Last Tuesday night, legendary Eagles founding member Don Henley took over the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA on a unseasonably cold night. With temperatures in the 40’s and a steady drizzle fans filed in to the waterfront amphitheater for a night of nostalgia inducing classic rock. Playing with Henley was the band JD and the Straight Shot.
The band is the musical project of Madison Square Garden Company CEO James Dolan. Dolan is the head of the company that owns Madison Square Garden as well as the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. But he has always had a passion for music. Dolan launched the project in 2005 and has shared the stage with artists such as The Eagles, ZZ Top and The Allman Brothers. The music is rooted in rock & roll, with a blues and folk influence. Dolan & Co. performed two new unreleased songs during their set, as well as material from their 2016 album “Ballyhoo!” JD and the Straight Shot brought a little nostalgia of their own with covers of the legendary bands Spirit and Little Feet. The latter of which was complete with jams of famous rock riffs.
Now make no mistake, JD and the Straight Shot probably won’t grace the stage at the Grammys anytime soon, or crack any “15 bands you must hear” lists. But that’s not the goal here. James Dolan, who started the project, dreamed of being a musician since he was in high school. Dolan loves being on stage and connecting with an audience, during Tuesday’s show he was smiling from ear to ear for nearly the whole time. The music isn’t bad by any stretch of the word, after their set the band drew a pretty strong reaction from the Boston crowd. But to simplify it, James Dolan is a man who loves music, loves playing it, loves sharing his music with people and has the means and opportunity to do something he’s passionate about. Passion about music isn’t something that you always see on stage, plenty of bands go out and play just to cash a check. But Dolan believes in himself the musicians he plays and enjoys every moment of it, and as a support act for some legendary artists, what more can you ask for really?
Don Henley took the stage shortly after, and played through a collection of hits from throughout his illustrious career. The 80’s hit “Dirty Laundry” a song about the sensationalism of popular media is more relevant now than ever, and drew a strong reaction from the crowd. Other Henley solo material such as “New York Minute” and “The Boys of Summer” were also well received by the audience, many of whom were enjoying the nostalgia. Of course it was the Eagles’ material that brought up the strongest nostalgia, with songs like “Best of My Love,” “Desperado,” and of course “Hotel California” were high points of the set in which folks of all ages looked to be enjoying the show.
Photos: Don Henley, JD and the Straight Shot - 06/06/17