Review by Natasha Wyborn
The A Day On The Green showcase moved to Mt Duneed, Victoria, located in close proximity to the city of Geelong, less than an hours drive from Melbourne on Saturday. The location was one of the easiest to get to I have visited. Sunlight filled the skies and the weather was near perfect. Headlining the night was one of the founding members of The Eagles, and solo artist, Don Henley.
Kicking off the afternoon was Novocastrian, Melody Pool. Despite breaking a guitar string during her first song, Pool gave the audience a candid insight in to her battle with depression. Backed by a duo comprising a violin and cello the haunting words to ‘Black Dog’ echoed around the winery. Watching people stop and listen to the artist and her lyrics was a highlight. Pool has a big future and bringing such issues as depression and mental illness from a personal perspective can only highlight awareness.
Richard Clapton provided an opportunity for a sing a long. ‘Capricorn Dancer’, ‘Girls On The Avenue’; everybody loves them and Clapton and his band got a loud reception from the predominantly over 50’s audience.
Following a brief break, a petite lady wearing a summer dress entered the stage. Starting her 45 minute set with a version of the classic ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ was both game and special. Playing solo and acoustic, Jewel provided the audience with a brief history of herself and her Alaskan heritage before launching into the hit ‘Hands’. The set was then turned over to the audience where she proceeded to take requests. Overall fans absorbed something old and something new. For me the highlight of the set was Jewels acoustic version of the hit ‘Who will save your soul’ from the 1995 album ‘Pieces of you’. The set finished with a lesson in yodelling singing ‘Chime bells’ a cover of a country classic.
Don Henley introduced himself to the audience with an A cappella version of the Steve Young and later Eagles classic ‘Seven Bridges Road’. Henley was accompanied by 8 of his 15 musicians on vocals. The song was well received by the sell out crowd, what an opener. “As you can see ladies and gents it’s fun but not very profitable and what we need right now in this world is fun” referring to the size and cost of running his 15 piece band. Throughout the 2 hour set Henley was very open and talkative to the audience, informing them early they were in for 2 hours of music “Why? because we can”. Henley also informed the audience the set would consist of “old and new, 4 for you and 1 for me”, indicating this was how the hits would be rolled out. Early in the set Henley introduced Erica Swindell one of three backing vocalists to duo with him singing ‘When I Stop Dreaming’, a song from his latest offering ‘Cass County’.
Overall the set had a heavy Eagles influence, afterall Henley together with cofounder the late Glen Frey were Commanders and Chiefs of The Eagles incorporated for the past 40 years. Frey’s death was not only a loss to the band but also to songwriting and music in general. Freys loss was very personal to Henley, to still be able to hear the classics live is a privilege.
Well into the set the audience received a hat trick of hits including ‘End Of The Innocence’, ‘The Last Resort’ and ‘Heart Of The Matter’. Hearing ‘The Last Resort’ from Hotel California was fantastic. Henley let the crowd into his world by informing them “We never played this song very much” referring to ‘The last resort’ “it takes a lot of people, and we have a lot of people”, the result… magic.
Ending the set, including Henleys version of 80’s mates Tear for Fears ‘Everybody Want To Rule The World’ Henley described the song as his “therapy and during this time in the world we all need therapy”. ‘Boys Of Summer’ closed out the set before two encores including a dedication to his friend and Eagle co-founder Glenn Frey by playing, ‘Wasted Time’ and ‘Desperado’. ‘All She Wants To Do Is Dance’ closed out this great day.
That Old Flame
When I Stop Dreaming
One Of These Nights
New York Minute
It Don’t Matter To The Sun
End Of The Innocence
The Last Resort
Heart Of The Matter
Everybody Wants to Rule The World
Boys Of Summer
Life in the Fastlane
All She Wants To Do Is Dance
Photographer: David Jackson