By John Burland
AS A lifelong Eagles fan, this was one concert that had been in the diary since it was announced at the end of 2013 that they would be touring the UK on what could well be their last worldwide tour.
The band has now been in existence for 43 years and two of the current members, Glenn Frey and Don Henley have been with the band since its inception. Joe Walsh joined the band in 1975 whilst the final member of the current line up, Timothy B. Schmit joined in 1977.
Over the years the band has had tremendous chart success, not only in their native United States but also in the UK and Europe and also in Australasia. In the UK they have had four top 10 albums including a Number 1 album in 2007, Long Road Out Of Eden. In the singles charts only Hotel California has reached the top 10, peaking at number 8 in 1977. Worldwide though the band has sold in excess of 150 million albums. They are the fifth-highest-selling music act and highest-selling American band in US history. No American band sold more records than the Eagles during the 1970s.
The evening was exactly as described in the title of the concert – The History of the Eagles. The show opened with Glenn Frey and Don Henley on two acoustic guitars with two of their early songs from 1971, Saturday Night and Hollywood Waltz. They were then joined by Bernie Leadon, another of the original line up from the early 70s and performed Train Leaves Here For Morning, and over the next two or three numbers were also joined on stage by Timothy B Schmitt and Joe Walsh to perform such classics as Tequila Sunrise, Witchy Woman, Doolin’ Dalton and Peaceful Easy Feeling.
Songs from the Desperado Album from 1973 followed, including the title track, followed by a series of ballads including Best of My Love and Lying Eyes. To conclude the first half we had One of Those Nights and Take it to the Limit.
The second half featured songs from the more recent Albums of Hell Freezes Over and Long Road to Eden – In the City & Life’s Been Good as well as some older numbers such as New Kid in Town and Heartache Tonight. The set concluded with Funk #49 featuring some great guitar work from Joe Walsh and then Life in the Fast Lane. Inevitably there was going to be an encore and this included four numbers - Hotel California, Jackson Browne’s Take it Easy, Rocky Mountain Way and finishing with Desperado to a standing ovation by the audience.
The harmonies were pristine, soaring and spot on, and uncannily have remained as peerless as they were on the original recordings back in the 70s & 80s. The band may have been going 40 years but they are as popular as ever, as evidenced by the capacity 13,500 crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the 3 hours that they were on stage. A fabulous evening – great songs, brilliant harmonies, superb guitar playing – Eagles fans will never forget this evening in Leeds.