|Photo: The Current Blog|
Looking around the theater, Eels fans were sporting plenty of facial hair—lots of men with beards. This made perfect sense once the Eels took the stage: an Indy rock band of white men with beards. Eels are a somewhat new band for me although they have been around since 1995. Based out of Los Angeles, Everett and his band, who he refers to as "the fellas," put on an amazing show.
Despite too many songs off the recent "bummer" album, "The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett," and none from the upbeat "Wonderful, Glorious" album, Eels were electric. But the best part of the evening was saved for the third encore. Eels announced that a special guest would be joining them on-stage. A large bearded man in the balcony yelled out "Prince!" Everett quipped, "This is not a guessing game, but thanks for playing." Not Prince, but a singer whose songs we all knew and probably even heard that day. A singer who had not performed in public for over 20 years.
Who saunters onto stage singing Eels' song “It’s a Motherf****r,” but Journey singer Steve Perry. Yes, Steve Perry of the 80s band Journey!!! The crowd was on their feet. Women were screaming. Men were fist pumping the air. Ushers who stopped us from taking Eels videos pulled out their own iPhones and started recording.
Then Perry belted out the classic Journey hit "Open Arms." This is where it sort of hit me that Steve Perry was actually on the stage below singing "Open Arms" with that Steve Perry voice. He still has that incredible voice! I ditched the iPhone and listened. Perry closed out the concert with a lively “Lovin’ Touchin’, Squeezin’” that had the entire crowd of bearded men and the rest of us singing along. Even my 17-year old daughter was belting it out.
I'm not quite sure how Mark Oliver Everett pulled this off but somehow he got Steve Perry, who hadn't performed since 1995, to share the third encore spotlight. I left thinking, did that really happen? Eels and Steve Perry. This was a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience!