The Eagles rock! Steadily…
In front of a pretty full Hallenstadion in Zurich, the Eagles took to the stage a few minutes past the appointed hour in front of a very respectful Swiss crowd. Opening with 3 acoustic tracks and growing in stage numbers from the founders, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, by adding Bernie Leadon and then bass player Tim Schmit, eventually allowing Joe Walsh to step out for the 4th song. Between tracks either Henley or Frey narrated some of the history of the early years, and shared a few well staged jokes here and there that the audience managed to grasp.
As the tempo gradually increased, they moved though their more well know hits, throwing in a couple of lesser-known tracks along the way. The band, including the array of support musicians, was extremely tight and projected a very clean and controlled sound into the acoustically barren Hallenstadion. The backdrop projection and lights were subtle, and obviously designed not to take too much focus away from the music, which worked well.
The highlights that got the audience up from their seats and dancing (yes, when the band members are over 60 years old then the audience is usually provided seats!) were the better know hits of Take it to the Limit, Heartache Tonight, Life in the Fast Lane, Desperado, however when Walsh took control you could feel the energy in the stadium start to flow. Unfortunately for Joe (and very much us) he had to behave and stay within the boundaries of the Eagles set. You could feel the possibilities for improvisation and having fun radiating from his persona, but that genie was firmly in the (non-alcohol) bottle tonight. What a big shame. We were treated to a few of his own tracks (Funk #49, Life’s Been Good, Rocky Mountain Way, In the City), so all was not lost. It has to be noted that Leaden was very absent from a large part of the set. This was not mentioned on stage, but clearly the more rocky numbers were not his cup of tea and maybe poured some salt into old wounds so perhaps they felt it best to leave him out?
The obligatory ‘Hotel California’ was played and sung note perfect, just like all the other songs through the evening. The audience loved it, but again it was a little unfulfilling from a live perspective if you are looking to see a band create some electricity
After 3 hours and over 25 tracks walking us through (possibly with the aid of a ‘zimmer frame’) a huge back catalogue, the evening drew to a close, with a satisfied audience and a band that hardly broke into a sweat.
Is the “History of the Eagles” the last tour? Probably not judging by the health of the members and revenue generated by the price of the tickets. Expect to see the Eagles landing again in a few years at a large venue somewhere near you…