Bad Company And Joe Walsh
by: Walter Morgan
Photos by: Kevin Graft
One Hell Of A Night Tour 2016
There is nothing better than to kick off the Bay Area Summer Concert season than with Bad Company & Joe Walsh, a co-headlining tour, the third night of the tour at the Concord Pavilion.A perfect pairing on this beautiful night, with a heat wave with temperatures in the 90’s. Tonight’s crowd is an older, more mature lot, (the 45 and over club), and ready to hear some classic rock. Joe Walsh up first; Joe known as “The Clown Prince of Rock” for his unique look on life, his crazy but funny on and off stage antics. It was cool to hear a taped intro, by the comedian Father Guido Sarducci the “Vatican Priest”, telling some jokes, to help liven up the crowd.
Joe Walsh is 68, and still rocking; his 11 piece band, with four background singers, and two drummers fill the stage with Joe Walsh front and center. After the first song, he tells the crowd, “It’s gonna be one hell of a night, Bad Company will finish you off!” Joe’s set included songs from his solo career, The James Gang, with a few Eagles tunes. His guitar playing has a fair amount of blues and country, mixed into to his more standard rock sound. The unique twang of his guitar, and his very distinctive leads, as well as his ability to play slow, builds up to long hard chords that sustain and carry. With his song writing, producing, and his strong lead vocals, you can easily see why the Eagles scooped him up. He switched guitars after each song, including a huge collection of custom guitars. A touching moment for everyone was “Take it to the limit”, a song dedicated to his former Eagle bandmate Glenn Fry, recently passed away. The giant screen behind them featured a wing suited skydiver, gliding over the huge green valley, while navigating mountain faces flying at high speed; a very fitting tribute.
During a break Joe tells a story.. .while at an airport, a man approaches him and asks, “are you really him?”…. Joe says, “I don’t know”…..the man asks “are you Joe Walsh?”…Joe’s replies, “yes”…..The man says, “no you’re not”, and laughs…..Joe then says, “you’re right, I’m not Joe Walsh” ….The man then says, “yes you are, yes you are, come on”…..Joe then says, “go away”, the crowd laughs heartily at his snide humor.
Another highlight was the last song before the encore, “Life In The Fast Lane”, a short video parody, starring Joe Walsh himself, in a limo goofing around making funny faces mixed in with fast race car scenes. Ending his set with “Rocky Mountain Way”, one of the biggest hits of his solo career.
Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and into the vocal group Hall of Fame in 2001, and listed by Rolling Stone as the 54th of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
In a career that has spanned over 40 years, it’s truly a pleasure watching this rock icon perform and at a very high level.
The Bomber: Closet Queen/Bolero/Cast Your Fate to the Wind
Take It to the Limit
Turn to Stone
In the City
Life’s Been Good
Life in the Fast Lane
Encore:Rocky Mountain Way
Having just released their first Live album, Bad Company Live in Concert 1977 and 1979, Bad Company is performing in Concord after a 2 year break.
The last tour in 2013 saw Bad Company celebrate a 40 year anniversary milestone. This tour will feature original members Paul Rodgers, and Simon Kirke, as guitar player Mick Ralphs is sitting out this tour due to health issues. As a guest replacement, currently performing is the Black Crowes guitar player, Rich Robinson. Since 2008 ex -Heart guitar player Howard Leese has performed in the band. Watching a veteran band whose main fame came from the 70’s and early 80’s, as having seen them in four different decades, it’s truly amazing that they still sound perfect.
A balanced song selection, each song a classic, each song a hit, the crowd knows each song and they sing it back to Paul Rodgers at his request. When the band hit the stage everyone stood up, and knew all the words. You could feel the attentive audience play off Paul’s crystal clear vocals; and the band played perfectly. Paul Rodgers is one of the best frontmen in rock; he looked impressive as he came out in black leather pants, orange long sleeve dress shirt, with a black vest over it. Anyone could tell clearly that it’s his band, Bad Company his legacy. As the band played their hits, we realised that there’s no filler, just the songs we knew, loved and grew up with.
It’s a comfort to see them perform live. Paul Rodgers sings the rock anthems, and in-between his vocals parts, he lifts his mic stand high above his head spinning it in the spotlight. From the Opening song “Live For The Music” , then “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Gone Gone Gone”, and right into the all red flamed giant backdrop screen, for “Burnin’ Sky” the crowd is standing and clapping its approval at the conclusion of each song. Paul then plays the piano, and sings “Electricland” showing more of his musical talents. Midway through their set, they play two all acoustic songs, one that they’ve not played live, “Crazy Circles”, and the drummer Simon Kirke comes out and plays guitar to this slower paced song. Paul also played a ballad “Seagulls” that he wrote on a beach. More hits follow, before they come back out for their encore, and Paul sits behind his piano, and plays their self titled iconic hit “Bad Company”, he ends the night with the appropriately named song “Rock Steady”. If it were Bad Company’s job to take us back in time to an easier time in our lives, when we only had music that fueled our youthful dreams and kept us happy, then they did it, once again. “One Hell Of A Night”, indeed.
Live for the Music
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Gone, Gone, Gone
Ready for Love
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Can’t Get Enough
Edit by Leah Storkson