There aren't many rock bands who can still do what the Eagles do. Formed in 1971 by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the Eagles continue to be one of America's hottest touring bands. Five years after the death of co-founder Glenn Frey and four years after returning to the road with additions Vince Gill and Frey’s son Deacon, the Eagles are on tour celebrating their two biggest albums.
This 2021 tour which was scrapped prematurely last year due to the Covid Pandemic, finally made its way to Los Angeles on Friday night, the first of three sold-out shows at The Fabulous Forum, the Eagles performed two of their best-selling albums of all time - 1976's "Hotel California" in its entirety, and all the hits from "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975," as well as selects from Don Henley’s and Joe Walsh's solo work.
The most unique and memorable aspect about the Eagles has always been their sound - carefully created, thought out and protected. Today, 50 years later, the most powerful thing about their concerts is still that sound. Don Henley's vocals seem to have been frozen in time, as has Joe Walsh's adolescent energy and mind-blowing guitar skills.
But the Eagle’s new additions are indispensable as well – it’s hard to imagine that Vince Gill hasn't always been an Eagle. Gill’s renditions seem to fit seamlessly and stand strong. The choice to adopt Deacon Frey in 2017 after the death of his father was not only part of the healing, but it was an exciting and heartfelt choice that had fans welcoming the newcomer with open arms.
Although Don Henley is now considered to be the “main” Eagle, you would never get the best of the Eagles without Joe Walsh. It was Walsh who seemed to steal the show Friday night - not only with his powerful classics, but more so with his highly animated personality, smashing guitar tones and jaw-dropping solos. Walsh shared a handful of vicious guitar exchanges with Steuart Smith, (the Eagles secret weapon since 2001) that had the sold-out crowd on their feet. At one point Walsh joked, "It was more fun being 20 in the '70s than it is being 70 in the '20s."
In the end, each fan walked away with the gift of experiencing a band that is capable of creating such a high level of performance on stage night after night – by musicians that are well into their 70’s. Flawless musicianship, pitch perfect harmonies and incredible star power - all proof that the Eagles are one of the greatest American bands of all time. The 17,000 baby boomers in attendance Friday night would probably agree - you can leave your 20s, but you won’t ever forget them.