Long before COVID, in Peterborough’s Del Crary Park, tribute band Hotel California took things to the limit, delighting thousands who not only lived through the hit-making years of The Eagles but also revelled in the southern California sound that dominated the 1970s’ music charts.
Six years to the day since that 2016 Peterborough Musicfest appearance, Hotel California is still doing what its does so very well: reigniting memories via its superb homage to The Eagles while also lighting a spark for those who didn’t experience that time but wish they had.
On Wednesday, August 17th, Peterborough Musicfest welcomes back Hotel California to Del Crary Park for the penultimate concert of the festival’s 35th season.
Admission to the 8 p.m. concert, as always, is free.
Co-founded in 1986 by Mike Dimoulas (guitars/keyboards/vocals), who’s still in the thick of things 36 years later, Hotel California remains the most popular Eagles tribute band on the circuit. Andy Lapointe (bass/vocals) is also a near lifer, having come on board in 1987, with Al Langlade (guitars/vocals) and Kevin O’Donnell (drums/vocals) rounding out the current quartet.
In an April 2022 interview with Sean K. Thompson of Woodslands Online, Dimoulas recalled there was a simple but sincere reason for forming the tribute.
“We formed the band because no one was doing The Eagles back then and, to be honest, they’re the best,” Dimoulas said. “Their writing skills are next to none and their music is without equal. Paying proper tribute to their talents was a challenge we loved to take on.”
VIDEO: Hotel California promo video
Hotel California has certainly met that challenge and then some. Serving up The Eagles’ extensive catalogue of timeless hits with remarkable precision and musicianship, the band continues to tour internationally, consistently drawing rave reviews in the process while sharing stages with other ’70s-anchored favourites such as The Doobie Brothers, Lynryd Skynyrd, and REO Speedwagon.
With five number one singles, six number one albums, six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards highlighting its resumé, The Eagles have sold more than 200 million albums to remain the top-selling American band of all time.
With the 1972 release of their self-titled debut album and its hit singles “Take It Easy,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” The Eagles didn’t let their foot off the gas as subsequent songs such as “Desperado,” “One Of These Nights,” “Take It To The Limit,” “New Kid In Town,” “Already Gone,” “Best Of My Love,” “The Long Run,” and “Heartache Tonight” topped radio charts throughout the 1970s.
In spring 1977, the iconic “Hotel California” was issued as a single and, to this day, is arguably The Eagles’ signature song.
After disbanding in 1980, The Eagles reunited 14 years later, recording the album Hell Freezes Over and, four years later, earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2007, The Eagles proved their staying power when Long Road Out Of Eden, the band’s sixth studio album, soared to #1 status.
Don Henley is The Eagles sole surviving original member, joined when it all started in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. Still active, The Eagles’ current lineup features Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmitt, and Vince Gill alongside Henley.
VIDEO: “Hotel California” performed by The Eagles
“The Eagles is a band that crossed genres and generations,” noted Dimoulas of the band’s enduring appeal. “They do rock, blues, ballads, country … the whole musical gamut.”
“They provided great music for young and old and everyone in between. This is reflected in our own fans; we even have had small children singing along with our songs at concerts because of their parents.”
Each member of Hotel California sings lead on songs best suited to his range and vocal style. O’Donnell is a remarkable Henley sound-alike, Langlade has Meisner and Schmitt down pat, and Lapointe nails the Walsh vocals. Dimoulas, meanwhile, has mastered The Eagles’ signature guitar riffs — a double-neck guitar never far from his reach.
VIDEO: “Seven Bridges Road” by The Eagles performed by Hotel California
“Our passion and our enjoyment of the music drives us to excel,” said Dimoulas. “Not only do we play note for note and keep as true to the original tunes as humanly possible, but we also have what I like to call The Sound; the meshing of the individual talents that the original Eagles also brought. This is what the people want to hear.”
Peterborough Musicfest is presenting 16 free-admission concerts during its milestone 35th anniversary season, each staged Wednesday and Saturday nights at Del Crary Park in downtown Peterborough.
Overseen by general manager Tracey Randall and staff, a board of directors, and numerous volunteers, Peterborough Musicfest’s stated mission remains “to provide diverse, affordable live music to enrich cultural and economic prosperity in our community.”
For more information on this concert or the entire 2022 season, visit www.ptbomusicfest.ca or phone the Peterborough Musicfest office at 705-755-1111.