18 June 2014 (gig)
19 June 2014
This is the Eagles first tour in the UK for five years - and this, the second gig of a four night residency at London's O2 Arena. The show begins with Glenn Frey and Don Henley ambling on to the stage from behind a black curtain to sit on stools and equipment cases with a guitar each and start playing Saturday Night. That’s followed by Train Leaves Here This Morning before the more familiar Peaceful Easy Feeling.
The songs are interspersed with tales of their extraordinary history, with Frey describing how the band were formed after he and Henley had played in Linda Ronstadt’s group. He then introduces fellow-founding member Bernie Leadon and then in the following songs Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh join them. The narration then switches to a pre-recorded section on the big screen while the curtain is raised and the full stage revealed, with additional backing musicians.
If you've seen the History Of the Eagles documentary, which this tour is promoting, you will know the band have been through a lot (drink, drugs, bitter break ups etc). Don Henley spoke of when they went to Miami in 1978 to record The Long Run, stating that what happened after that was "a bit hazy". There was also humour from Glenn Frey, who dedicated Lyin’ Eyes to his first wife - "plaintiff".
Walsh really came to life in the second half with some fantastic solos – the one on his own song In The City stood out. Bass player Timothy B Schmit also had the chance to sing with Love Will Keep Us Alive from the Hell Freezes Over album. The musicianship was fantastic with the impressive harmonies the Eagles are known for. The sound was also very clear – often lost in big venues – with Don Henley’s voice filling the arena, especially on Desperado which featured in a reprise early in the show and the full version was saved for the end.
Unsurprisingly, Hotel California got the biggest cheer of the night towards the end of a set which consisted of just under thirty songs in two and three quarter hours. Prior to the tour the members of the band had suggested this could well be their last. If it is, they can be sure that thousands of their loyal fans went home from The O2 happy.
NB: This review was written on behalf of David Spencer by Colin Besley.