Disney Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival – Garden Rocks Concert Series, Bay Lake, Florida • May 6, 2019
by Michelle Wilson
Walt Disney World’s 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival – Garden Rocks Concert Series continues to offer quality performances from stellar talent, and this year is no exception. Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles, thrilled the theme park crowds with a three-evening stint from May 5 to 7. He looked and sounded amazing, and he seemed genuinely thrilled to wow the intimate audiences before him. Each night, the seasoned rocker and Florida native pumped out three 30-minute sets at the American Gardens Theatre. I was lucky enough to catch the final set on the last evening. It was a seven-song Epcot® sojourn down Eagles memory lane. I doubt there was a single person there who wasn’t taken right back in time to the 1970s, when The Eagles ruled the airwaves with epic hit after hit. Felder was backed by guitarist David Myhre (who has toured with Tanya Tucker), bassist Jeff Coffey (former bassist/vocalist for Chicago, 2016-2018), drummer Chris Ralles and keyboardist Timothy Drury.
During some of the sets, Felder mixed in the title track off his newly released solo album, American Rock ‘N’ Roll, ( https://stores.portmerch.com/donfelder/featured-products/american-rock-and-roll-lp.html ), which features a slew of guests including Sammy Hagar, Slash, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Mick Fleetwood, Chad Smith, Bob Weir and more.
But the final set was straight-up Eagles cuts: “Already Gone” (On The Border, J. Tempchin/R. Strandlund, 1974), “Peaceful Easy Feeling” (J. Tempchin) and “Witchy Woman” (D. Henley/B. Leadon, both off Eagles, the 1972 debut album), “Seven Bridges Road” (S. Young, never officially recorded for a studio album but released on Eagles Live 1980), “Heartache Tonight” (The Long Run, D. Henley, G. Frey, B. Seger and J.D. Souther, 1979), and “Life In The Fast Lane” (J. Walsh/G. Frey/D. Henley, Hotel California, 1976). As soon as Felder’s iconic Gibson EDS 1275 SG Double Neck Arctic White, 12-string guitar appeared on stage, EVERYONE knew what was coming. The discernible opening notes of “Hotel California” (D. Felder/D. Henley/G. Frey) rang out on the balmy Florida evening and then just like that, the half-hour set was over in what seemed like seconds.
This concert series offered by Disney/Epcot® is such a perfect way to enjoy some of your favorite performers in an intimate setting. What a treat it was for Don Felder to entertain park visitors with an Eagles songbook. After all, who doesn’t know and love the hits of The Eagles? I only wish it had been longer.
Felder is on tour in Europe right now. If you’re lucky enough to be there, do not miss the opportunity to attend a show.
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