Friday night, I saw the Eagles in concert in Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington. The arena was packed. The stage was accompanied by large screens overhead on each side. The show was all I hoped it would be.
The concert started with Don Henley and Glenn Frey on stage and as they sang songs and talked about the band’s beginnings, additional members were introduced and added on stage.
Early on, original Eagle guitarist Bernie Leadon was brought out on stage. I don’t think he has played with the band until this tour since leaving in 1975. His inclusion made this tour unique.
The only other original Eagle, Randy Meisner, was missing. My understanding is the Eagles desired to include him, but his health did not support him participating. This is unfortunate because his presence would have added to the reunion atmosphere. While Randy was not available, the band was respectful to his contributions.
Bernie Leadon played up to the intermission. He came back out for the last few songs of the show.
The first half of the show was very much a history of the band. Video clips were played with Don Henley or Glenn Frey discussing parts of the band’s roots. In the meantime, the stage would usually go dark between songs allowing roadies to make changes onstage. In the second half of the show, the band departed from its history to more playing and goofing around. Much of the goofing around came as Joe Walsh became the center of attention. Understandable considering Joe Walsh’s past with the band.
The jokes on stage seemed to hide the real need for the band to provide an adequate break between songs. Joe Walsh demonstrated his skill as a talented guitar player. Even though the accompanying guitarist was very talented, I know that Don Felder would have sounded a bit different complimenting Joe Walsh’s style. While Don Felder and the Eagles are never likely to join together again, the addition of Bernie Leadon made this tour special.
I found it interesting that at least two Joe Walsh songs were played, but no solo songs from band’s other members. This likely had to do with the Eagles accepting Joe Walsh’s solo career being before his membership in the band. They simply could not adequately honor the solo career of each band member.
I really enjoyed the supporting drummer during the song “What You Gonna Do In Those Shoes.” Joe Walsh did an excellent job singing and playing “In The City.” Bringing Bernie Leadon out again near the end of the show was a great way to remember the previous history of the band tying the musicians together.
The first half concert was excellent. The second half dragged a bit but this was made up for as the final and most popular songs were played. The concert lasted about 3.5 hours including the intermission. I read in Spokane's newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, that the Eagles played 27 songs.
The show could be rated PG-13. Not a lot of swearing (if any) and only a few, if any, references to anything that might be concerning to parents. Glenn Frey even made a statement that this is a "family-friendly" show. The only thing family-unfriendly were the two drunks that came in right when the show started. One of which fell over the front row and nearly over the edge of the balcony to his probable death. The crowd fortunately grabbed him by the pants to pull him back. Those two drunks left after the first intermission. Then I only had to deal with the two drunk lady's next to me who decided to stand up and dance during the 2nd half of the show. They weren't out of control like the other drunks, but no one else nearby was standing so it was a bit annoying having them partially blocking the view of others sitting. If not the view, their dancing was distracting. They left twice probably to go to the bathroom. When the one bumped into me while dancing, she apologized and calmed down a bit. They left shortly thereafter most likely before the encore. It is too bad that the drinking is the most notable negative of any concert experience.
During the song "Already Gone" the background of the stage showed a video of Glenn Frey driving an old convertible car from one end of the United States to the other side (on a map) with entertaining gestures. The song "In The City" had a very enjoyable city scene on this same background made up of lights.
The Eagles proved they deserve the accolades for being some of top songwriters of all time. I believe that Frey and Henley are a better writing duo than McCartney and Lennon even though they made use of contributions from many band members and song writers.
While my seats were far away and expensive, this concert was one that I would eagerly return to see. I am hopeful that a concert DVD will be available in support of this tour that will provide more opportunities to see this legendary band of musicians.