The Eagles ‘Hotel California’ shows off spectacular vehicle for some of the band’s forgotten gems
When you’re so successful that your blockbuster debut album is among the top three selling albums of all time, there just isn’t much room for deep cuts in the live show. The Eagles’ list of must-have songs to keep fans happy is enough to fill a full day at a festival.
So when it was announced the seminal band would be playing the album California Hotel from start to finish it meant a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in songs like the album’s epic, the brilliant and haunting seven-and-a-half-minute “The Last Resort”. While not as well-known as songs like the title track and the raucous “Life In The Fast Lane” directed by Joe Walsh, “The Last Resort” is one of those songs that showcases depth. and the stunning beauty of Don Henley’s writing (although the song is credited to Henley and Glenn Frey, Frey once called it “the Henley opus”).
So when the group hit the Forum in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 19, for the finale of their three shows at the iconic venue they reopened in January 2014, I had to be there just to see “The Last Resort”. As I joked with one of the band’s longtime publicists, “When would I see this song again?” His response, “Never.”
This is one of the great joys of iconic artists who play full albums from start to finish. I have attended over 50 Bruce Springsteen concerts without ever seeing him perform “Drive All Night” live. So when he played the River album from start to finish in 2016, I went to two of the three shows at Sports Arena in LA. The first one and the second with three friends who had never seen Springsteen before, so that I could fully enjoy “Drive All Night”.
One of the greatest pleasures of seeing artists like Springsteen, the Stones, Patti Smith, Prince return before his death is the air of unpredictability of the great living artists in attendance. There is a drive in never knowing what they could get out of it. But when you like that song they never know, you’ll find it’s just as exciting.
Even though “The Last Resort” lived up to all my expectations on Tuesday night, it wasn’t even the most memorable song for me that night because as many hits as the Eagles have, they have so many album cuts. classic.
So yes, while “The Last Resort” with full orchestra was beautiful, spellbinding and epic, a full classical live, the reveal of the night was the majestic “Wasted Time”.
Also performed with a full orchestra, the live song was as powerful and mighty a ballad as you’ll ever see. It was Adele “Someone Like You”, Gladys Knight, “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” and Barbara Streisand “The Way We Were” kind of rock band beauty.
Watching the underrated song, it was also interesting to see how the humanity and vulnerability of “Wasted Time” has become a precursor to some of Henley’s most memorable solo songs, including “Heart Of The Matter” and “New York Minute”, more than a decade later.
These were some of the defining moments for me, as someone who considers Henley to be one of America’s great songwriters. But the thing about the Eagles, like their Fleetwood Mac peers, is that with the number of different voices in mind, 18,000 fans can go out there and have totally different experiences.
For those who wanted to party. there was “Life In The Fast Lane”, as well as “Life’s Been Good” by Walsh, “Rocky Mountain Way”, “In The City”, and more. And of course there’s the more country-rock sound, now led by country superstar tandem Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, as it took two people to come in and keep the band going after Glenn Frey’s tragic loss in January. from 2016.
Gill and Deacon Frey had plenty of moments to shine between them Tuesday with songs such as “Take It Easy,” Peaceful Easy Feeling “,” Lyin ‘Eyes “,” Take It To The Limit “and more.
An Eagles show is truly a Rashomon-as an experience, where, according to your personal preferences, you can take whatever you want from the concert. For me that night I felt a sublime beauty of the songs that the band never lives apart from this very special experience.
But whatever you want to take away from an Eagles show, there’s no doubt that again, as they always have over the years, one of the greatest American bands of all time leaves it all behind. world come out joyful, satisfied and feel like they just saw something really spectacular.