I saw the Eagles perform in Boston on July 30th. I’m not exactly sure how I ended up at the concert. Although the Eagles once held the title of “My Favorite Band”, that was a very long time ago. I saw them on their Hell Freezes Over tour in the mid-90s and soon lost interest in them. And yet, for reasons that are still hazy to me, I flew halfway across the country to see them perform again. Sometimes I confuse even myself.
The show started off with four songs off the Long Road Out of Eden double album. In case you don’t keep up on all things Eagles, last year the band released its first studio album in 28 years. It was only available at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and on the Eagles website, so I didn’t bother buying it. I did manage to listen to a borrowed copy all the way through, though. It wasn’t terrible, but it paled in comparison to everything the band recorded in the 70s (with the possible exception of The Long Run). Either way, I didn’t care to listen to four songs off it right at the beginning of the show. “How Long” is a decent song, but the others weren’t. Timothy B. Schmit actually sang a song called “I Don’t Want to Hear Any More”. Never before in my concert-going career has a song’s title so perfectly expressed the thoughts that were going on in my head during its performance.
I’ve got to hand it to the Eagles, though. They know what the audience wants to hear and–after their mini-Eden set–they let us have it. The hits portion of the first set started off with an eerie solo trumpet that gradually transformed into “Hotel California”. I’ve been a fan of that song ever since the guy who lived next door to me in my freshman year dorm told me I shouldn’t listen to “Hotel California” because it was a devil worshiper song and listening would cause my soul to go to Hell where it would get poked with a stick and dropped into vats of lava. Now that’s rock ‘n’ roll!
My favorite Eagles song, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, came next. We also got “I Can’t Tell You Why”, “Witchy Woman”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “In the City”, and “The Long Run”. Sure, Don Henley snuck his own “Boys of Summer” in there, but I didn’t mind. It was surprisingly good.
The Eagles took a brief break and then came out for their second set. They dumped a few more Eden songs on us in the beginning. Those songs didn’t do much for me, but they certainly sounded better than what followed. I have no idea what they were thinking, but the Eagles subjected us to the worst song in their entire recorded discography. I’m talking about Timothy B. Schmit’s “Love Will Keep Us Alive”. I know he’s in the band and standing there with a bass probably gets boring after awhile, but there is absolutely no reason he should be singing that song in public. It’s an embarrassment to him and the band. I like a romantic ballad as much as the next guy, but “Love Will Keep Us Alive” is treacle. (The drunk woman behind me seemed to like it, though. She sang along with the entire song. She even knew a few of the words.)
The second set didn’t really pick up until Joe Walsh took over halfway through with the James Gang classic, “Walk Away”. That’s a fine song right there. The rest of the second set was heavy on Joe Walsh. “Life’s Been Good” and “Funk #49” were highlights.
The Eagles performed a couple two-song encore sets. The first featured Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” and Don Henley’s “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”. The latter is one of the cheesiest songs of the 80s, but it was kind of fun in a silly way. I’m glad they didn’t end on it, though. The final encore set featured “Take It Easy” and a haunting version of “Desperado” that had Don Henley doing his best Sinatra.
Here’s the setlist I wrote down during the show:
And here it is all prettied-up for readability:
First set: How Long/Busy Being Fabulous/I Don’t Want to Hear Any More/Guilty of the Crime/trumpet intro–>Hotel California/Peaceful Easy Feeling/I Can’t Tell You Why/Witchy Woman/Lyin’ Eyes/Boys of Summer/In the City/The Long Run
Second set: No More Walks in the Woods/Waiting in the Weeds/No More Cloudy Days/Love Will Keep Us Alive/Take It to the Limit/Long Road Out of Eden/Somebody/Walk Away/One of These Nights/(intros)/Life’s Been Good/Dirty Laundry/Funk #49/Heartache Tonight/Life in the Fast Lane
First encore: Rocky Mountain Way/All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Second encore: Take It Easy/Desperado