Fringe Review: Bald Eagles: Hotel Cabarafornia

The legendary sounds of The Eagles, as performed by their Aussie counterparts, The Bald Eagles in their show Hotel Cabarafornia is now sold out but what a show!

Fringe2015-HotelCabarforniaPresented by Bald Eagles
Reviewed 20 February 2015

On Friday night Glam got down to The German Club on Flinders Street to enjoy the legendary sounds of The Eagles, as performed by their Aussie counterparts, The Bald Eagles in their show Hotel Cabarafornia.

To be honest, a huge driving force behind attending this event was my devastation that the real Eagles were missing Adelaide on their current Australian tour, and thus my desperate need to get some Hotel California in my life.

I will admit, being listed under the ‘Cabaret’ section, I was apprehensive about what to expect for this performance. How do you cohesively combine two such different ideas?

Well, you start with a flanny-and-cowboy-hat-wearing 8-piece Eagles cover band, just doing their thing, only to be abruptly interrupted by a loud and boisterous ‘Cabaret Fringe Inspector’ (Cara Brown of Showgirl Addiction) who is furious that boys have advertised at a cabaret show to sell more tickets, whilst not meeting any of the guidelines that outline cabaret.

The show then progressed as the Inspector attempted to whip the boys into cabaret shape, with lighting, personality and the dreaded… audience participation.

In addition to asking the packed out crowd the standard questions (‘Are you having a good time?’), dancing on tables and doing the conga; Inspector Cara wandered into the crowd in search of someone to help The Bald Eagles sing a classic Eagles song. Everyone sat with baited breath… don’t pick me, don’t pick me. And as they plucked a man named Sean from the crowd, we all expected a cringe-worthy performance. How wrong we were.

As it turns out, the humble Sean was actually Sean O’Brien, director of Channel 9. And what a set of lungs he had. I wasn’t alone as I sat awestruck at his truly amazing rendition of Desperado’ It was a real show highlight.

Song after song the Bald Eagles had the crowd dancing and singing along. Their performances were excellent and heartfelt.

Then my moment of the night came: My all-time favorite song, and crowd favorite, Hotel California.

When you’re a major fan, its always interesting to hear someone else cover your favorites. I was nervous, but their guitarist belted out a fabulous execution of, in my opinion, one the greatest guitar riffs of all time.

If there was one more moment that could possibly have topped this, it was the grand finale. To complete all the sections of the strict ‘cabaret guidelines’, there must be at least one pair of legs in fishnet stockings. And the boys provided.

How do seven balding, middle-aged men stand on a stage on garters, sequins, fishnets and cowboy hats and it still be beautifully awe-inspiring? I truly have no idea. Yet somehow it was.

This show was not just for the avid fans, with the group covering other artists in that same rocky-blues vibe, with twists of cabaret. People of all ages were out of their seats laughing and dancing, however with the language and dry adult humour we would suggest not taking kids along to future performances.

This Fringe season is fully booked out, and rightfully so, but if you’re a lover of The Eagles music and a damned good time, get along to one of their shows.

Reviewed by Hannah Pendlebury

Venue: The German Club, 223 Flinders Street Adelaide
Season: 20-22 February 2015
Duration: 120minutes


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