Monday, May 05, 2008

Live Review - Stagecoach Festival Day 1

I had a great time at Stagecoach last year. The vibe was mellow and I saw great sets from Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson, Doyle Lawson, Neko Case, The Railbenders and Old 97’s. This year the festival organizers expanded the festival to three days and cut way back on the alt-country. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go or not?

A few days before the festival began, some excellent passes and a cheap place to stay fell in my lap. At worst, I figured we’d have a nice vacation in the desert. We set off for Indio about 5:25PM on Friday. The goal was to get to the festival in time to see Glen Campbell at 8:20. Being a Friday night in LA, the traffic was pretty awful until we got past Pomona. We ended up reaching the festival grounds around 8:15 PM. After a long walk to gate and a small snafu with our passes, we didn’t get in to the festival until 8:55. We decided to grab a quick bite and a drink and skip Glen Campbell tonight.

The Eagles are one of the most hated bands by indie snobs and punks. Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best selling album of all time in the US (shipped 29 million copies / 41 million worldwide). I don’t usually voluntarily listen to the Eagles, but I have $1 copies of most of their albums and grew up with an older sister who loved them and stoner friends in high school who played the shit out of them. So I was apprehensive, but curious to see them.

So how were they?

They exceeded my expectations. I can’t say I was totally blown away, but there was something cool about hearing some of the most famous songs of all time performed live. The Eagles always had amazing harmonies, and if easy breezy was a genre, they’d be the kings. The band sounded great, they all looked pretty good and the Joe Walsh licks were there. I can’t remember the exact set list, but I feel like I heard: “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “One of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It to the Limit,” “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” “The Long Run,” “In the City,” “Heartache Tonight,” Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” (which he got in the spirit for) and Henley’s “The Boys of Summer.” I know there were more, but until I see a set list online, that will have to suffice.

All in all it was a great low key start to the festival. Fans walked away very happy. More about Saturday and Sunday later…….

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