By Bill Dudley/CBS Radio
Hard to believe it was over 40 years ago when the very first Eagles song “Take It Easy” hit the radio in June of 1972. Their fans have been with them ever since. Last night (Jan. 15), The Forum re-opened with “History Of The Eagles,” the second phase of a year long tour that salutes one of the most significant fusion bands in history.
Building on the late 60s blend of Country music and rock and roll pioneered by The Byrds, Linda Ronstadt, Rick Nelson and others, The Eagles took the genre to new heights.
The $100 million remodel of The Forum, which will now be featuring only music acts, not sporting events, has made it an excellent place to see and hear your favorite performer. The sound was excellent, the seats very comfortable, and the view was great.
“History Of The Eagles” was just that. First hand stories by each member of all that happened were blended in with the hits. They started with cuts from the first album, that included a re-worked “Witchy Woman.” The musical journey was documented in (mostly) chronological order, with accompanying videos of each member as he was focused on a solo.
My favorite video was Glenn Frey driving west in a red ’65 Mustang convertible on Route 66 to “Already Gone,” their first single from the third album On The Border. Joe Walsh’s guitar never sounded better on “Life In The Fast Lane,” ”Life’s Been Good,” and “Rocky Mountain Way.” Joe’s still got it going with his own blend of humor and dynamic musicianship.
Timothy B. Schmidt, who joined The Eagles in 1977, was outstanding on his vocal of “I Can’t Tell Why.” Glenn soared with “New Kid In Town,” as did Don Henley on “Desperado,” from the 2nd album based on gunslingers from the late 1800s.
All of these guys are still at the top of their game. In fact, this may be the best Eagles show I have seen in four decades. Founding member Bernie Leadon who left the group after the first three albums joined fellow founders Glenn Frey and Don Henley (with Walsh and Schmidt)for the entire first set of what became a three and half hour show.
Two notable hits were missing until several encores finally gave us the ageless “Hotel California” and finally their first hit “Take It Easy.”
Eagles Full Setlist (via Billboard):
“Whatever Happened to Saturday Night”
“Train Leaves Here This Morning”
“Peaceful Easy Feeling”
“Best of My Love”
“One of These Nights”
“Take It To Limit”
“Pretty Maids All in a Row”
“I Can’t Tell You Why”
“New Kid in Town”
“Love Will Keep Us Alive”
“Victim of Love”
“In the City”
“Life’s Been Good”
“The Long Run”
“Life in the Fast Lane”
“Take It Easy”
“Rocky Mountain Way”