When Frank Cunsolo books the band Hotel California into his theater in Windber, he knows it will draw a sellout crowd of Eagles fans.
"They look the part, they sound the part. If you close your eyes, you say, 'Man, these guys are the greatest,'" said Cunsolo, the executive director of the Arcadia Performing Arts Theater, which has frequently hosted the band that pays tribute to the legendary '70s group.
The band has played to sold-out crowds at the Arcadia twice and will return next April. It's also slated to perform Friday for the first time at the Blair County Convention Center in?Altoona. Cunsolo said he first heard about the band at a conference where musicians gather to showcase their talent to vendors.
Members of the group Hotel California are (from left) James Brown, Steve Probst, Wade Hogue, George Dickinson and Scott Fronsoe. The band, with performs Eagles songs, will play at 8 p.m. Friday at the Blair County Convention Center.
"When we first met these young fellows, we knew they were the kind of people we wanted to have perform at our venue,'' he said. "They're one of the most sought-after groups that play at our theater. People absolutely love them.''
Hotel California, which is named after the one of the Eagles' most popular hits, has five band members and has been a group for about 30 years, said band member George Dickinson. That's about how long it's been since the real band broke up, he said.
Since then, the group has been touring the country, recreating the Eagles' magic for fans of all ages in concerts that last about 90 minutes to two hours. They do take some requests but usually stick to a list of favorites that include, in addition to their band's namesake song, "Desperado, "Take it to the Limit," "Tequila Sunrise'' and an edited version of "Life in the Fast Lane.''
If you go
What: Hotel California, an Eagles tribute band
Where: Blair County Convention Center, Altoona
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $15 in advance or $20 at the door. They can be purchased at the convention center, Music Emporium or Thompson's Pharmacy. For more information, call the convention center at 943-5392 or log onto www.blairconventioncenter.com.
The concerts are all live performances, with all band members singing and playing the instruments, not just pretending to perform, Dickinson said.
"It's a real concert, not a parody,'' he said. "It's a quality presentation. We do all the hits, all the songs you'd recognize.''
And not just baby boomers turn out at their concerts, Dickinson said. A new generation of fans has come to appreciate the music performed by Glenn Frye, Joe Walsh and Don Henley, who were some of the most notable members of the Grammy-winning Eagles.
"The quality of these songs really, truly does stand up to the test of time,'' Dickinson said.
Joining Dickinson in the band are Wade Hogue, Scott Fronsoe, Steve Probst and James Brown.
This will be the band's first appearance at the Blair County Convention Center, said center business development specialist Joseph Harteis. He hopes the group will draw crowds not only from the Altoona area but from surrounding counties as well.
"We really want people from all the adjoining counties, as well, to come, shop here, eat dinner and then see the show,'' he said.
Harteis said he first heard about the group from its promoter, who also handles acts for DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton. Harteis was attracted by the idea of an '70s revival rock music band, which he thought would appeal to a lot of people in this area. And he'd heard that Hotel California is very good at helping some people remember back several decades to the sounds they grew up with.
"This is as close to the Eagles music as you're ever going to get,'' he said.