February 14, 2020
Newberry Opera House
Review by Joseph Hett / Photos by Greg Perry
Don Felder Brings Plenty Of Love To Newberry
Any time a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes to little ol’ Newberry, SC it’s a must see event. That’s exactly what patrons got at the intimate Newberry Opera House on Friday night which also happened to be Valentine’s Day as Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, hit the stage.
Felder’s tour launched a week ago and has run through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida all before Newberry’s date. He will have one more Florida stop before ending this leg with the “Rock and Romance Cruise.”
Felder, dressed in all black, and his band came right out of the gates and started with the rocking “Already Gone” and funky “One Of These Nights.”
Felder let everybody know it was time to salute Stevie Ray Vaughan with the string bending blues of “Pride And Joy.”
The power chords were cranked up for “Victim Of Love.” Beforehand Felder told a story about how Eagles producer/engineer Bill Szymczyk would transcribe secret messages in a small unused portion of vinyl on albums. The message on the B-side of the “Hotel California” album said “V.O.L. is a five piece live,” which signified that song was recorded by all members playing live at one time – and was the only one in Eagles history to do that.
Only two songs were featured from Felder’s latest solo album, “American Rock ‘N’ Roll,” that was release last year: The Woodstock inspired “American Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Rock You” – where Felder played a Joe Satriani signature guitar.
“Fingers Felder” really got his fingers working with the intricate solo of “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
An acoustic guitar was brought out for “Tequila Sunrise.” In a touching move, Felder dedicated the song to the late Glenn Frey. They kept the acoustic theme going with “Seven Bridges Road.”
Roadies came out and hooked up the clear tubing needed for a talk box to be performed. That only meant the faithful members of the opera house would be taken on a thumping trip with “Those Shoes.”
Felder kept it heavy with the riffing “Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride).” The only snafu of the evening happened at the beginning – a guitar tech had to run out and hook up Felder’s guitar. The save was made right before he hit the first lick.
Before “Witchy Woman,” Felder said, “I would like to dedicate this next song to all the women in the audience that have never had a song dedicated to them before.”
After an extended story about his southern upbringing all the way to joining the Eagles, they launched into “The Long Run” where Felder showcased his slide playing. (Duane Allman actually taught him how to play slide.)
Everyone got out of their seats and started clapping along to the party anthem “Heartache Tonight.” They picked up speed with “Life In The Fast Lane” and then got in the slow lane for “Take It Easy.”
Felder’s white double neck guitar was brought out and everyone knew what song it was time for – the classic “Hotel California.” Felder put on a master class of guitar playing with the epic song that he co-wrote. The band then took a bow as they left the stage. Felder would come back out a few minutes later to hand out guitar picks and sign autographs.
Don Felder is flying high with a new album out, currently on a successful solo tour and recent engagement to Diane McInerney of “Inside Edition” fame (in case you wondered who his Valentine is).
There had been a lot of anticipation about this show ever since it was first announced in the summer time. While ticket prices were pricey, it was worth it to see a living legend in Newberry. Hopefully the Newberry Opera House will attract more top tier talent to come to town.