Joe Walsh

The Pearl, Sept. 22

It’s been 20 years since Walsh last toured behind a solo album, having spent that time reuniting with his Eagles bandmates, giving up a long love affair with vodka and getting remarried. But it was the same old Joe who took the stage in support of Analog Man.

Walsh still has one of the best senses of humor in rock: Introducing the new track, “One Day at a Time,” which addresses his struggles with alcohol, Walsh said, “I like to say I got drunk once for 34 years.” And before playing the radio staple “Life’s Been Good,” he apologized to anyone whose parents exposed them ad nauseum to his satirical look at the rock-star lifestyle.

It took the 64-year-old a few songs to ease into things, opening with the mid-tempo “Welcome to the Club” and the playful “Life of Illusion.” But he then delved into the songs that made him a guitar legend, soaring through “Walk Away” and “The Bomber” from his James Gang days, and performing lengthy, intricate solos during “The Confessor” and “Turn to Stone,” the two heaviest songs of the night.

Walsh ended the 16-song set with some of rock’s most iconic riffs, pumping fresh energy into “Funk #49” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” He returned to the stage for the comical raunch of “I.L.B.T’s” (Google it) before closing with the time-honored “Rocky Mountain Way.” Way to go, Joe. You’re still the life of the party. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

Billionaire’s Blues

Movie Review

Billionaire’s Blues

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

It’s an unseemly request by a movie, to ask us to root for the lying, scrambling but extremely well-coiffed hedge fund billionaire weasel played by Richard Gere in the new film Arbitrage. But there it is. The movie does ask, and to varying degrees, we comply. The website Investopedia defines “arbitrage” this way: “The simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from a difference in the price. It is a trade that profits by exploiting price differences of identical or similar financial instruments, on different markets or in different forms.”