There’s nothing more pleasing – especially in a day and age where concert ticket prices are criminally high – than to get your money’s worth and then some from a band whose music is meant to equal “a good time”. That was the case with seeing The Eagles this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden on the second New York night of their “History Of The Eagles” tour. It certainly lived up to its name – clips from the documentary complimented some of the segments of the show; going through each one of their albums – and every one of their hits (which is an important thing) and most of all, bringing back original lead guitarist Bernie Leadon gave the occasion a definite sense of completeness. Three hours – only halted by a 15 minute intermission – and it was all there: rich, soaring harmonies; non-irritating banter with the audience and at times, guitar solos that left me with a dropped jaw (courtesy of Joe Walsh’s fretboard mastery).
Amongst the high points – of which there were many – an acoustic rendition of “Train Leaves Here This Morning”, sung by Bernie Leadon; the on-the-one note perfect versions of “Lyin’ Eyes” and “One Of These Nights”; the sweet version of “Doolin’ Dalton” with Timothy B. Schmit’s harmonica playing; the beautiful “Best Of My Love” – all these songs had a perfection about them. People can argue about live shows needing to be raw but for me, hearing and seeing The Eagles deliver these songs the way I’ve known them for 35, 40 years made it worthwhile. After the intermission, the surreal guitar throwdowns by Joe Walsh on “Funk 49” and “Rocky Mountain Way” could not be more rewarding – considering these are not Eagles songs, they’ve always been his showcase moments. And when the band did “Hotel California”, Madison Square Garden erupted – and of course, that famous two-guitar solo ending was 100% dead on. Closing the show with a singalong of “Take It Easy”, it made my experience a joy. And it should be noted of the nicer, more poignant moment during the show when Glenn Frey was introducing “Take It To The Limit” something along the lines of “Randy Meisner always sang this one and we wanted him to be part of this, but he’s been feeling under the weather so I’m going to do this one for him.” It was such an enjoyable evening, I did something I haven’t done in over 30 years – I bought a tour shirt. I think that says it all.
All photos by Liz Ross