It was The Eagles turn to fly through the London park, capturing hearts and minds as they played, but it was an inspiring day even before they took to the stage with a large country contingent dominating proceedings.
Patrick Droney, who had never played London before today, opened the main stage with an already sizeable crowd present. He told me how he was just happy to be here, his excitement noticeable as he spoke. He won over some new fans with his performance whilst The Wandering Hearts, over on the Rainbow stage, with their sublime harmonies held the audience in the palm of their hand.
Following Droney on the main stage was the powerhouse vocalist Cam. Her country storytelling went down a treat with the Hyde Park crowd. She mainly played songs from her last record ‘The Otherside’, her voice effortlessly belting the words out and connecting with those present as she sung through ‘Diane’ and ‘Forgetting You’. She interacted with the crowd as she spoke about the connection between her song ‘Changes’ and Harry Styles before launching in to the rendition which features on that album. You couldn’t fault her voice in ‘Til There’s Nothing Left’ whilst the audience adored singing along to ‘Burning House’.
It was the turn of Little Big Town next who had prepared a slightly more mainstream set to what was anticipated. Their energy levels were off the scale as they performed their new single ‘Hell Yeah’, Jimi’s vocals in particular were phenomenal, the best I’ve ever heard from him as he belted out some tunes. They primarily let the music do the talking as they played song after song. ‘Better Man’ went down well with the London audience as it connected with their hearts after Karen’s heartfelt delivery as lead. They generated a party atmosphere with clever drinking song ‘Wine, Beer, Whisky’ whilst the whole park passionately sang along to ‘Girl Crush’. They concluded on the signature anthem ‘Boondocks’ as the crowd erupted into rapturous applause.
The headliners, The Eagles, left everyone speechless with their energy and ambition to put on a great show. A gasp echoed round as Vince Gill took the lead on ‘New Kid in Town’, the excitement building throughout. Gill performed well and was received warmly by the London crowd. Joe Walsh’s guitar solos were mesmerising whilst special guests, Deacon Frey and John McEnroe really connected with the audience as they joined the Eagles. As they celebrated 50 years of success, they reflected by going back in time and playing their earliest hits such as ‘Best of my Love’ – their first number one. Humour punctuated the set which included ‘Tequila Sunrise’ and ‘Take it East’. But it was ‘Hotel California’ which really got the crowd going, singing at the top of their lungs. They concluded with ‘Already Gone’, the fans singing and dancing to the final note.
They may be ageing but they are legends within their own right. They still have so much energy, love and passion for the music they create and it was a show that had it all!