I have to admit that I was skeptical going into this show, as I am not really an Eagles fan. They’re fine, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of listening to Classic Albums Live cover them wasn’t high on my list of things to do on a Friday night. I seemed to be alone in that opinion, however, as this performance was sold out weeks before the show. Apparently people knew something I did not. But I was about to learn.
The first song, of course, was Hotel California. Nick Hildyard sang the Don Henley parts, and the minute he opened his mouth I was blown away. He was simply excellent, and an almost perfect sound-a-like for Henley. It was uncanny.
The whole band was incredibly skilled, with some people playing multiple instruments and singing. Every note sounded professional, and if there were any mistakes I certainly didn’t notice. Indeed, the group’s slogan “Note for note, cut for cut” certainly rang true. One of my favourite performances had to be Wasted Time, a song I had never heard of before. Hotel California is a rather short album, however, with only 9 tracks, so the band had played the whole thing by the time the intermission came, making me wonder what the second half of the show was going to be.
And it was quickly answered when the band launched into some of the Eagles greatest hits – and not necessarily off the Hotel California album. One of the highlights of the evening was definitely Hildyard’s rendition of Desparado. Alone on the stage accompanied only by his keyboard he blew the crowd away, with one audience member shouting out his approval with an enthusiastic cry of “That was excellent!” Which it very much was.
Overall I could see very easily why this show was sold out, and why the audience seemed so glad to hear that Shenkman’s next season includes more performances from Classic Albums Live. Previous shows have included playing albums from AC/DC and Led Zepplin, which is impressive given the musical differences between those bands and the Eagles.
Be on the lookout for Shenkman’s announcement of their lineup for the next season, which comes out May 1st and definitely try to catch a Classic Albums Live show if you can. I absolutely plan to.
Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, A. Laramey is a writer who spends far too much time on the internet. You can find her on Facebook.