As a lifelong loyal fan of The Eagles, I cried ugly tears over the loss of Glenn Frey. I couldn’t imagine the magic continuing without their frontman, and I also couldn’t fathom the end of them performing live in concert. I secretly hoped and prayed that the stars would align and someone would come in and fill those unbelievably big shoes. Enter Vince Gill and Deacon Frey.
I’ve always had an appreciation for Vince Gill’s music and overall demeanor. Having seen and photographed him a few times, he just seems like the most genuine and authentic human being. You can’t help but like him. It would be easy to dislike anyone trying to replace Glenn Frey but it’s impossible to dislike Gill. It just fits, it’s perfect. The self-proclaimed “new guy in the band” did a masterful job filling in, and fans showed their appreciation by singing along and cheering loudly.
With respect to 24-year old Deacon Frey, it’s impossible not to notice and embrace how much he looks like his dad. His voice on the other hand, while reminiscent, is purely his own. As a sentimental fan, I can’t help but think that Glenn is looking down on his son and proudly smiling from ear to ear. It warms the heart to see this young talented musician rise to the occasion and I felt Glenn Frey’s spirit present in the arena.
While there was indeed some marked difference in the overall concert experience, Eagles 2018 still felt like old times and good memories. Joe Walsh is still the Joe we love, complete with the black pants and face contortions while bellowing “Life’s Been Good.” Timothy B. Schmit is still our laid-back crooner who makes our hearts melt with “I Can’t Tell You Why.” And Don Henley still bounced back and forth from playing the drums and guitar, his vocals as strong as ever.
Starting the evening was the amazing Chris Stapleton, who is really more of a co-headliner at this point in his career than an opening act. Stapleton played a strong set to a crowd that was unfortunately still finding their seats. Judging by the standing ovation and hoots and hollers he received at the end of his last number, I’m certain many of those latecomers were kicking themselves for not arriving early enough to catch his full performance.
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