Joe Walsh has been in the music biz for over FIVE decades! Starting out in the 60’s, his first hit was with The James Gang and his career has rocked on ever since. He produced Dan Fogelberg’s breakthrough album “Souvenirs”. He became one of the “Eagles” in the 70’s. He has achieved success as a solo act and has played with everyone from Bruce to his brother-in-law Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band.
At the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre on the Tampa stop of the tour, Hawaiian guitarist Makana warmed things up. This is a co-headliner tour. Joe came on first with the James Gang’s classic tune “Walk Away” followed by his 2012 album titled “Analog Man”. Joe has a great band including guitarist Waddy Wachtel, who as a studio musician has played on hundreds of albums by everyone from Jackson Browne to Iggy Pop.
Joe’s tribute to his friend and bandmate Glenn Frey came with the Eagles hit “Take It to the Limit” Joe may be an “Analog Man” but he uses technology with the big screen and great lighting. There was a superhero figure representing Glenn flying around the world on the screen along with photos of Glenn, Joe and Eagles. It was a poignant moment for Eagles fans to pay respect to Glenn. Joe does a great job of honoring his friend. “In The City” and “Funk 49” had everyone up and dancing. “Life’s Been Good” has a slideshow of photos of Joe with all his famous musician friends. Joe has been public about his recovery of over 20 years and helps others playing at recovery events to raise awareness. “Life in the Fastlane” was written with a riff Joe came up with and had everyone singing along. He came back for the encore with “Rocky Mountain Way” with flashes of mountains, you could imagine you were there! A great closer for a great musician!
The second act are veterans of the UK music scene. Paul Rodgers is #55 of the Greatest 100 Voices list by Rolling Stone and his voice sounded just like those old vinyl records from back in the day. At 67, Rodgers runs the stage effortlessly and swings the mic stand around, one of his signature moves. Like Joe, Paul Rodgers has a long history from the band Free (All Right Now) to The Firm in the 80’s and doing lead vocals for Queen after Freddie left us. Paul was one of Freddie’s biggest influences. Bad Company came in the 70’s with a label called Swan Song started by Led Zeppelin and went platinum six times! On this tour the original members are Paul and Simon Kirke on drums. Guest guitarist Rich Robinson of Black Crowes is filling in for Mick Ralphs who wasn’t feeling up for the tour and has given his blessing.
All the great Bad Co. songs were on the setlist including “Movin’ On”, “Feel Like Making Love”, “Ready for Love” and “Shooting Star”. The Tampa debut of the Beatles cover “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was complete with psychedelic graphics and billows of white smoke. A great homage to the lads from Liverpool. The best for last were encores “Rock Steady” and “Bad Company” which is the name of a band, a song and an album. The One Hell of a Night tour lives up to its name!
photos by Vicky Sullivan, Rock The Lens Photography for The Sarasota Post