As a music lover of the Southern American sound I was a little sceptical about seeing an overseas cover band doing a headliner tour playing classic hits of the number one band of the 70s, The Eagles. However, from previous reviews the Ultimate Eagles are a world class cover band that has been showcasing their musical talents across the globe in many countries for over seven years. The Ultimate Eagles are definitive devotees to the music of The Eagles and this ‘The History’ tour is performing songs from every album and era, with both accuracy and reference. This is the band’s first visit to Australia and New Zealand. With the line up of outstanding musicians featuring Danny Vaughn and Michael Lawrence sharing the majority of vocal duties and Andy Jones, one of the world’s sought after session guitar players on lead guitars.
There was a solid mature crowd sprinkled with some young music fans filling the theatre wanting to hear their favourite Eagles songs, and they weren’t disappointed. From the first notes of Long Run played and the vocals of Danny there was no turning back. But it was to my surprise to hear the calibre of the two vocalists Michael Lawrence and Chris Wright together with the harmonies of Rhys Morgan and Andy Jones along with a tight rhythm section in the same band that make this combination very close to the original The Eagles.
The well structured set-list was constructed starting out ‘with the a track for all the bad girls in Adelaide’ Witchy Woman; to the wonderful acappella opening of Seven Bridges Road; followed by the ever peaceful Easy Feeling; the Tequila Sunrise and an appealing version of Best of My Love, hearing that ‘six guitar sound from the original sound of the Hotel California tour’.
The next two tracks of Heartache Tonight and Lyin’ Eyes got the crowd singing and clapping along to the wonderful harmonies and Danny Vaughn’s easy rapport with the crowd on hand. The last two songs of the first set was the Don Henley Boys of Summer before a rocking rendition of Get Over It from the Hell Freezes Over album (that album after the 14 year gap when The Eagles disbanded), with some scorching guitar work from Andy Jones.
The second set opened with the band in more relaxed casual ‘jeans’ attire and kicking off with their version of One of These Nights. Next was a track from the lesser known Long Road Out Of Eden album followed by their outstanding take of Wasted Time, a real highlight. New Kid in Town followed featuring slick harmonies along with a story about the song being a nod to Bruce Springsteen. Next was Life in Fast Lane featuring one of Joe Walsh’s greatest guitar riffs was the rocking song of the night and the Glenn Frey, The Heat is On came as a nice surprise.
Danny Vaughn started talking about Hotel California, ‘the greatest rock n roll song ever written’ and the Ultimate Eagles version was absolutely outstanding with the note perfect guitar work and sound with some wonderful harmonies to close the second set.
The encore started with Rocky Mountain Way featuring some big duelling guitar solos including the voice box, followed by Take It Easy and the final song with a stunning rendition of Desperado, won of the song of the night.
The Ultimate Eagles are one of the best tribute bands I have seen and it is shown with the band’s love and respect of the music and their musicianship to recreate The Eagles sound that resonates. You will never get to see the original The Eagles again, but it is The Ultimate Eagles who brought the music of California’s greatest band back to Adelaide. If they return to Australia, this is a must see show for all fans of ‘The Eagles’ music.
Review by David Kerr