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Across Seven Bridges Down Memory Lane

Seven Bridges, an Eagles tribute band, performs in the auditorium of Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee – Allison Franklin

Many girls born in the ‘90s grew up wearing butterfly hair clips and hair scrunchies, eating ring pops and playing The Backstreet Boys’ songs on repeat. Though my childhood hairstyles were full of colorful adornments, I never owned any Backstreet Boys memorabilia and never heard one of their songs until I was in high school.

I grew up listening to the music of times past.

Aside from Classical Child cassette tapes and the sing-alongs found in episodes of “Barney & Friends,” much of my introduction to music came from my parents. Neither of them seemed to be ready to say goodbye to their own respective childhoods, and this was reflected in the music that wafted from through the house in which I grew up.

Even before my preschool years, I rode my tricycle through the living room, stopping every so often to dance along to the John Denver song that played in the background. John Denvers voice was streaming through the speakers of an old, black cassette player that my mother had owned since her high school days.

A few years later, my parents, feeling as if they were avant-gardists, decided to replace the trusty cassette player with something state-of-the art: a machine that could play both cassettes and CDs. When my family congregated in the lobby of Radio Shack, my meticulous father pulled out a CD that he had brought from home to test out the different options. Abracadabraby the Steve Miller Band played on practically every sound system in the store as my father narrowed down the selection to the perfect machine.

If I had taken a difficult test at school one day, my father would blast Let The Good Times Rollby The Cars on the new-fangled CD player when I got home.

Members of Seven Bridges pose together – Allison Franklin

We always played this song in our dorm room when we were finished with a test,my father said.

During road trips, we even kept a shoebox filled with CDs from artists such as Elton John, Little River Band, Lobo and Bread in the floorboard of the gold Subaru Forester.

On the night of my very first sleepover, my friends and I had agreed to each bring our favorite CD to play before bed. I received many confused glances from fellow fourth-graders as I carried a 70s mixtape from that very shoebox into the sleepover. That night, instead of playing You Are the Womanby Firefall for the umpteenth time, I reluctantly listened as Gwen Stefani re-taught us how to spell the word bananas.

I walked into the auditorium of Hiwassee College, where the Eagles Tribute Band entitled Seven Bridges was scheduled to play, feeling enthusiastic and excited for a chance to hear live versions of many songs to which I grew up listening. Since being in college, I have met many friends with eclectic taste in musicthis seems to have become a popular trend. Therefore, I was surprised to find that, aside from my friend Cameran who had come with me to the concert, I was seemingly the only audience member under 40.

As we sat down within a sea of grey hair, Cameran and I exchanged knowing glances and tried to repress our giggles.

After the curtain rose, blue and red lights flashed around the auditorium and the lead singer introduced the group and began the show by expressing his supposed excitement for being back in the south.

I just love being back in the south,he said. I am constantly offered that wonderful sweet tea.

I cringed slightly as the lead singer utilized possibly the most common cliché found within Tennessee.

One day when we were touring in the south, our band was offered two pitchers of tea,he added. The word sweetwas written on one jug, and the other had a big, black Xwritten on it.

A few audience members chuckled, and the lead singer seemed to begin to realize that his southern humorwasnt going over as well as he had hoped. He then put his arsenal of bad jokes aside and strummed the introduction to Take it Easy.

I had read in shows program that the band never uses any backing tracks or recorded material. When each member began to sing, I then realized why this was significant. This group genuinely replicated the iconic sound of The Eagles! As the song continued, I began to feel as if I were listening to one of the CDs from the trusty shoebox.

After the first two songs were played, the lead singer explained to the audience that each member of the Seven Bridges Band was acting as a particular member of The Eagles and replicated the members specific sound. In order to showcase this, the group began with a series of songs that cast each respective member in spotlight.

Though I had immediately noticed the similarity between this group and The Eagles, I was blown away by the specific similarities between the voices of Randy Meisner and the bassist, the member of the tribute band who portrayed Meisner. As the bassist sang I Cant Tell You Why,not only did he hit the same notes as in the original Eaglessong, but he also seemed to perfectly match Meisners iconic high-pitched voice.

Unfortunately, the lead singer did again bring out his arsenal of bad jokes as the band took a short break.

I know this is a late night for you all,he said at around 8:30 p.m. You all better be sure and get out to the farmers market early in the morning.

Though the innocent smile on his face made me assume that the joke was well intentioned, it too received only minimal chuckles from the audience.

Thankfully, the music began again as the member of the group playing the role of Don Felder picked up a double-necked guitaran instrument I had never seen before.  The black-haired guitarists facial features closely resembled Green Days Billie Joe Armstrong, and he even wore the iconic black button-up shirt and skinny tie. As he began to play the guitar introduction to Hotel California,two women in the back of the auditorium even stood up and began to whistle as the guitarist played.

It was obvious that Seven Bridges contained a plethora of instrumental talent in addition to vocal talent.

Though they could work on the humor aspect of their concerts, Seven Bridges was definitely able to faithfully recreate the sound of The Eagles in such a way that, had I heard their music and been unaware that it was played by a tribute band, I would not have been able to tell the difference.

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