It was the summer of ’72. Between Grade 11 and Grade 12 for me. My friend, Roger Boucaud and I had purchased tickets for a favourite band, Procol Harum who were playing at the O’Keefe Centre. I was sixteen, and this was my first time driving into Toronto without my father or older sister. I have no memories of Procol Harum that night. I’m sure they were great. I remember getting lost on the way home and I remember the opening act. They blew Gary Brooker and his crew off the stage. The band was the Eagles. They were touring in support of their first single, Take It Easy. I became a fan that night..and I’m still one today.
Last weekend Imbi and I picked up a copy of their 2005 DVD release Eagles, Farewell 1 Tour, Live From Melbourne. The perfect Boomer concert video featuring 30 favourites (22 Eagles’ Songs and eight from the solo careers of Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Glen Frey). Except it’s not just Boomers who like their sound. The Eagles themselves are shocked by the younger audiences they attract. And two of my three teenagers are huge fans (the boys known as Substance Over Style). 19 year old Liam has played Henley’s "Dirty Laundry" repeatedly. (They are fans of the Eagles rockier sound – not as knocked out by the more country-flavoured, acoustic driven softer tunes.)
My first Eagles live experience was when they were a five piece band. This iteration features original members Frey and Henley with 10 other musos – although only Walsh and Bass Player Tim Schmit are considered actual Eagles. The band members complimented by a killer horn section, another great guitar player, a drummer/percussionist (Henley plays drums about half the time) and two keyboard players. From my perspective there isn’t a bad song on the two disc set but Imbi’s favourite is the Danny Korchmar penned "All She Wants to Do is Dance" and I’m a fan of the Walsh tunes Funk #49 and Rocky Mountain Way. (Walsh can be seen "skanking" on the aforementioned "All She…Dance" tune – he’s not only a killer player and interesting singer. he’s also the comic relief or perhaps the Third Gravitating Body of the Band.)
The band appears to be having fun throughout the concert – and it’s obvious the Melbourne crowd are having a blast. The band’s vocal harmonies are astounding (and yes, I realize they may have been enhanced in post), the playing is great, the video and lighting support is wonderful and their energy is nothing short of amazing for these boomers fast approaching geezerdom. Liam’s comment was "these guys can play. It’s amazing to see a live band who are as tight and as good as these guys." He’s right. They were amazing thirty-four years ago and they are just as good (probably better) today.