Band members will come and go but their music lives on.
When I received an e-mail stating I was approved to cover the Eagles in my hometown of Raleigh, NC, I was in shock and disbelief. This is the Eagles, the six-time Grammy award-winning “Hotel California” Eagles. By far the most legendary southern California rock band of all time.
For some context, by the time I was born, the Eagles had broken up and just gotten back together for the first time in fourteen years to release a new live album titled Hell Freezes Over. As if it was even needed, in 1998, the Eagles were solidified as rock gods after becoming inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tragedy struck the group in 2016 when Glenn Frey (lead vocals and guitar) passed away leaving Don Henley as the only remaining member of the original group. At that point, there was a bit of speculation about the status of the Eagles and if they would ever tour again.
Summer of 2017, a young Deacon Frey (son of the late Glenn Frey) emerged to fill the enormous shoes left by his father. The Eagles went back on tour billed officially as: Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Timothy B. Schmit and Deacon Frey filling in exactly where his father left off.
The Eagles rocked out the well attended PNA Arena for over two-plus hours. Throughout the night, the band brought out a brass horn section on a riser on the back right-hand side of the stage. You could see the trumpet and trombone players lined up and they sounded amazing during "Witchy Woman, Next Big Thing, Walk Away" and "Fastlane". Continuing in the theme, they brought out a violin section for special performances of "Take it to the Limit" and "Desperado".
"Thank you all for coming out on a school night," bassist Timothy B. Schmit joked early into the show at PNC Arena on Tuesday night. Interestingly enough, this older crowd remained seated for majority of the show. I was a bit surprised as I was expecting people with floor seats to stand up the entire night. There seemed to be an unspoken agreement that everyone wanted to enjoy a good view of the show and thus majority of attendees sat down.
"Walk Away" with the live horns had to be my favorite performance of the night. There was a build up of emotion and energy in this performance. The crowd finally rose to their feet for the first time during this song.
Deacon Frey, celebrating his 25th birthday (4/17/18), engaged the crowd early sporting a bright-red Carolina Hurricanes hockey jersey that had 'Frey' custom stitched across the back.
Singer Vince Gill brought the country/rock sound that was missed so much after the passing of Glenn Frey, but his absence was still noticeable throughout the show. We're all just trying to "fill the void of Glenn," said Vince Gill. In fact, Deacon Frey's voice sounded so familiar to his late father, that this has to be the ultimate way to pay homage. A portrait of the late Glenn Frey appeared on the LED screens just behind the stage as Vince Gill proceeded into "Already Gone." That was probably the most emotional part of the night as this was a specific tribute to honor the passing of Glenn Frey in January of 2016.
Stage production and lights were next level. Two large vertically mounted LED screens sat parallel to each other on each side of the stage showing a live camera feed for those in the audience who struggle to see very far. During "Hotel California" the screens illuminated with what looked like vintage album artwork re-made for live show visuals. One things for sure, there were plenty of Palm Trees.
Eagles are currently touring cross-country with select 2018 dates in Canada.
Setlist - 4/17/18
Take It Easy
One Of These Nights
Take It To The Limit (Strings)
Witchy Woman (Horns)
In The City
I Can't Tell You Why
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Best Of My Love
Love Will Keep Us Alive
New Kid In Town
Next Big Thing (Horns)
Victim Of Love
Walk Away (Horns)
Life's Been Good
Funk 49 (Horns)
Rocky Mountain Way (Horns)