The Eagles have been one of my tip top favorite bands ever since they formed the year I graduated from high school. Over the years, they rolled out hit after hit until a fifteen-year hiatus in 1980. Their second reunion album “Long Road Out of Eden,” released in 2008 I think, demonstrated they still had a powerful poetic touch, could yet lay down wonderful vocals and riff out some mighty fine guitar leads.
When I saw online last Tuesday that The Eagles tribute band Hotel California was slated to perform in Wichita on Friday night, I thought “That sounds like it might be a fun thing to do.” When my son Sam texted me on Wednesday from near Kansas City to suggest that he, Randa and I go to the concert, I thought “Well, yeah!” So… Sam drove over and we met up for supper at the River City Brewery and Restaurant in Old Town Friday evening. From there it was only a two-minute drive over to the Orpheum Theatre.
Being inside that theater in itself is reason enough to drive over to Wichita but it was certainly the performance that made the evening memorable.
From git to gone, it was terrific! The four-piece Canadian-based band nailed the vocals and wailed the instrumentals. One of the lead guitar players looked a tiny bit like Joe Walsh and the drummer/lead vocalist bore more than a passing resemblance to Glenn Frey. I’m certainly no certified high-powered music critic or authenticator; I’ve never seen The Eagles play live or even watched video of any of their concerts. But I have heard their songs thousands of times. And when I closed my eyes, I could not tell that it wasn’t them on the stage. The performance was that authentic.
Now I will certainly admit that it was not the same as being at an Eagles concert but it was very much like listening to The Eagles. When the vocals are that good, the bass and drums carry the rhythm that well and the guitars are exactly what you remember from the title tracks, you feel like you are definitely experiencing the band’s music. It made me wonder how many hundreds or thousands of hours these guys have devoted to their craft.
In a similar way, when we devote that much time, effort and energy to the imitation of Christ, those around us will feel like they have experienced his presence. When the compassion we show, the forgiveness we demonstrate and the love that we live are completely infused with his grace, meekness and mercy, others may close their eyes and believe that Jesus yet walks upon this earth.
And we are not imposters in this imitation for it actually is him living in us.