History Lesson from The Eagles

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Last Friday night my husband and I got a rock n’ roll history lesson.  We went to the ‘History of The Eagles’ concert at Toyota Center.  Having watched the DVD of the same name too many times to count, we were psyched for the live and in-person version.

I was fortunate enough to have seen the taping of MTV’s ‘Hell Freezes Over’ event when the band got together in 1994.  But at the time I really didn’t understand the magnitude of what I was witnessing, or fully appreciate the band’s body of work.  Maybe you have to start getting old to do that, but at least we were on the young end of the demo at this concert.  Before the show started, the rules were laid out on the screens.  ‘Please no texting or talking on your cell phone.’  ‘No photos or video during the concert.’  And here’s a good one for us short people:  ‘Do not stand if you are blocking someone’s view.’  Really?  This sounds more drastic than it really is, because most concert crowds (other than Demi Lovato or One Direction) stand up or sit down pretty much in unison depending on the tempo or popularity of the song at the time.

We weren’t even two songs in when Don, in typical ‘malcontent’ Henley fashion, called out some people down front who were distracting him with their loud conversation.  ‘Are we having a conversation here?  ‘Cause we’re trying to do a show here, if you want to talk, take it outside.’  Although followed by mild applause, you could sense the awkward school-boy-being-sent-to-the-principal’s-office vibe in the venue.  (David Geffen describes Henley as ‘always a malcontent’ in the ‘History’ DVD.)  Leading the show off with two mellow, lesser known tracks ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘Train Leaves Here This Morning,’ Glenn Frey explained that although they were not two of their biggest hits, they were ‘an important part of our history.’  I’m surprised he didn’t say ‘There’s going to be a test later.’  The show could have used some humor, perhaps making light of all the rules posted on screen with a punchline like ‘Rule #5:  If you light up a joint then you must share it with your entire row.’  Now that would have brought added a little levity!

It really was an amazing show, even if it took a couple of songs to get to a crowd-pleaser.  Things seem to move in the same chronological order as the rockumentary, with Bernie Leadon reuniting with the band onstage.  Soon after came Timothy B. Schmit, talking in his familiar and soothing tenor voice and launches into ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ with the band.  And as the fourth song ‘Witchy Woman’ starts, Joe Walsh emerges and the band is complete.

Joe Walsh was the star of the show, his voice and guitar sounded pitch perfect all night.  While Henley’s solo hits may be out of his range now, Joe was more than comfortable singing ‘Life’s Been Good,’ ‘In the City,’ and ‘Rocky Mountain Way.’  And he looks pretty cut (gym rat?) for 66, obviously this clean livin’ is agreeing with him.

The way they were.

The way they were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I had been in the front row back in the 70’s, I’m not sure I would have thought any of the Eagles were ‘hot.’  It’s kind of like how Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) is ‘hot’ because he slings a guitar and sings good songs.  (This will most likely be the subject of a future blog, because I feel the need to defend the reputation of this Canadian rock band who have become the butt of many ‘p-rock’ jokes.  Marrying Avril will not help this, BTW Chad.)

Nickelback Live At The O2 Arena

The power of the guitar as demonstrated by Chad Kroeger – he wasn’t there, just as a point of comparison.

 

 

 

The power of the guitar as demonstrated by Joe Walsh.

The power of the guitar as demonstrated by Joe Walsh.

 

 

 

 

 

A great time was had by all – in spite of all the rules.  It was nice to focus on the music and  take a break from Tweeting bad concert photos.  Here’s the setlist from their show at Toyota Center on February 21, 2014:

  1. Saturday Night
  2. Train Leaves Here This Morning
  3. Peaceful Easy Feeling
  4. Witchy Woman
  5. Doolin-Dalton
  6. Tequila Sunrise
  7. Doolin’-Dalton/Desperado (Reprise)
  8. Already Gone
  9. The Best of My Love
  10. Lyin’ Eyes
  11. One of These Nights
  12. Take It to the Limit
  13. Set 2
  14. Pretty Maids All in a Row
  15. I Can’t Tell You Why
  16. New Kid in Town
  17. Love Will Keep Us Alive
  18. Heartache Tonight
  19. Those Shoes
  20. In the City 
(Joe Walsh song)
  21. Life’s Been Good 
(Joe Walsh song)
  22. The Long Run
  23. Funk #49 
(James Gang cover)
  24. Life in the Fast Lane
  25. Encore:
  26. Hotel California
  27. Encore 2:
  28. Take It Easy
  29. Rocky Mountain Way 
(Joe Walsh song)
  30. Desperado
avril-lavigne-4-300

Embracing the ‘P-rock’ – say hello to ‘Chavril’

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