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Old Eagles will help Allentown show off new plumage

- Last modified: March 20, 2014 at 3:27 PM
The Eagles will be the first band to perform at the PPL Center in Allentown. A concert has been scheduled for Sept. 12.
The Eagles will be the first band to perform at the PPL Center in Allentown. A concert has been scheduled for Sept. 12.

I'm 44. That's old. I know it.

But I'd like to think I'm still pretty hip. I do have tickets to go see Modest Mouse at SteelStacks this May. They're still cool, right?

My taste does skew toward the younger college indie rock side, so I must say – at first – I kinda sided with the complainers when the PPL Center announced that Live Nation was bringing the Eagles in as the first performers to play in the new Allentown arena.

While many people lauded the choice – who doesn't like the Eagles at least a little bit? – there were plenty of people who were quick to complain that the Lehigh Valley music scene was dragging in another set of aged, gray-haired rockers to limp through 40-year-old hits.

"Not impressed. Did you try to call Pitbull, Coldplay or Lincoln Park(sic)? So tired of the Lehigh Valley hosting the '80s bands. Seeing 50- and 60-year-olds try to pump out there (sic) tunes is not entertaining!" said Sally, a commenter on LVB.com.

I get her complaint, though. I, too, have griped about the geriatric nature of the Lehigh Valley music scene. If fact, as I type this, I got word that the latest "big concert announcement" is that Crosby, Stills and Nash is heading to the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem.

Again, a popular band, but where are the concerts for people under 50!?!

I would join in with the criticism, except that – for this one time – I am 100 percent in favor of the choice to bring a band such as the Eagles to Downtown Allentown.

As another commented, Joe, pointed out, there's no doubt "the concert will sell out." The Eagles may have been a band longer than most city residents have been alive, but they have a legion of loyal fans.

And I hate to stereotype, but I don't think I'd be out of line suggesting that a good portion of those fans are middle-aged suburbanites.

They're the people that abandoned the city 20 years ago when Hess's department store closed. And they're the people we need to bring back into the city to see all of the exciting things that are happening there and all of the potential there is for the city's future.

There are too many people who still harbor a negative image of Allentown because it's not the same place they grew up in during the 1960s. And it's hard to get those people to venture downtown.

The downtown is never going to be the place it was, but it is and still can be a great place.

But for people to know that, they have to see it.

The people who live and work in the city already know that. That's why I've been a homeowner in the city for 17 years.

But there still are people who when they hear me say "I live in Allentown," immediately conjure up Billy Joel's "Allentown"-esque images of a decaying and dying city that's rife with crime.

That's just not the city I live in.

So I hope the Eagles concert is a good excuse for people who haven't been to the downtown in several years to try "Life in the Fast Lane" and give Allentown a try.

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