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Thread: Chicago, IL 9-24-08, 9-25-08

  1. #1
    Stuck on the Border DonFan's Avatar
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    Default Chicago, IL 9-24-08, 9-25-08

    Chicago music critics weren't too fond of the Eagles:
    -------------------------------------------------
    Joe Walsh injects fun, energy into staid Eagles concert

    The Chicago Tribune, by Greg Kot

    More Joe Walsh, please. Even “The Dude” would’ve loved him Wednesday, the opener of a two-night Eagles stand at the United Center.The Dude is the bathrobed, bearded hippie in the Coen brothers movie “The Big Lebowski” who hated the Eagles, in part because their mellowness was so inescapable in the ‘70s.

    The quintessential California band ruled that decade as one of rock’s greatest commercial forces, and in the years since not much has changed. The reunited juggernaut is still selling lots of albums (their 2007 comeback release “Long Road out of Eden” has sold 7 million units) and their ticket prices (topping out at $185, plus service fees) are still hefty (who can forget – or forgive – the Eagles for breaking the $100 ticket barrier on their 1994 reunion tour?).

    But Walsh doesn’t fit the Eagles peaceful-easy-feelin’ mold. For a good part of the three-hour show, he was on his best behavior. All due respect to Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the band’s cofounders: They’re craftsmanlike songwriters, but they’re not much for showmanship. Even the between-songs patter was canned, and the concert felt about as stiff as the matching black suits the band wore, as if outfitted for a wake.
    Steuart Smith expertly re-created the ousted Don Felder’s essential guitar parts, and the core quartet, abetted by nine musicians, precisely re-enacted their studio recordings. When Frey added an extra word to a line from “Lyin’ Eyes,” it was a big deal.

    Then late in the evening, Walsh took over with frisky versions of his old James Gang hits “Walk Away” and “Funk 49” and his solo goof “Life’s Been Good,” complete with a mini-cam attached to his helmet. “Life in the Fast Lane” lived up to its title; even Henley hit the drums with extra oomph. For the first time, everyone looked like they were having fun.

    The fans paid to hear the hits, and the band delivered with a set list heavy on ‘70s favorites, plus a sprinkling of “Eden” songs and solo tracks. The best of their songs deserve their status not just as hits, but as cultural touchstones, especially the Spanish-flavored decadence of “Hotel California.” But it was the goofy, unpredictable guitar player who transformed this night from a nostalgic recital into a concert. Like The Dude, Joe Walsh abides.

    Set list
    1. “How Long”: The four core members --- Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh --- line up across the stage in a show of black-suited solidarity.
    2. “Busy Being Fabulous”: Four guitars at work, but not much traction for this “Long Road out of Eden” track.
    3. “I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore”: Schmit sings what sounds like an Air Supply outtake.
    4. “Guilty of the Crime”: Walsh’s slide-guitar work raises the energy in the room considerably.
    5. “Hotel California”: Ushered in with a trumpet solo, and finishing with Walsh and Steuart Smith (standing in for the song’s author, Don Felder) trading guitar lines.
    6. “Peaceful Easy Feeling”: Everything “The Dude” Lebowski ever hated about the Eagles in one supremely catchy, supremely mellow song.
    7. “I Can’t Tell You Why”: Schmit’s fragile falsetto and Smith’s replication of Felder’s distinctive solo still resonate on this ballad.

    8. “Witchy Woman”: Sing-along time, with Henley doubling on lead vocals and drums.
    9. “Lyin’ Eyes”: Frey’s epic soap-opera script embroidered with fiddle and piano.
    10. “Boys of Summer”: Henley’s solo hit remains a bittersweet keeper.
    11. “In the City”: Walsh’s slide-guitar showcase, with gratuitous horns.
    12. “The Long Run”: Still wonder how the Eagles got away with ripping off the great Memphis R&B song “Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You” (as originally popularized by Chicagoan Otis Clay).

    2nd set
    13. “No More Walks in the Woods”: Nice sit-down opening with a cappella harmonies by Henley, Frey, Schmit and Walsh.
    14. “Waiting in the Weeds”: Henley sings, Frey on guitar, Smith later joins on mandolin.
    15. “No More Cloudy Days”: The sound of stasis.
    16. “Love Will Keep Us Alive”: A thoroughly unmemorable track from the “Hell Freezes Over” reunion disc, sung by Schmit.
    17. “Take it to the Limit”: Just as the show starts to lose steam, a crucially timed visit to the Eagles first “Hits” album, which has sold 25 million copies.
    18. “Long Road out of Eden”: Epic but ponderous title song from Eagles latest album.
    19. “Somebody”: The band strips off their black suit jackets to reveal matching white shirts. Otherwise, the song’s a snooze.
    20. “Walk Away”: Walsh cracks a smile in midsolo. That’s a first for what has been, so far, a professionally dour concert.
    21. “One of These Nights”: Henley proves he can still hit the falsetto notes.
    22. “Life’s Been Good”: Walsh dons a helmet and trains a mini-cam on the crowd. It took a while, but suddenly the audience feels part of the show.
    23. “Dirty Laundry”: Henley continues his love affair with the media, and sets it to a dance beat.
    24. “Funk 49”: More James Gang-era rock from Walsh.
    25. “Heartache Tonight”: The horns add to the R&B flavor.
    26. “Life in the Fast Lane”: Another Walsh guitar showcase.

    Deadline beckons, and I have to split as the band walks off before the encore.

  2. #2
    Stuck on the Border DonFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    Here's another one, shorter but more of the same:
    -----------------------------------------------
    Reunited Eagles could use bailout
    CONCERT REVIEW | Guitarists shake up performance that's on the brink

    September 25, 2008 BY MARK GUARINO


    With corporate governance crumbling financial markets and with pension plans and home mortgages on the brink of near ruin, perhaps it's a sign of economic recovery that the board of directors at Lehman Brothers gathered together to sing Eagles songs at the United Center on Wednesday.

    No, wait, upon closer inspection, those were actual members of the Eagles standing onstage singing actual Eagles songs at an Eagles concert. Dressed in ill-fitting black suits, crisp white shirts and matching black ties, the Eagles performed nearly three hours of familiar hits, and some new songs, with the joie de vivre of a quarterly shareholders teleconference.

    PHOTO GALLERY

    Eagles concert


    Not that there's anything wrong with that. The first of two nearly sold-out nights continued this second life of the famed California country rock band, which quit in 1980 but has since embarked on periodic reunion tours that have meticulously assigned every note, tone and verbal quip with strict governance. As each return has illustrated, the Eagles are committed to consistency.

    For longtime fans, enthralled by music engineered as if by robotic gears, this became a golden opportunity. The Eagles, accompanied by five sidemen plus four horn players, presented their songbook as the institution it has become. "Hotel California," the highlight of the first half, was greeted because it was familiar; the band's performance did not wrest from it anything new.

    Yet there is a factor that makes this latest regrouping a lot more special than previous tours: a new album, "Long Road Out of Eden" (ERC II). This meant the Eagles had new songs to play, which they did at the start of the night's two divided sets. These were built with the same architecture of past Eagles songs -- multiple harmonies, mid-tempo choruses, bittersweet worldviews -- but they lacked melodic integrity. Don Henley, one of rock's greatest lyricists, traded caustic for catatonic on acoustic dross like "Waiting in the Weeds."

    For a band so famously governed at the top -- Henley and Glenn Frey -- the show might have fared better if it was the domain of guitarist Joe Walsh and lead guitarist Steuart Smith, who replaced original member Don Felder, fired in 2001. On fare like "In the City" and "Guilty of the Crime," a new song, the guitarists unhinged the band from its tight screws. Slight but thrilling, these moments helped shake up a tour that Frey earlier said could be subtitled "assisted living."

  3. #3
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    Ya know, if the Eagles are so boring why do thousands of fans show up at all of their concerts and millions buy their records? These reviewers don't have a clue!
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    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  4. #4
    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    Yeah - if these critics think they are so smart, they should compare their checking account balance with Messrs Frey, Henley, Walsh, or Schmit and see who comes out on top. I think they call it laughing your way to the bank.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

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    R.I.P. ticky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    I'll bet these are young rock and roll reviewers who are used to these crap indy bands like Cold War Kids or something like that.. They think of The Eagles like grandpa music not the CLASSIC ROCK that it truely is!! Most papers only have one music critic and that critic is based on the general populations age base. Kind of sad for US, but WE know whats good. Those guys tastes are all in their mouths. (Although I DO agree, MORE JOE PLEASE!! hehehe )

  6. #6
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    These reviews are BULLSH-T, pardon my language. It was a magnificent show, one of the best I've ever been to. The guys were into it and it showed. I loved every minute of it, even Long Road Out of Eden, which I worried would drag live. Perhaps it was the visuals behind it that lent it a cinematic quality, but I felt like the song was taking me on a journey rather than passing me by.

    I went there without a ticket, hoping for the best. At the Will-Call, I got 10th row, right on the aisle towards the center. I had a terrific view of Glenn, whom Tim called "our fearless leader." Sometimes I had to move around a bit to see Tim and Joe, but whenever Don came out, he was easily seen as well.

    Highlights from the new stuff were, as I expected, How Long, Waiting in the Weeds and Somebody, which even had a few people up and dancing (I was one of them, although I am usually very shy about standing up unless the people immediately around me are doing it).

    The guys cracked jokes, smiled - well, except for Joe. He smiled like twice maybe, but he tore up the guitar solos. The vocals were amazing too. Even Timothy, although hoarse at first, opened up quickly and sounded wonderful; Joe didn't miss a note. I could pick Glenn's voice out more easily on the harmonies, which delighted me. He and Don sounded terrific as well.

    The guys were all looking good too. They took off the jackets for Somebody, but oddly, Joe put his on again later. Perhaps he got cold.

    As far as not being spontaneous - there were a few things tossed in which folks don't regularly get. Don said "How 'bout those Cubbies" to an audience divided: I cheered for the Cubs, but there must have been a lot of White Sox fans there, because the boos were pretty loud. Don grimaced and said something like "I should have known better" and then added "the White Sox haven't been waiting 99 years" (may not be exact words). When he was introduced by Tim, Glenn told some Detroit jokes, and sang about half a line of My Girl. I got a thrill when I heard that - I adore his cover of it from the 1993 shows. Yeah, it was only half a line, but I'll take what I can get. They said some other nice things about Chicago, even reminisced a bit about playing an old theater here in 1972. I'll try to think of more later!

    TWO encores folks. When I saw them bring out the electric guitars for that final bit, I knew it was coming - so thrilling!

    The audience was great - very responsive. I had a wonderful time.

    There's more to add, but I've got to figure out how to get a ticket for tonight - so I'll add it later!

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  7. #7
    R.I.P. ticky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    VERY Cool Soda! glad you got decent seats. I imagine Joe was just tired! (I hope!) Cant wait to hear about tonight! have a great time!

  8. #8
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    Wow Soda, sounds like another wonderful night with The Eagles! I'm so glad you ended up with a great seat! Can't wait to hear more!

    I can't imagine Joe being cold though! They are usually dripping in sweat and so was I with all the dancing going on where I was. Some people behind me were wondering how you can go to a concert and sit! I know I don't know!

    Have more fun tonight!
    https://i.imgur.com/CuSdAQM.jpg
    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  9. #9
    Stuck on the Border MikeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    I asked Joe about the long sleeves and jackets...heavy outerwear once. He just said that it helps him keep his voice loose if he is a bit warm. I think that what Soda saw was just Joe trying to give the best vocal performance he could.

    I have't seen them on the LROE tour....YET. I'm hoping for KC.

    Soda...hope you score bigtime tickets for tonight's show!

    MikeA

  10. #10
    Out on the Border
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    Default Re: Chicago reviews

    Hey Soda, enjoyed your review and good luck with seats tonight! I was thinking that you go to some of the shows by yourself huh? and meeting up with others sometimes. I've been trying to get a good seat for Minneapolis, but can't decide if I really want to go by myself or not!! Its making me crazy! None of my friends are Eagle nuts, so arent going to dish out $200 for a ticket. My husband Dennis and I went to the Milwaukee show and it was great, he can't get time off for this one.Anyhow, hope the M&G thing works out for all of you also!

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