The Eagles fly high in Vancouver with boosts from Bernie and Joe

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At Rogers Arena on Friday, Sept. 6

The concert the Eagles put on at Rogers Arena last night was way more enjoyable than the one they played at the hockey rink three years ago as part of the Long Road Out of Eden Tour.

For one thing, this time around the setlist wasn't bogged down with throwaway tunes from the 2007 Long Road Out of Eden double album.

For another thing, the current History of the Eagles tour includes appearances on several numbers by original member Bernie Leadon, who played a big part in their early success, having cowritten "Witchy Woman" and played lead guitar on "Take It Easy", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", and "Tequila Sunrise".

And thirdly, it never hurts when lovable guitar hero Joe Walsh is in top form.

The show kicked off with just Don Henley and Glenn Frey dueting on vocals and acoustic guitars on the mellow "Saturday Night" before they called Leadon out to sing lead on "Train Leaves Here This Morning", a song he cowrote with the Byrds' Gene Clark for the Eagles' self-titled 1972 debut album.

The next tune, "Peaceful Easy Feeling", saw the arrival of bassist-vocalist Timothy B. Schmit, and then for a funkified version of "Witchy Woman" Walsh joined the fray.

With all five guys lined up and singing away there was no shortage of great harmonies; when Leadon left the stage after a few more songs his vocal spot was filled by ace touring guitarist Steuart Smith, who was hired by the group in 2001 after Don Felder was fired.

Since Felder has fought legal battles with Henley and Frey since being sacked he wasn't invited back for the History tour. Original bassist-vocalist Randy Meisner was, but couldn't take part because of health issues. Frey wished him the best before the band played the 1975 Meisner had written and sung, "Take It to the Limit".

After 10 songs--all taken from their first four studio albums--the Eagles took a break, and when they returned Walsh comandeered the mike to croon "Pretty Maids All in a Row", a ballad he wrote with drummer Joe Vitale for the band's fifth (and most successful) disc, Hotel California. Set 2 also featured five songs from the '79 album The Long Run, running the gamut from the mediocre ("Heartache Tonight") to the gorgeous ("I Can't Tell You Why").

No one bothered to explain why the standout track "King of Hollywood" didn't make the setlist.

The song from The Long Run that got the biggest audience response was the Walsh-written and -sung "In the City", which was originally recorded for the soundtrack to director Walter Hill's amazing 1979 street-gang flick The Warriors. Walsh continued to rule the night with his tongue-in-cheek '78 solo smash "Life's Been Good" and the rifftastic "Funk #49", the 1970 hit by his first band of note, the James Gang.

And everyone seemed to enjoy the goofy video of him in a Godzilla suit destroying a city before playing air-guitar in the rubble.

After Walsh had stolen the crowd's heart neither Henley nor Frey could quite win it back with their respective encore performances of "Hotel California" and "Take It Easy".

Who says nice guys finish last?

The Eagles play Rogers Arena again tonight (September 7). Tix at www.livenation.com/.

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28 Comments

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Pat Crowe

Sep 7, 2013 at 9:11am

What the hell, Newt?
I would rather chew on tinfoil while shaving my head with a cheese grater than sit through another Eagles snore fest.
I am very disappointed you guys didn't do a revue of Gary Numan. You really missed out on that one!

Steve O

Sep 7, 2013 at 10:44am

Third time seeing them and the best. Great show. Give yourself a treat and go see them tonight for their second show.

Luana Ravalico

Sep 7, 2013 at 12:36pm

The concert seems to have been very good with everything going right and all being in good shape and good moods. Awfully successful team with great music!

Elizabeth S

Sep 7, 2013 at 1:37pm

Sounds like a great show. I hope they they bring this tour to Europe and Ireland. But I would not dismiss LROOE songs, and any version of 'Heartache Tonight' that I've seen Glenn Frey perform live has never been mediocre. And I've seen him solo and with the band 7 times now.

Looking forward to going to see The Eagles in New York in November. It ant come soon enough!

Toni Robbins

Sep 7, 2013 at 1:38pm

I was at the Eagles concert last night. My first time seeing them after being a fan for 40 years. They were fabulous. Near the end I could see they were realizing why we love their music. It was bittersweet, it made me cry. They were so graceous, they gave us 3 encores. A real class act. Im so glad I finally got to see them.

MarkFornataro

Sep 7, 2013 at 4:27pm

@Pat Crowe
To anyone who slags the Eagles I say- you can't hide them lyin' ears
and its clear
you had too many beers...

J Myles

Sep 7, 2013 at 6:59pm

Definitely an awesome show! Like any true great rock band they sounded better live than on the albums. Walsh was amazing. Last 1/3 of the show including encores was for me the best part. Anyone complaining it was too mellow must have been one of those old curmudgeons leaving before the end because beating the crowds to get to his car has somehow become more important than SEEING THE EAGLES.

Agree

Sep 8, 2013 at 9:42am

@J Myles - I was at the Saturday show, and the people who skipped the encores missed the best part of the show - the encores rocked. And oh, my heart almost stopped beating when they ended it with "Desperado". Amazing - Henley's still got it.

LilianT

Sep 8, 2013 at 2:08pm

I went to the Friday night concert which was out of this world. Straight onto the laptop the second I got home to get myself a ticket for Saturday - SO grateful there was one still available for me to snap up. I would have these guys play at my wedding if I ever lost my mind and decided to get married again! OMG - I missed them when they played in England somewhere far too close to 40 years ago for my liking, and have always lived with that regret. Always. It's been a long run...but now twice in 24 hours! I can die happy...well, maybe not quite yet, but OMG! Talk about mega bucket list moments :-D Wish I could find better words to describe, but I can't, so I will just continue to wallow in the afterglow...Thanks Eagles. Truly, thanks <3

Cara

Sep 8, 2013 at 2:24pm

Saturday night was the 5th time i had seen the Eagles live going back to the 70's when the band was just Henley, Frey, Meisner and Leadon. I missed the Long Road Out of Eden Tour but i caught all of the other major tours. Last night was different. It wasn't a rock concert, it was about music appreciation and celebrating the flawless songwriting and presentation of those songs that we all know and love. I loved when Henley and Frey laughed at Joe...being Joe! Walsh was great as usual.

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