Monday, November 29, 2021

Review: Eagles Put on a Bucket List Like Night at Climate Pledge Arena

To understand what happened Friday night during The Eagles’ “Hotel California Tour” stop at Climate Pledge Arena, you needed to be alive in the 1970s.

Situated between The Beatles and Led Zeppelin on one side and Van Halen and The Police on the other, The Eagles were the most popular rock ‘n’ roll band in the world for nearly a decade.

Long ago when records were vinyl discs that you played on a weird circular machine thing (and not on your phone) and hits were played on the radio (and not your phone), Eagles were inevitable.

The Southern California band, with three primary singer-songwriters who were also complementary musicians, released hit after hit after hit between 1972 and 1982. In fact, you forget how ubiquitous they were in American popular culture.

Friday night’s show at Climate Pledge Arena was a reminder that for many, The Eagles provided the soundtrack to the best years of their lives. This was certainly the case for the 14,000 or so at the show, about 90% sold out and packed into rafters who knew all the words (though they were a bit slow to singalong).

Combining country, soul, R&B, bluegrass, funk, folk and blues in one grab-bag aptly titled California Rock, The Eagles offers something for everyone. In 1999, his 1975 greatest hits package was reduced to 20. was declared the best-selling album ofth century with sales of 38 million copies at that time. Released a year later, the album “Hotel California”, which he played back-to-back throughout Friday, sold 26 million copies, the third-highest number of copies sold in American history.

There was a time when those numbers meant something. While the music industry remains largely unrecognized 50 years after the band was formed, The Eagles… well, The Eagles remain.

The group replaced the late Glenn Frey in 2017 with musician Vince Gill and singer-guitarist’s son Deacon Frey, and debuted the show “Hotel California” in 2019. After a break for Pandemic, they resumed touring this year, using it to accent a symphony and a choir, a nine-piece band that sometimes features five guitarists playing together.

Tight and well rehearsed, the band driven through the album portion of the show without any pranks and serious demeanor. “Hotel California,” such as Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” or Van Halen’s “Panama”, is a rock ‘n’ roll cornerstone broadcast on a radio station somewhere in America at this very minute.

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However, arrive a few minutes late, and you missed. No problem, though, as the band sprinted through their most popular albums, “New Kid in Town” and “Life in the Fast Lane” in a neatly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 45-minute run. which highlighted all the things that made the band so popular: tighter songwriting, better arrangements and inventive instrumentation, and the ensuing dialogue between Frey, Walsh, and Don Henley.

Sandwiched between the tales of Henley’s acid-drenched apocalyptic paranoia in “Hotel California” and “The Last Resort”, the album also showcases a perfect distillation of Frey’s whiskey-drenched romantic failure tales and the frenzy of Walsh’s guitar solos.

Henley broke the band’s silence on Friday as they introduced Northwest Sinfonia and Vocalpoint Chorus, two Seattle groups that the band had put together to perform at the show.

“They don’t know what’s going on,” joked Henley to the young chorus. “However, his grandparents are big fans.”

As he sent fans over for intermission and more drinks, Henley joked: “We’re going to take a short break and turn into some dry stuff. And then we’re going to play everything we know “

And hours later, it looked like they could weave back and forth on each songwriter’s list of hits.

“Seven Bridge Road.” “easy.” “One of these nights.” “take it to the limit.” “Lin’ eyes.” “Feeling peaceful easy.” “Tequila Sunrise.”

By the time Walsh pulled out the vocoder for Henley’s “The Shoes,” the crowd was as frenzied as you might expect, given the hourly latency and average age of the attendee.

Over and over again, Walsh, who maintains the spirit of ’76’ in his lively approach to life, makes the crowd stand on their feet, even if it causes pain.

“I had more things to do and I had a much better time than I did when I was 20 in my 70s,” Walsh joked. And everyone laughed at the shared truth. Walsh led the crowd through some scream therapy and a group single before launching into “Life’s Been Good”.

By the time the group gained enough encore, it had played over 25 songs. For many, it was a bucket list night.

Even for the band, it was memorable – another great night in 50 years.

“The atmosphere here tonight has been really nice,” Henley said. “And I don’t say that much.”

Nation World News Desk
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