The James Gang
11 August 2006
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
I got to sit in row 38, with a spectacular view of dozens of lightning strikes on the plains, a fire south of the Denver International Airport, and perhaps the most emphatic moonrise I've ever seen. I love this place!
A forgettable funky band, J.D. and The Straight Shot, opened at 7:20 P.M. I recognized one song, "Let It Roll", a cover of a tune released by Little Feat in the mid-1980s. Just didn't really impress me.
At 8:30, orignal James Gang members Jimmy Fox, Dale Peters, and Joe Walsh, wearing a Denver Broncos shirt, along with a keyboard player and three backing singers, took the stage. A familiar "How ya' doin'?" preceded a familiar, opening "Walk Away".
I was glad to see live performances of "Funk #49", "Bomber (with 'Cast Your Fate To The Wind')", "Midnight Man", "Ashes The Rain And I", and "Tend My Garden".
During the obligatory first encore, Joe asserted that the next tune should be our National Anthem, and then proceeded with an instrumental "Amazing Grace", followed by the guitar-riff opening to "Rocky Mountain Way". The James Gang performed "Goin' Down" during the second encore.
But besides "Rocky", no other solo hits from Joe this evening. No "Turn To Stone", no "Life's Been Good", no "Meadows", no "Ordinary Average Guy", no "All Night Long", no "Life Of Illusion", no "Confessor". Also no Eagles tunes--no "In The City", no "One Day At A Time".
And so the James Gang show ended at 9:50 P.M. That's right--a 1 hour, 20 minute show, including breaks. Recently the Denver Post quoted Joe as stating that rehearsals weren't going very well, and I can't help but wonder if that explains the show's seeming brevity.
That being said, the rawness of this sound is a large part of what has made this group legendary, and overall the show had a good vibe.
[*** 1/2] - Steven T.
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