Darien Lake PAC
Darien Center, NY
Tuesday June 7, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Two old stalwarts, Joe Walsh and Bad Company kicked off the 2016 season Tuesday night out at the Darien Lake PAC. The crowd was very light perhaps part due to the ever changing weather throughout the day and the absence of Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs who chose to sit out this tour.
The bands have alternated who opens/closes each night on the One Hell Of A Night tour. It was Joe Walsh’s turn to get the ball rolling tonight. One thing that was evident from the start was that Walsh can still crank out the tunes and play the guitar with authority. As an added delight Walsh brought along guitarist Waddy Wachtel who has played with Walsh on some of his solo albums in the past as well as with Stevie Nicks. Walsh at one point during the show said Wachtel helps keep him honest. That being said it would have been good to have seen some of the songs they recorded together.
Otherwise, Walsh played tunes from all eras of his career including James Gang and Eagles material. Songs of note included opener “Walk Away”, “In The City” and the concert staple “Life’s Been Good”.
During his eighty minute set Walsh delivered a solid set of tunes that would have benefitted from perhaps less Eagles and little more solo material after all it was a Joe Walsh solo show. In my estimation he could have also done away with the background singers. Paring down to having a five man band could have served Walsh well.
Bad Company closed out the affair. From the first few lyrics to “Live For The Music” one could tell they would be in for something special as Paul Rodgers sounded absolutely amazing. All these years and his voice has not lost a thing.
Drummer Simon Kirke can still pound the skins with authority. Kirke has been around for every lineup the band has seen making him the only member to do so. The band also included guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Todd Ronning. Joining the band on guitar to replace Mick Ralphs was former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. Robinson held his own as the band sounded real good and didn’t seem to miss a beat.
Highlights from Bad Company’s set included “Electricland” an engaging song from the almost forgotten Rough Diamonds album. Other songs that stood out were the trifecta of “Movin’ On”, “Shooting Star” and “Rock N Roll Fantasy”.
One area of the show that was perplexing was when Bad Company played the Beatles cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. Instead of playing that it would have went over much better with their fans to have played a few rare fan favorites in “Seagull” or “Silver Blue and Gold”. They quickly redeemed themselves by playing deep cut “Crazy Circles” from the Desolation Angels album.
The band came back for a pair of encores including “Bad Company” and “Rock Steady” to end the night.
The verdict on this show is in. While both bands played for approximately 80 minutes they left out many songs that would have enhanced the show. I’m not sure many Bad Company fans went to the show to hear a Beatles cover. With both bands having huge catalogs to choose from perhaps mixing the set up here and there on a nightly basis would have been more satisfying. Don’t get me wrong the show was very good, but it could have been so much better.
Bad Company Set List
Live For The Music
Gone Gone Gone
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Ready For Love
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Rock N Roll Fantasy
Can’t Get Enough
Joe Walsh Set List
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
Rocky Mountain Way