Birmingham Arena, 28 June 2019
The Eagles music is timeless and loved across the generations, evidenced by the sell-out UK leg of their 2019 arena tour including visits to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds. Their songs need little, or no, introduction and the vocal delivery was flawless with harmonies as warm as a California sunset. Add in a touch of classic Joe Walsh hard rock and stunning visuals on the huge video wall, it doesn’t get any better than this!
With the band spread across the front of the stage, the vocal harmonies for their now-traditional, adopted opener Steven Young’s marvelous Seven Bridges Road were nailed on. Sunset and palm trees provided the perfect backdrop for the classic Take It Easy with Deacon Frey taking the lead vocal, stepping in his late father, Glenn.
“It’s great to be here, at this juncture (reference them being in their 70s) it’s good to be anywhere,” quipped Eagles founder member Don Henley. “There are no fireworks, no choreography, just some guys playing guitars. Outrageous!” Henley showed his voice is in fine fettle with One Of These Nights before guest-Eagle Vince Gill gave the first of several lead vocals on Take It To The Limit. He thanked the audience for a great welcome to himself and Deacon and allowing them both to continue the legacy of these great songs.
Indeed, Don Henley remarked how pleased they were to have Deacon along. “This young man has some big shoes to fill,” he remarked. Deacon responded by saying: “This is a blast for me, playing with these guys I’ve known since I was a kid. This is a song my dad used to sing…” Peaceful Easy Feeling. As the number drew to a close, the screen was filled with the image of Glenn Frey (1948 – 2016) and a warm reception from the audience to his memory, and to his son.
Joe Walsh, who joined the Eagles for their classic Hotel California album in 1977 show-cased a couple of tracks from his back catalogue with The James Gang (Walk Away, Funk #49) and his witty take on the rock and roll life style Life’s Been Good.
“It’s great to be on stage with Joe,” said the third log-standing Eagles member, bass guitarist Timothy B Schmit, “you never know what you gonna get!” Schmit’s turn to sing lead came on I Can’t Tell You Why and Love Will Keep Us Alive.
A special mention, too, for guitarist Steuart Smith. He has toured with the Eagles over many years adding many of the delicate and colourful guitar solos that adorn the Eagles songs.
The Eagles left the stage after two hours to return for the first of three encores, Hotel California which, with the audience on their feet, became a huge sing-a-long. The second encore spot-lighted Joe Walsh, Rocky Mountain Way and the voicebox style Joe pioneered back in the ‘70s, together with yet another timeless classic, Don Henley’s quiet and measured delivery of Desparado.
“Thank you for all of your support over all these year,” added Don Henley, ahead of the final encore, their first (US) number 1 hit Best Of My Love. Great to see the Eagles in such fine form and back in the UK.
Seven Bridges Road
Take It Easy (lead vocal: Deacon Frey)
One Of These Nights (Don Henley)
Take it To The Limit (Vince Gill)
Tequila Sunrise (Vince)
Witchy Woman (Don)
In The City (Joe Walsh)
I Can’t Tell you Why (Timothy B Schmit)
New Kid In Town (Vince)
Peaceful easy feeling (Deacon)
Love Will Keep Us Alive (Timothy)
Lyin’ Eyes (Vince)
Don’t Let Our Love Slip Away (Vince)
Those Shoes (Don, voicebox: Joe)
Already Gone (Deacon)
Walk Away (Joe)
Life’s Been Good (Joe)
The Boys Of Summer (Don)
Heartache Tonight (Vince)
Funk #49 (Joe)
Life In The Fast Lane (Don)
Hotel California (Don)
Rocky Mountain Way (Joe and voicebox)
Best Of My Love (Don)