If the summer of 2016 will be remembered for anything in particular by the rock audiences of Florida, it will be for it’s fair share of memorable concerts, especially the massive co-headlining tours that continue to sweep the state. This go around at the Midflorida Credit Union was the pairing of two classic rock heavyweights in Bad Company and Joe Walsh, which brought a full house to their feet countless times throughout the course of the evening.
This tour was especially noteworthy in the case of Joe Walsh, considering this marked his first public activity since The Eagles‘ farewell performance which was televised as a tribute to the late great Glenn Frey. The stint also was important as it showed the rock and roll bad boy could still stand on his own two feet, surrounded onstage by many talented musicians on a bare stage (aside from a massive LED screen in the background).
Walsh tore through a catalog of his solo hits, as well as selections from his career with The Eagles and James Gang. His performance began with the latter in “Walk Away,” a James Gang staple which Walsh knocked out with deadly execution. The soaring guitar riffs followed with the title track from ‘Analog Man’ and “Mother Says,” before the emphasis returned to the nostalgia setting with “The Bomber.”
An emotional rendition of “Take It to The Limit,” dedicated to Frey, left many on the edge of tears in the audience as scenes of skydivers and vintage photos of The Eagles flashed in the background. Soon the power returned in the set through massive takes on “Turn to Stone” and “In the City” from the famous ‘Warriors’ cult classic. Walsh, never afraid to pull an unexpected move, threw in some EDM style beats into the fan favorite “Funk #49” as a stagehand fired a t-shirt gun into the crowd. Wrapping up the set with the ever welcome “Life’s Been Good,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Rocky Mountain Way,” it was a hard hitting set from Walsh that exceeded the expectations.
Bad Company took on a more theatrical approach to their setup, with a grand piano, smoke machines, walkways, five LED screens and each member donned in outfits that lived up to the band’s 1980s heyday. Frontman and lead vocalist Paul Rodgers was just as engaging and youthful sounding, as well, when the members of Bad Company kicked things off with “Live for the Music” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
Much like it was the case for Walsh, the crowd responded to nearly every song with roaring applause and standing ovations as Bad Company tore through “Burnin’ Sky” and “Ready For Love.” Psychedelic overtones raced over the crowd when the band suddenly broke into “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” for the first time ever, which was then followed up with the tour debut of “Run With the Pack.” It was an eventful set already despite being just halfway through, as Bad Company introduced even more hits with “Shooting Star,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Can’t Get Enough.”
Returning for a pair of encores, Bad Company first kept the energy high and mighty with “Rock Steady.” Then the lights dimmed and Rodgers appeared beneath the spotlight on piano as he led the crowd into the band’s self-titled anthem, “Bad Company.” This is a band that helped define arena rock and they did so again with this high octane performance.
Bad Company and Joe Walsh 5/25/16 Setlist Tampa, FL
Take It to the Limit
Turn to Stone
In the City
Life’s Been Good
Life in the Fast Lane
Rocky Mountain Way
Live for the Music
Gone, Gone, Gone
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Ready for Love
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Run With the Pack
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Can’t Get Enough