Now I was never a big fan of the Eagles when they emerged on the music scene in the 70s. At the time, their county-tinged harmonies were too light for me.
Finally in 2009 I saw the Eagles live for the first time and I was impressed. Their sound was as clean as any band I had ever heard, even though the concert was staged in a sports area in Philadelphia.
Last night, my new, more positive attitude to the songs of the Eagles and at least one of their members was solidified as I took my wife to see Don Henley in concert at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Backed by 6 instrumentalists, 3 female singers, and, on some songs, a 5-piece horn sections, Henley, the former drummer and vocalist for the Eagles, presented a perfectly-paced show, 2-plus-hour show, mixing Eagles hits, solo offerings, and a few well-chosen covers.
Included in the 20-song set were my favorite Eagles' song "One of These Nights" and my favorite Henley solo hit "Dirty Laundry." Of course the Eagles songs "Witchy Woman," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Hotel California," "Wasted Time" and "Desperado" proved to be crowd-pleasing, singalong classics.
But I thought the real inspiration that made the show special came from its surprises which included:
- all 10 members of the band opening the night with a stirring A cappella cover of Steve Young's "Seven Bridge Road"
- a soulful, funky version of the rarely played "Shangri-La" featuring the 5-piece horn section
- The Tears for Fears 1990s hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
If I had to single out the highlight of the show it would be the inclusion of the great "Rainy Night in Georgia" by Brook Benton cover, which Henley said the band had never performed before and learned at the soundcheck earlier in the afternoon.
So, as a long time classic rocker, I want to thank the Eagles, and especially Don Henley, for proving it's never too late to revisit the music you passed over when it was first released. You might just like it.
The Complete Show Set List