July 14, 2016 - 5:30 PM
PENTICTON - Concert nights must be tough on aging musicians like Don Henley who has hits spanning decades.
The 68-year-old musician brought four decades of music to the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, including some numbers from his most recent recording, but many in the audience made it quite plain they weren’t there to listen to Henley's current music — they wanted to go back in time to his classics.
Henley has moved on from his days as a member of the Eagles in the 70s, and has moved towards a more country-oriented genre since his days as a solo act in the 80s and 90s. He was at the events centre last night to showcase his new material, which seemed to be a problem for many in the audience who wanted nothing but the oldies.
Henley craftily walked the line with last night’s playlist, sliding in as many of his latest recordings as he could, while tapping into the best of his past.
It still wasn’t enough for some as Henley endured with grace the shouted comments and catcalls between songs.
“We have an interactive concert here. Everybody has their say,” he said.
Henley certainly didn’t go cheap on air fare: At times, up to 16 musicians appeared on stage, including three female vocalists and a horn section.
The result was a compilation of songs that sounded much like they did when they first hit the airwaves. Henley stayed true to his music in the concert setting, without compromising the quality of his recorded work for a lesser live version.
It was evident in the first song, “Seven Bridges Road,” an Eagles hit that Henley recreated with eight backup singers, during last night’s performance. He followed that up with “Dirty Laundry,” before introducing a handful of songs from his September, 2015 release, “Cass County. “
Those were interspersed between Eagles tunes and solo career hits.
The numbers were played unhurried and in their entirety. Although Henley took the stage late, at around 8:30 p.m. he went through a more than ample repertoire by the time he returned for his final encore around 10:30 p.m.
He gave his detractors the song they wanted after describing how he would handle his first encore.
“We’re going to play that song, after we do one more from Cass County,” he said, allowing use of cell phones during the rendition of "Hotel California," for the first time in the evening.
He thanked the audience for keeping cell phones in their pockets up to that point.
“It makes a better concert experience for everyone,” he said.
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