ROGERs arena – vancouver

Rogers Arena in Vancouver was the latest stop on the Eagles North American tour. The band were in fine form on the first of two virtually sold out nights at the venue. It was a blessing to get the see the band, as after the death of funding member Glenn Frey in 2016, Don Henley was doubtful that the band would perform live again.

Happily, they have continued to tour, with the help of two special people, Glenn’s son Deacon Frey and country singer/songwriter extraordinaire Vince Gill. Both performed admirably, and were warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic audience.

Since forming in 1971 in Los Angeles, The Eagles have become one of the most successful bands of all time. They have sold more than 150 million records, with more than 100 million in the U.S. alone, making them the top selling band in the U.S. Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) is the best-selling album of all time in the U.S., beating out Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Led Zeppelin IV.

Not surprisingly with such a great pedigree, the band has also spawned numerous hit singles, and the show this evening was s showcase for many of them.

Of the four founding members Glenn Frey (guitars, vocals), Don Henley (drums, vocals), Bernie Leadon (guitars, vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass guitar, vocals) only Don Henley remains in the lineup. Joe Walsh (guitars, vocals) replaced Leadon in 1975, and Meisner left the band in 1977 to be replaced by Timothy B. Schmit.

Shortly after 8pm the band took to the stage.  This actually took a little longer than usual as a result of Schmit ‘s recent accident that has resulted in him needing crutches and a leg brace.  He did not go full Dave Grohl, however, preferring a simple stool and leg rest rather than a full-on game of thrones guitar throne :).

The evening opened with Seven Bridges Road, which was backed by an amazing visual backdrop which was fantastic throughout the show.

With the audience nicely warmed up, Henley informed us the band were going to play for more than 2 ½ hours without a break, which raised a huge round of applause. The appreciation was even more pronounced and emotional when Deacon Frey was introduced to take the lead on Take It Easy, a song previously sung by his father.

After One of These Nights, Vince Gill took over vocals for Take It To The Limit and Tequila Sunrise.

The sheer amount of vocal talent in the band allowed them to play with very little breaks, it was also amusing to see the small army of guitar techs taking to the stage after almost every song, which helped keep it a well-oiled musical machine.

Throughout the show the various band members took the opportunity to engage with the audience, sharing anecdotes, and encouraging the crowd to sing along, although it would have been pretty much impossible to keep them quiet. One of the most poignant moments of the evening came after Deacon Frey sang the lead on Peaceful Easy Feeling, one the bands earliest hits. A huge picture of Glenn Frey was projected, and the audience rose as one in a standing ovation.

After other greats, such as Lyin’ Eyes (my personal favourite), and New Kid in Town, the crowd again rose as one for Heartache Tonight, and remained standing, dancing and singing for the reminder of the night.

The main set ended with Life in the Fast Lane, but the band were back shortly after for the first of two encores. A solo trumpet introduction kept the fans spellbound until the familiar opening bars of Hotel California rang out, and everyone was singing once again.

The evening closed out with a raucous rendition of Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way, and finally came to a close with Don Henley singing Desperado.

At was a great choice to end what had been a wonderful evening, and I am sure many at the show will likely be back for a second round this evening.