I have had the pleasure of seeing Hotel California perform more than once. So when I got ready to attend the band’s show at the Pearson Lakes Art Center last Wednesday, I knew it would be entertaining. Not only did they come back to Okoboji to perform but gave us the best show ever.
This band is the only one with official authorization to perform the Eagles catalog of music; for good reason. These six guys are fantastic musicians and great vocalists who love to entertain.
Everyone loves the music of the Eagles. You can tell by their performance, Hotel California respects the quality of the music as well as the appeal it has to their audience. Members of the band include Steve Probst, Joseph Shackleford, John Agosteno, Scott Fronsoe, Jake Castro and Dickie Lee Dickinson.
All of them are great, but I want to give special recognition to Jake Castro and Joseph Shackleford.
Joe is 21 years old and Jake is 19. These guys are very young to be playing with such high caliber musicians with much more experience, but they came through as the stars of the night. Shackleford plays the piano, violin and sings with a solid vocal range. He played a few songs on a Mark Wood Viper violin that I had never seen before. It reminded me of the V-shaped guitars and had a nice tone. Joe is a top-rate fiddler.
Castro is an excellent guitarist who can also sing very well. These two did a competition song between the fiddle and the guitar which was exciting to watch. Then they switched into the most amazing and moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that I have ever witnessed. Of course we in the audience were standing once we realized what song they were playing, but we would have stood again at the end to give them a rousing ovation. We shouted and cheered them for a spectacular performance.
The (I won’t call them old guys) band members with many more years of experience, long hair and receding hairlines may be getting older, but that is not stopping them from giving us a wonderful show. I loved their version of “Desperado.” It showed the wide range of talent and harmonizing capabilities of everyone on stage. The audience really got into the act for “Heartache Tonight.”
By the time they played their theme song, we were certainly not ready for them to pack up their instruments and hit the road. They decided to treat us to a few bars of some beloved Beatles tunes. To conclude their show, they did an accapella rendition of “Amazing Grace” that was beautiful; followed by a lively, instrumental/vocal performance of “I’ll Fly Away” with some “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” thrown in for good measure.
It was a fabulous evening of music. Hotel California was as good or even better than before. Thanks for a great show!