince Gill's turn to address the crowd and he did by saying "Hello, Columbus!  I'm the new guy; the sixty-year old new guy!"  He went on, "It's such an honor to be able to sing one of the best catalogs (of music) in history."  He then segued into "Ol' '55," a song that Schmit said hasn't been played live for eighteen years.

Finally, Deacon Frye got the chance to speak to the audience.  He seemed genuinely humbled by the response from the crowd.  He thanked them and said, "I had the worst thing ever, turn into the best thing ever.  Now, I'm going to sing another one that my dad used to sing."  Then he and the band broke into the delicate "Peaceful Easy Feeling."

All of the big hits were played to perfection.  The one surprise was a great rendition of Vince Gill's song "Next Big Thing" which featured a five-piece horn section.

Like most Eagles concerts, the last part of the show always becomes the Joe Walsh show.  He gets to play some of his greatest hits including "Walk Away,"  "Life's Been Good," and "Funk 49," which segued into the iconic guitar riff of "Life In The Fast Lane."

The band closed the show with two encores that included "Hotel California," "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Desperado."

When the Eagles land in Cleveland in October, I highly recommend you purchase tickets.  It is a night worth remembering.

JD And The Straight Shot opened the show with a great set of Americana music.  They are a six-piece band that features a guitarist/mandolin player Marc Copely , violin player and vocalist Erin Slayer, Byron House on the up-right bass, acoustic guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Dawn Johnson, drummer Shawn Pelton, and James Dolan on lead vocals.  

They played many toe-tapping tunes from their latest release titled Good Luck And Good Night. The band really got the people on their feet with a great cover of Three Dog Night's "Shambala."

It'll be a special treat for Cleveland if JD And The Straight Shot are on the bill in October.

Review and photos by Greg Drugan

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