Eagles Kicked Off Fall Leg of Hotel California Tour on Point in Saint Louis Wednesday

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

–by Sean Derrick

 

In the modern history of popular music there are arguably only a handful of artists who are truly iconic, sell an obscene number of albums, consistently cross (and top) multiple musical genres, and are instantly recognizable by their name: Elvis, Prince, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, and Tuesday’s performer in Saint Louis – Eagles.

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Sure, there are others who have excelled, or exceeded certain aspects on an individual basis, but in reality, this is a very exclusive club to be in. So, no one should be shocked that 50 years after they first hit the airwaves with “Take It Easy”, 15 years after any new material released and numerous lineup changes that they can still sell out arenas with high ticket prices in a high-inflation era. After all this is Eagles we are talking about. (For those who don’t know, it isn’t “The Eagles”, but simply “Eagles”. If I have a “the” in front, it is simply a referral term, and not an official term. So, don’t send any nasty notes about there not being a “The” in the name. Ha)

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Whether it was sliding along with the country hit “Lyin’ Eyes” or jamming out with the rocker “Heartache Tonight” Tuesday’s show in front of a jam-packed Enterprise Center crowd was almost entirely focused solely on the music. It was the opening night of a seven city fall leg before the Eagles take a break for the holidays before resuming the tour in February. The Eagles are celebrating one of the greatest selling LP’s of all time: 1976’s Hotel California by performing the album in its entirety.

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

There is, in Drummer/vocalist Don Henley’s words nothing flashy, “no fireworks, no wind machines, no choreography – just a bunch of guys with guitars.” With a catalogue of hits like the Eagles possess one doesn’t need any of that flashy filler stuff. The closest thing they came to was some mystical/ surreal/ psychedelic imagery that was shown along on the giant screens behind the band during certain songs. But I wouldn’t call that flashy, just the right amount of surrealism for the particular song it played with (case in point, the psychedelic surrealism during Joe Walsh’s talk box assisted guitar solo in “Rocky Mountain Way”. (Local nod here: the first reliable high-powered talk box effects unit was developed by local sound icon Bob Heil who built it for Walsh’s Barnstorm tour in the early 1970’s. I wonder if he made it to the show?)

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Opening with their biggest hit; “Hotel California” the band wasted no time in getting to the album part of the show. Many bands who have done an entire album usually wait until the latter half of the set to showcase other material, but not these guys. Remember, this is Eagles we are talking about, they don’t need to prop up lesser-known newer songs.

There wasn’t much in the way of addressing the audience, either. But when they did it was memorable. Henley, after the band performed “The Last Resort”, said “That concludes the Hotel California portion of the show…because vinyl albums were only 40 minutes long.”

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

There was a full 40-piece orchestra and 20-piece choir backing the band during various numbers. The orchestra was the Steve Shenkel Orchestra, and the choir the Webster University Chamber Singers. After introducing them Henley stated- “With all the technology today there is no substitute for a wooden instrument.¬† Support your local musicians.” Wise wisdom indeed.

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

So, after a 20-minute break they came back with “Seven Bridges Road” before Henley said they had a special guest, who was Deacon Frey, who (for those who live under a rock) is Glenn Frey’s son. Deacon joined the band in 2018 to fill in for his late father in the band he helped form but left the band this past spring to focus on a solo career. The genes are unbelievable, if you close your eyes Deacon sounds just like Glenn, if you open your eyes Deacon looks just like a young Glenn did in the1970’s. The crowd gave Deacon a standing ovation when he came out to sing “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” before retreating to the back. He would return later to sing “Already Gone”.

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh as usual brought the crowd to their feet with his exceptional style and raucous wit: “I had more fun being in my 20’s in the ’70’s than I am being in my 70’s in the ’20’s.” Walsh is still one of the best guitarists in the world, even at 74. The usually straight-faced Henley even joined in the humor, stating at one point “It’s been 4 years since we last saw you. Been a Hell of a 4 years.” Then deadpanned “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The Eagles sounded as good as ever, whether it was the smooth falsetto of bassist Timothy B. Schmit on “I Can’t Tell You Why” or the dreamy tenor of Vince Gill paying homage to Glenn Frey’s songs to compliment the raspy perfection of Don Henley, the crowd sang along to every word, tapped along to every note, and for a few hours life slowed down and they could escape reality. Many fans reminisced about a moment in their lives when each of these songs held a place for a memory in their hearts. One particular fan even flew in from Spain to see this show.

Eagles performing at Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Tuesday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Check out eagles.com/events for updated tour dates because this is one show that is certainly worth the money.

And be sure to check out the full photo gallery after the setlist below.

 

Eagles Setlist:

Hotel California

New Kid in Town

Life in the Fast Lane

Wasted Time

Wasted Time (Reprise)

Victim of Love

Pretty Maids All in a Row

Try and Love Again

The Last Resort

Set 2, The Hits:

Seven Bridges Road

Take It Easy (with Deacon Frey)

Peaceful Easy Feeling (With Deacon Frey)

One of These Nights

Take It to the Limit

Witchy Woman

In the City

I Can’t Tell You Why

Lyin’ Eyes

Tequila Sunrise

Life’s Been Good

Already Gone (With Deacon Frey)

Funk #49

Heartache Tonight

Encore:

Rocky Mountain Way

Desperado

The Boys of Summer

Best of My Love

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.