There’s nothing quite like a rock and roll show on a hot night in May, and even after all this time, The Eagles still draw quite the crowd, and play with the same amount of subtle enthusiasm as a young rock band, keeping fans of all ages on their toes, as well as on their feet.
JD & The Straight Shot opened the show to eager fans who had come early to soak in the atmosphere. Despite the familiarity of their sound, their originality shone through with the talent and versatility of the entire band, especially Marc Copely [guitar, vocals] and Erin Slaver [violin, fiddle]. Their songs all told different stories, with cleverly crafted lyrics. Lead singer Jim Dolan explained each of their songs prior to the band playing them which added a nice personal touch. They had the attention of everyone in the audience, and they had peaked everyone’s interest.
After JD & The Straight Shot, the arena started to fill to near capacity. Six spotlights shone down on the six gentlemen known as The Eagles, as they stood in darkness. From the first harmonization, the crowd went wild. Despite the Saddledome being known for having poor sound quality, it certainly didn’t show due to the perfection of the band’s vocals. By the second song, “Take It Easy,” the band had everyone on their feet, dancing along to a timeless tune. Lead vocals on the song were taken over by Deacon Frey, the son of the late Glenn Frey. While bands often feel incomplete without one of the original members, and in this case, one of the quintessential voices of the Eagles, there was something about young Deacon Frey that seemed to bridge where there otherwise would have been a gap. It was his talent that solidified this, and it was pretty special to see another Frey up on stage.
While this wasn’t a heavily produced, over the top rock and roll show, there was a certain spark in the air that filled the room with a near identical feeling, making for an unforgettable evening. No matter where you were sitting, you could just feel the chemistry between everyone on stage, both new Eagles and old. Don Henley served as more of a straight man to Joe Walsh’s one of a kind character, but what they do best has been maintained and polished to as close to perfection as a human can get. Henley still sounds just as good as he did on the records years ago, and Joe Walsh can still shred a mean and piercing guitar solo, amplifying the audience entirely.
It’s easy to sit back at a concert like this with an attitude of cynicism. With bands that have been touring longer than some of the audience members have even been alive, one may start to wonder why they’re even still doing it after all this time. The answer, in this case, was their pure passion, and love of music. The passion that The Eagles have and exude isn’t in your face, guitar smashing, insincere smiles and rehearsed speeches or any of the usual rock and roll cliches. It was in the cohesiveness of the band as a whole. While some might consider that to just be professionalism, it was seen as devotion, and it was in the moments where you would lose yourself, and then witness one of the band members do the exact same, or the moments where they would just look at each other and smile. This unspoken acknowledgment ironically spoke volumes, and gave fans, as the song says, that peaceful, easy feeling. Their harmonies made your spirit soar, and people from all walks of life let go and sang along to songs that will remain forever timeless. Fans both young and old checked in for this two-hour spectacle, and while they could check out any time they liked, The Eagles made them wish they could never leave.
Click here to check out our full gallery of photos from the show!