at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., October 3, 2015

ULTIMATE EAGLES Feat. DANNY VAUGHN (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., October 3, 2015)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Tribute bands have become more and more popular over the years as the classic bands have either headed into retirement, fallen apart for one reason or another or have become so huge and inaccessible that the only way to see their music performed live without having to take out a second mortgage is by going to see a tribute act.

There are those bands with puns for names like Bon Jordi who are good for a laugh or those who dress up just like the bands that they pay tribute to such as T-Rextasy and if you blink you’d swear it was Marc Bolan up there. The Ultimate Eagles are neither of those and indeed calling them a tribute band does them a disservice.

The musical pedigree on show at the City Hall was impeccable. Lead singer Danny Vaughn cut his recording teeth with Pete Way’s post UFO outfit Waysted before fronting US Rockers Tyketto and is rightly considered is one of the finest singers of his generation. Bassist Chris Childs has been with Thunder for nigh on 20 years as well as touring and recording with Luke Morley’s side project, Union. The rest of the band are no slouches either having performed with Queen, Roger Daltrey and Joe Cocker over the years.

The band all have their main musical projects to keep them more than occupied so The Ultimate Eagles is a real labour of love for them and that passion and genuine love for the music of The Eagles was clear to see.

With lead vocals shared between Vaughn, Michael Lawrence, Christian Phillips and Chris Wright and some truly exquisite 5 part harmonies when Childs joined the fray, this was as close to The Eagles as you could possibly get without sitting in a football stadium somewhere or other with Don Henley and Co. a couple of miles away.

Over the course of the evening they covered the whole range of The Eagles material from 1972’s debut offering Take It Easy right up to Busy Being Fabulous from their latest Long Road Out Of Eden album and pretty much everything in between.

The big hitters Life In The Fast Lane, a wistful Lying Eyes, Tequila Sunrise and Take It To The Limit were performed to total perfection while One of These Nights had the people in the aisles up and dancing.

The real joy for long standing fans was the digging deep into the catalogue with Last Resort and James Dean showing the depth of quality of The Eagles album tracks while Wasted Time was introduced as one of Don Henley’s greatest epics and you just can’t argue with that.

It would be hard to top the incredible rendition of Hotel California complete with the formidable guitar duel between Wright and Phillips alongside Vaughn’s towering vocals backed up by some shimmering harmonies yet the sleazy slide and dual talk boxes during Rocky Mountain Way and Vaughn’s impassioned performance during set closer Desperado came very, very close.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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