Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Eagles - April 1, 2005

As a surprise gift (birthday or Christmas, I really can’t remember) to my wife, I purchased Eagles tickets for their 2005 reunion tour. My wife is a huge fan of the band and I knew that she would love to see them in concert. I’ve always enjoyed the Eagles and having never seen them perform before I was anticipating a night of greatest hits by one of the premier classic rock bands of all time.

The concert was at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey approximately 3 months prior to our wedding. Cathy and I were young and in love and we enjoyed going to concerts together. For the tailgating experience I picked up a nice bottle of wine and some good food. We sat in the chilly parking lot enjoying the food and drink, wondering what the concert would bring.

We got inside about 30 minutes before the band hit the stage. We found our seats and settled in, waiting for a great night of music and entertainment. I had no idea what to expect, other than some fantastic hits. The reviews I had read all stated that it was a reunion tour packed with the classics. That made me smile.

The band opened with The Long Run, and the show was off and running. Timeless songs New Kid In Town, Wasted Time, and Peaceful Easy Feeling followed next and the crowd ate it up. Cathy was in her glory, loving every song the band performed and proving it by singing along with all the words. The Eagles sounded great and time had been good to them. For a band that hated each other in the end and swore they would never reunite, they looked like they were having a lot of fun onstage.

The hits kept coming with One Of These Nights and Lyin’ Eyes. Then The Eagles broke into Don Henley’s solo The Boys Of Summer and I went ballistic (in a good way). I had no idea that they were going to perform solo songs and The Boys Of Summer is one of my all time favorites. Hearing it live just sent chills up my spine. Cathy and I sang our hearts out on that one.

The first set ended with an excellent rendition of Already Gone and then the band decided to take a break. I wasn’t expecting an intermission, but it was nice to have a few minutes to collect ourselves before the next set was performed.

Set two found the band opening slow and then really turning it on. After an amazing Take It To The Limit, Glenn Fry got the spotlight as You Belong To The City was performed. It was great to hear that classic 80s track in the live setting. After another song, Don Henley took over once again for Sunset Grill, another fantastic song. The look on Cathy’s face was one of pure bliss. She was having the time of her life and to this day, she tells me that was the best concert she has ever attended. Considering that she’s seen some amazing Bruce Springsteen shows, that’s a bold statement.

Joe Walsh got center stage next with his solo tune Life’s Been Good. Prior to the song, Joe put on a helmet cam, which was a camera strapped to a helmet that Joe wore. The images were shown on the big screen and Joe ran around sticking his head everywhere to entertain the crowd. A little cheesy, but Joe Walsh was having so much fun it didn’t matter. Life’s Been Good was amazing in concert and found the audience once again singing every word.

Henley’s Dirty Laundry came next and I was just blown away. The Eagles really were bringing the hits, much to my pleasure. Another amazing song made even better in concert, Dirty Laundry was one of the highlights of the night. The main set closed with Life In The Fast Lane, but we all knew the band wasn’t done yet.

If the main set was superb, then the encore was superior. Hotel California, which got the biggest roar of the night, followed by Rocky Mountain Way, one of the greatest Joe Walsh songs ever recorded¸ followed by All She Wants To Do Is Dance. If that wasn’t enough for everyone, Take It Easy and Desperado closed out the night. While I would have flipped those two songs to end on a fast tune, there weren’t many complaints and none from Cathy, who was still hoping for more. After two and a half hours, she was ecstatic and gleeful.

For a band that had been around for more than 30 years (although 20 if them on hiatus), The Eagles showed what a rock concert should be like. They sang, they performed, and they entertained to perfection. I was thankful that I had the opportunity to see them in concert, and I was so happy to see the joy that radiated from my future wife. I think the only time she was happier was on our wedding day.

The Long Run
New Kid In Town
Wasted Time
Peaceful Easy Feeling
I Can’t Tell You Why
One Of These Nights
Lyin’ Eyes
The Boys Of Summer
In The City
Already Gone
Tequila Sunrise
Love Will Keep Us Alive
Hole In The World
Take It To The Limit
You Belong To The City
Walk Away
Sunset Grill
Life’s Been Good
Dirty Laundry
Funk #49
Heartache Tonight
Life In The Fast Lane
Hotel California
Rocky Mountain Way
All She Wants To Do Is Dance
Take It Easy

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