Nostalgia flooded Dodgers Stadium over the weekend as ‘The Classic West’ attracted thousands of fans from all areas. The audience demographic expanded across multiple generations with fans having witnessed the hall of fame stacked lineup live back in the seventies and others currently old enough to drive themselves to the stadium. California natives ‘The Doobie Brothers’ kicked off the event mid afternoon on Saturday as the blistering heat pummeled Chavez ravine. Fast guitar riffs and wild tambourines officially set forth with ‘Jesus Is Just Alright’. Each act had ample time on stage, averaging over an hour for the openers and extending well into feature length time for the closers. Known for their lengthy solos and quick altering tempos, ‘The Doobie Brothers’ magnetic energy was enough to keep the audience ready for more. After a series of hits and familiar sounds, ‘Listen To The Music’ wrapped up their set list with enough momentum to carry through intermission.
Steeley Dan took the stage soon after wearing dark shades while remaining locked behind his piano. Due to an undisclosed illness, co founder and guitarist Walter Becker was absent on stage, alongside touring guitarist John Herington. Although their presence was greatly felt, Steely Dan delivered knock out hits as singer Donald Fagen basked in the LA glory. ‘Bodhisattva’ began their performance as the momentum carried with fast paced strumming and crowd sing along participations. ‘Reelin In the Years’ received the loudest ovation from the crowd as they concluded their set with ‘Kid Charlemagne.’ The twelve song set list left Fagen humbled and grateful as the crowd thanked the southern California audience before exiting.
Closing night one was ‘The Eagles,’ making a hometown appearance. Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit all took the stage as Dodgers Stadium erupted in excitement. ‘Seven Bridges Road’ began the twenty-three songs set list as they basked in the crowd’s massive support and praise. Filling in for his recently deceased father, the late great Glenn Frey, Deacon Frey took the stage wearing Dodgers blue as he provided vocals and wild guitar shredding. Dedicating the night to his father, Frey alternated vocal duties with Vince Gill after performing ‘Take It Easy.’ Fans rejoiced as country singer Gill joined the remaining members on stage, making their first live performance since the passing of Frey. Before performing ‘One Of These Nights’, Deacon Frey thanked the crowd for their support and appreciation, stating that love from fans across all live events helps him cope with the absence of his father. ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ displayed Glenn Frey’s image on screens, resulting in a massive ovation as fans paid their respects. Dusting off the musical catalog, ‘The Last Resort’ resurfaced after not being performed live in twenty-three years. Making a surprise appearance, the legendary Bob Seger was invited on stage to perform ‘Heartache Tonight’ building anticipation for a stellar first-night ending. After a brief recess, The Eagles finished off their performance with a heartfelt and emotional ballad leading into ‘Hotel California’ and signing off with ‘Desperado.’
Day two of the Classic West continued with Earth, Wind & Fire. ‘Shining Star’ opened the afternoon as fans entered the stadium. Fusing soul and jazz with rhythm and blues, the Chicago based group delivered countless hits resulting in a dance fury reaction. ‘September’ and ‘Grove Tonight’ received the loudest crowd participation while on stage, inviting everyone present to sing along with the band. As they completed their set, EW&F hyped the audience with ‘Fantasy’ and ‘In The Stone’ before collectively thanking their fans. Although the band has lost many members throughout their stellar career, they provided everyone with flashback memories and feel good occasions.
Signature synthesizers and powerful drumbeats continued the festival as ‘Journey’ took the stage with their anthem ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart.)’ Singer Arnel Pineda traveled across the stage as the crowd stood on their feet throughout the performance. ‘Be Good To Yourself’ carried the same fast speed momentum as founding members Neal Schon and Ross Valory began shredding alongside Steve Smith and Jonathan Cain. Taking a moment to include slower tracks, Journey dedicated the song ‘Lights’ to original singer Steve Perry resulting in many eye brow raising reactions. Packing an arsenal of hits into their set list, the highlight moment took place during ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ a hometown favorite for any Dodgers fan after the seventh inning stretch. Closing the night, ‘Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin’ prepared everyone for the main event of the evening.
As the lights began to dim, Dodgers stadium erupted with excitement as ‘The Chain’ welcomed the night. Stevie Nicks took the stage in a black outfit accompanied by Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham, receiving arguably the loudest crowd response of the weekend. Nostalgia traveled throughout the air as the legendary band basked in their glory. ‘You Make Loving Fun’ and ‘Dreams’ carried the night with sing- along participations stretching across each seat. Nicks appeared very vocal between songs, taking the time to thank everyone that performed throughout the weekend. ‘Landslide’ was dedicated to Glen Frey and his son Deacon, making his father proud by stepping in shared Nicks. ‘Never Going Back Again’ slowed the tempo as the ballad carried powerful tones throughout the air. The twenty song set list provided the missing piece to the memory lane attraction. Closing the night with solid encores, ‘Go Your Own Way’ caused everyone in attendance to scream the famous chorus atop their lungs while ‘Don’t Stop’ officially concluded the bucket list musical attraction with fireworks on display.
The veteran acts performed on a high caliber level. The Classic West delivered nostalgia, emotion, laughter, tears, and joy as spectators emptied the stadium. Continuing the festival in two weeks, The Classic East will feature the same line up at Citi Field in New York July 29th and 30th. Although the original lineups appeared to be scarce, it remains a must see and must attend the festival for all soundtracks of life. Hopefully, the upcoming year continues the growing tradition started by Desert Trip to feature iconic bands from previous decades under one festival.
Photos by: JACOB GAITAN
It’s nearly time… The Classic West is just ONE WEEK AWAY! We want to help answer any questions you may have, so you can show up ready to rock! Check out our dedicated FAQ page at theclassicwest.com/faq. Can’t find the answer to your question? Post a comment and we’ll be happy to help you! #theclassic