The Eagles may never get the critical adulation of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but they sure know how to entertain. And they didn’t disappoint the die-hards who attended last night’s packed Green Concert at Piedmont Park with a set list laden with greatest hits from their 1970s heyday.
Sure, there weren’t any real surprises. But that’s not the point of this type of concert. Their vocals, harmonies and musicianship were impeccable. Their sturdy portfolio of songs, played ad infinitum on the radio over the decades, were well represented, from “Take it to the Limit” to “Hotel California” to “Lyin’ Eyes” to “Life in the Fast Lane.”
The audience vibe was happily California mellow, the odor of a certain illegal substance wafted through the air and the backdrop of a half-crescent moon and the Atlanta skyline comforting.
Here’s a snippet of “Peaceful Easy Feeling”:
Though Don Henley, at age 63, is looking his age thanks to a paunch and white beard, he hasn’t lost his vocal skills, infusing songs with a sheen of sadness and longing, especially “Desperado.”
Unlike other bands, which cut out solo hits by individual band members (no way the Go Go’s are playing Belinda Carlisle’s “Mad About You”), the Eagles are very generous. Atlantans heard three solo hits each from Joe Walsh and Henley, plus “Funk #49″ from Walsh’s band James Gang. (Sorry, Glenn Frey solo fans. No “Heat is On” or “You Belong to the City.”)
Henley’s solo hit “Dirty Laundry,” with the video screen popping up shots of Bill O’Reilly, Nancy Grace and the recently ousted Rick Sanchez, remains as relevant as ever 28 years later. Walsh was the loosest, goofing around after being introduced with some silly vocal exercises. His solo songs provided some welcome punch and edge to the proceedings.
The Eagles sometimes play a longer three-hour, 30-song, as they did earlier in the week in Indianapolis. But for Atlanta, they opted for a tighter 20-song version, which cuts out most of their recent songs but keeps in virtually all the big hits. (Seven of the 10 songs on “Eagles – The Greatest Hits, 1971-75″ and six more from “Eagles Greatest Hits Vol. 2″ made the cut.)
While “Desperado” is typically their final song, they decided on the spur of the moment to play a second encore. It took a few moments to get ready because the crew wasn’t ready for it, but they gave the crowd an excuse to sway a few more minutes to “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” to conclude their two hours.
Here was the set list:
1. Seven Bridges Road
2. How Long Play
3. Take it to the Limit
4. Hotel California
5. Peaceful Easy Feeling
6. I Can’t Tell You Why
7. Witchy Woman
8. Lyin’ Eyes
9. One of These Nights
10. The Boys of Summer
11. In The City
12. The Long Run
13. Life’s Been Good
14. Dirty Laundry
15. Funk #49
16. Heartache Tonight
17. Life in the Fast Lane
18. Take It Easy
19. Rocky Mountain Way
21. All She Wants to Do Is Dance