The longtime bass player of the Eagles, Timothy B. Schmit, headlined a classic rock marathon at the ornate Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. Just getting to the event was a chore for music fans, as the entire block of Wilshire Boulevard directly in front of the teapot has been shut down for a massive construction project. The shutdown of the highly traveled road, one of the main arteries through the area, created traffic gridlock and limited parking in an area already notorious for limited parking options. But music fans managed to nearly fill the house anyway, by the time classic rocker Richie Furay opened the show. The singer-guitarist and acclaimed songwriter brought tunes from his solo career, and his former rock collaborations in Poco and Buffalo Springfield, to a 45-minute opening acoustic set.
The 73-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his daughter Jesse, and guitarist Scott Sellen performed an 11-song acoustic set complete with Poco, Buffalo Springfield, and solo tunes. In a triumphant return, Furay joined Stephen Stills and Neil Young a few years ago to repairs Buffalo Springfield. Many critics at the time lauded Furay for providing the most robust vocals in the classic rock band. At the Saban on December 3rd, his exquisite vocal skills were on exhibit in the acoustically pleasing old theater. Furay began with two Poco classics Let's Dance Tonight and Pickin' Up the Pieces before playing one of Buffalo Springfield’s biggest hit songs, Kind Woman.
Furay then switched up to a festive holiday cover of The Band's Christmas Must Be Tonight. Then he switched gears again playing solo material including, We Were The Dreamers, from his 2015 album Hand In Hand. Furay shared with the audience that the song was about Poco when he and Schmit were both members. The set ended with four more songs from Buffalo Springfield's first two albums. These included, Neil Young's Flying On The Ground Is Wrong, Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, and Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing. The set ended with Sad Memory from the 1967 album Buffalo Springfield Again.
Schmit took over the stage to play the main set of the night, and the angelic-voiced multi-instrumentalist launched into a marathon set, typical of his Eagles roots, last nearly two and half hours. The set included four songs from his latest album Leap Of Faith. The bulk of the set, however, included eight songs from his 2009 solo album, Expando. Schmit brought a core band of veteran performers, including Hank Linderman on guitar, Chris Farmer on keyboards and bass, and Herman Matthews on drums. The group also included Bobby Carlos, a long-time roadie for The Eagles. He intermittently played bass, guitar, and ukulele. There was also a surprise guest, The Doobie Brothers' John McFee who would also periodically wander on and off the stage, playing guitar, pedal steel, and violin.The band was also joined by three backing vocalists later in the set, Marlena Jeter, Lynn Fidmont and Mortinette Jenkins, adding a layer of soulful harmonies to the mix.
Schmit played acoustic guitar for most of the evening but picked up his trademark bass on occasion. He also played a well-worn Telecaster and harmonica during the extended set. After playing Red Dirt Road, Schmit spoke about how great it was to have his old bandmate, Richie Furay open for him. Then Schmit launched into "Ella Jean," a song Schmit said he wrote when his wife went to Hawaii for an extended stay, while he was in the studio. He followed up with "White Boy From Sacramento," which featured the trio of soulful backup singers humorously pointing the beaming singer out during the choruses.
Halfway through the show, Schmit brought out Furay to join the band in a couple of tunes. These included Just Me And You from the 2007 Schmit album Feed The Fire and Keep On Tryin from the1975 Poco album, Head Over Heels with Richie Furay. The latter was played gospel style with the band standing shoulder to shoulder at the front of the stage.
Lead guitarist, Linderman shined throughout the night on several solos including an impressive guitar duel with McFee on “Parachute" and the Eagles' "I Can't Tell You Why. Schmit next dedicated "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" to his former Eagles bandmate, Glen Frey. Ironically, The Eagles are preparing to launch one of their biggest tours ever next year. Schmit then lightened the mood with some feel-good Poco songs including, I Can See Everything, from the 1972 album of the same name, and followed that with Keep On Tryin' from the 1975 Head Over Heels album. Schmit then welcomed Furay back to the stage to join in the song, and that brought the crowd to their feet for much of the rest of the show. Schmit then told the audience that it only made sense that they close with Poco's A Good Feelin' To Know.