They may not look like the original Eagles, but that’s by design. However, they can sure play like them and their rendition of the Eagles songbook rings true to one of the most storied bands in America.
EagleMania – the World’s Greatest Eagles Tribute Band – takes the stage at the Klamath County Fairgrounds evening of July 4th. They will kick off the show playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as they parade through the crowd to the stage, and will perform right up to until the fireworks display — and perhaps a little after with some encores.
J.D. Kelly, the lead singer, does the “heavy lifting” as he says, singing all the Don Henley songs.
“I started singing as a kid in elementary school in Long Island and sang right up through high school,” he told the H&N in an interview this week.
“I did some very cool things that ultimately got me into some record deals,” he said.
His band, From the Fire, recorded an album called “Dirty Days and Dirty Nights” in 1990 with an independent label from L.A. It became popular in England and Europe, where Kelly spent most of the time touring.
Returning to the U.S. in 2017, he found EagleMania was looking for a lead singer, and he signed up.
The group plays 80 to 100 shows a year. The Klamath Falls show is the first time the band will play in Oregon. The audience can expect the best of the Eagles, both electric and acoustic. It will mimic the “Hell Freezes Over” tour, when the Eagles famously got back together as a band after 14 years.
Band members sing in five-part harmony and have an uncanny ability to emulate the unmistakable sound of The Eagles. Their show consists of the Eagles’ greatest hits, as well as some of the solo work of Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh.
Traveling with the band is a guitar tech who sets up some 15 guitars throughout the show. And, as always, there’s the famous double-neck guitar for the anthem, “Hotel California.”
Most of the band members hail from New Jersey and the greater New York metro area. They include:
- Frankie Reno – keyboards and vocals
- John Gaechter – guitar and vocals
- J.D. Kelly – lead vocals
- Ken Darcy – guitar and vocals
- Jon Weiswasser – drums
- Dennis Espantman – bass guitar
Show sponsors are: Klamath Freedom Foundation; 104.7 The Eagle; Sunny 107; A Better Way; Coldwell Banker; Lithia Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge of Klamath Falls; Medicinal Alternatives; US Cellular; United Mechanical; Courtesy RV; and Premiere Care Dental.