Van Wert, OH (October 7, 2023) – The sounds of classic rock music fill the air inside the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Saturday night as Hotel California (A Salute To The Eagles) pay homage to the American rock band, Eagles.
The Grammy Award winning band Eagles, were one of the most successful music acts of the 1970’s in North America. They have since gone on to sell more than 200 million records, be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1998 and was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Times.
From their beginning in 1972, many have tried to copy and replicate them to no success, other than the band Hotel California (A Salute To The Eagles). They have been out on the road saluting the band that paved the way for many upcoming artists. In doing so, Hotel California has become the longest running show of it’s kind and the only show to have ever received “official authorization” to perform the Eagles catalog of music.
In Van Wert on Saturday night, they pack the house and give the crowd an evening of easy listening classics that take many back to their childhood days.
Today’s band is made up of four truly musical genius’ that have a great gift for their art. Along with power house vocals and smooth harmonies, they all show off their talents of being multi-instrumentalists. Making up Hotel California is Connor McNamee (guitar, violin, piano, keys and vocals), Jake Castro (guitar, steel guitar and vocals), Braxton Harris (drums), Scott Bell (bass guitar and vocals) and the leader of the band, Dicky-Lee Dickerson (guitar, vocals, keys, piano and harmonica). Joking, Jake adds that Dicky has the most important job in the band…”He drives the bus.”
The show starts off on a soft note with the Eagles’ 1972 debut single “Take It Easy” and it’s follow up of “Witchy Woman.” Rolling on, they harmonize over the “Seven Bridges Road” before taking another “Tequila Sunrise” to a “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
As the crowd is feeling it’s groove and singing along with the band, a technical situation arises causing a short intermission to rectify the problem.
Getting the show started up again, Hotel California takes it up a notch with the faster scaled “Life In The Fast Lane” and “James Dean” that leads to a series of showcased guitar solos for the remaining part of the show.
Next up, Scott backs it down with “I Can’t Tell You Why” with Connor dishing it out with a violin solo before taking a seat at the piano while singing of “One Of These Nights.” While still on the piano, Scott moves to center stage for his rendition of the 1973 classic, “Desperado.” At the conclusion, many folks raise to their feet to show appreciation to Scott for his vocal performance along with his doing sign language for the words of the song.
Many in the theater stay up on their feet as Jake gets the mood going with the high energy Joe Walsh hit, “Rocky Mountain Way.” As Jake jams out with ongoing guitar solos’, the crowd gets excited and interested together as Dicky goes to work using his voice box.
In the Joe Walsh cover of “Funk #49,” the band takes it’s turn performing solos that include Braxton on drums, Connor on violin, Scott on bass guitar, Dicky on harmonica and Jake with his guitar. Jake continues on with his guitar as it leads into the playing of our national anthem “Star Spangled Banner” in which the band focuses on and pays tribute to our servicemen and women.
Next is the moment that the crowd has waited for all evening as Jake grabs his yellow double neck guitar and begins playing those infamous notes on the twelve string that lead up to visiting the Eagles most coveted song “Hotel California.”
When the song concludes, Dicky tells the crowd that this the part of the show where they walk off stage and let the crowd hoot and holler as they wait for the band to return to the stage for an encore. Since they have to make up time due the unplanned intermission during the show, they return back to the stage where they want to play a different group of songs that is away from the Eagles brand. Hotel California surprises the crowd with two country artists Alabama covers of “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas” and “Mountain Music.”
The band concludes the evening with a Gospel medley consisting of “Amazing Grace,” “Sweet Chariot” by Wallace Willis and “I’ll Fly Away” by Johnny Cash before being rewarded with a standing ovation for a great performance this evening in Van Wert.
As the Eagles are soaring one last time with The Long Goodbye tour to put an end to an amazing career that has survived more than 50 years, Hotel California (A Salute To The Eagles) band will continue on entertaining crowds as they have been doing for decades on their own.
Words by: Leslie Reasoner
Photos by: John Reasoner
Hotel California (A Salute To The Eagles) setlist: 1.Take It Easy 2.Witchy Woman 3.Victim Of Love 4.Already Gone 5.Seven Bridges Road 6.Best Of My Love 7.Tequila Sunrise 8.Peaceful Easy Feeling 9.Life In The Fastlane 10.James Dean 11.I Can’t Tell You Why 12.One Of These Nights 13.Desperado 14.Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh cover) 15.Heartache Tonight 16.Funk #49 (James Gang cover) 17.Hotel California Encore: 18.If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (Alabama cover) 19.Mountain Music (Alabama cover) 20.Down By The River (Neil Young cover) 21.Gospel Melody
Hotel California (A Salute To The Eagles)
Van Wert Live