Update: Wondering about the sound? Parking? How many bathrooms? Today's Scene cover story about the Revolution Center is here.
With age, comes patience.
You wouldn’t have known it from the seemingly endless stream of baby boomers griping that they didn’t have chairs. (Always the case at an over-50 show with limited festival seating.)
But Joe Walsh knows it. And much like a concert by his other little band, The Eagles, Walsh’s show required patience before he took 1,800 fans on a rockin’ nostalgia ride.
“Welcome to opening night!” he proclaimed, adding a quirky Walsh-ism that drew laughter. “What a good idea.”
First song: “Welcome to the Club.” It was appropriate — and typical of the set’s first half. Although the initial 45 minutes were entertaining (particularly the James Gang’s “Walk Away” and the title track to his latest album, “Analog Man”), they felt a little like an engine warming up. At 64, Walsh may not be a whirlwind on stage, but his unique, high-pitched singing voice remains pure. And his guitar prowess? Still smooth, satisfying and heavy on the whammy bar.
Unrestricted by the disciplined Eagles, Walsh let his backing singers handle vocals on a tribute to Levon Helm (“I Shall Be Released”) and uncorked a mind-blowing, lava-lamp jam of “Turn to Stone,” fiddling with his ax like he was in his bedroom.
That’s when the concert morphed into a party. Fans exploded as Walsh launched into “In the City,” made rich by his nine-piece backing band. (Two drummers and a percussionist? Yes!) Then Walsh busted out his immortal “Funk #49” James Gang groove.
Uh-oh. Here we go.
“Life’s Been Good” sent the room into a soul-releasing, euphoric singalong. You didn’t need to say a word to the stranger next to you; just sing about your Maserati and smile back. Walsh bounded to each side of the stage, ripping notes from his guitar. He did a one-legged Chuck Berry hop. Walsh’s dancing back-up singers couldn’t wipe the grins from their faces. (Life’s been good? Yep. What a job they have!)
By the time Walsh encored with “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” he looked like he’d given the night everything he had — sweaty, buoyant and spent.
Just like his audience.
Go here for photos from the Walsh concert and opening night of the Revolution Center.
Check out tomorrow's Scene magazine for a cover story about the venue itself. If you're wondering, yes — the sound in the room was solid.