Eagles rock the Amway Center, blow minds

all photos Alexis Santos/Catalyst

For nearly 40 years, the Eagles have been a staple of the country-rock genre and on Oct. 26, they rocked the proverbial socks off of Orlando’s newly constructed Amway Center. Although the concert had been postponed for two weeks to accommodate for Eagle Don Henley falling ill, their performance was flawless.

For three and a half hours, the Eagles played songs spanning their entire career including All She Wants to Do Is Dance, Best of My Love, The Boys of Summer, Dirty Laundry, Desperado, Funk #49, Guilty of the Crime, Heartache Tonight, Hotel California, How Long, I Can’t Tell You Why, I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore, In The City, No More Walks in the Wood, Life’s Been Good, Life in the Fast Lane, Love Will Keep Us Alive, Long Road Out Of Eden, The Long Run, Lyin’ Eyes, No More Cloudy Days, One of These Nights, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Rocky Mountain Way, Seven Bridges Road, Take It Easy, Take it to the Limit, Waiting in the Weeds, Walk Away and Witchy Woman.

The Eagles not only came back on stage for the pre-requisite encore, but performed a second encore after thunderous applause, closing with their hit Desperado. I’m a huge Eagles fan and hearing all these songs together made me fully realize I had forgotten just how many good songs they had.

Although the approximate 130 lights on stage were part of an impressive array of equipment, the lighting itself wasn’t spectacular. However, the light display is nothing to complain about when listening to the pitch-perfect Eagles five part harmony paired with the great acoustics of the Amway Center. If the vocals weren’t enough, the Eagles’ amazing skill with acoustic and electric guitars was nothing less than spectacular. The two members who stand out are Don Henley, for his classic Eagles vocals, and Joe Walsh, for coaxing wild riffs out of his guitars with such ease. The vocals, melodies, guitar riffs and lyrics made this the absolute best concert this Catalyst staffer has gone to. The Eagles receive a “strong sat.”

Amway Center

The Eagles provided awesome music and the Amway Center completed the package with great atmosphere. Opened on Oct. 1, 2010, the Amway Center is one part of a three-pronged, $1.05 billion plan to revitalize Orlando’s entertainment venues with a new performing arts center and the renovation of the Citrus Bowl. The City of Orlando will see a return on its $480 million investment from revenues from ticket sales of all events except Orlando Magic games.

Weighing in at 875,000 square feet with the ability to seat 20,000 people at full capacity, the Amway Center is a behemoth of a structure. Not only is the Amway Center nearly two and a half times larger than Orlando’s old Amway Arena, but it fits right into the Orlando skyline despite its enormous size. Its glass and steel give it a modern, slick look without sacrificing function. In fact, the tower that serves as the venue’s focal point is part of a second floor outdoor terrace. The terrace overlooks Orlando above the Amway Center sign with an open air bar and a great atmosphere.

Inside, the arena is spacious enough for thousands of people attending one event to move freely throughout its hallways to purchase food, beverages and merchandise at its various concession stands. In addition to its grab-and-go fare, the Amway Center also has two restaurants — the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge and Jernigan’s Restaurant. Interspersed between merchandise and concession stands, the Amway Center features a museum dedicated to the Orlando Magic and a section dedicated to informing visitors of other event happening around Orlando.

Unlike the Amway Arena, the new Amway Center features a new level of seating: a mezzanine complete with private group seating.

And best of all? It still smells like new.

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