Concert review: The Eagles

The Eagles found their way into Montreal for one night at the Bell Centre. Once upon a time it was routine to add 'In the mecca of hockey the Montreal Forum' but no longer. In any event, the performance was outstanding.

On stage was a seasoned and experienced rock band. The Eagles have certainly aged better than most groups from their era. I wondered about going to this concert as I am wary of bands who are past their prime. I thought to myself how great it would have been to see them when they were still relevant on the music scene. The again, ironically, it is at this stage in their careers where they may sound better than ever. And this was the case here.

The decision was made to go since I never saw them live and have always considered them to be in the upper echelon of great legendary rock bands. Not to mention that for a music enthusiast, the California band was a must see. To be honest, I did not go in with any expectations and rolled in laid back resolved to take it as it came. They did not disappoint one bit.

To begin, they played 27 songs in their set for over 2 1/2 hours. They showcased their incredible versatile musicianship and catalog. Their individual distinct voices and styles lent a special vibe to the night. Don Henley, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh all played hits from their solo careers and Timothy B. Schmidt once again revealed his soft and eloquent abilities in his vocals.

Joe Walsh was allowed to display his personality, sense of humour and awesome guitar work. In sum, Joe Walsh was all about rock'n roll tonight. Don Henley hit his peak with an energetic version of 'Dirty Laundry' and Glen Frey performed for me his best song in 'Peaceful, Easy Feeling.' The Henley, Frey duo, the backbone of The Eagles,sang the bulk of the cornerstone pieces of The Eagles repertoire including 'Desperado', 'Hotel California' and 'Take it Easy'. It was a night of fantastic music from a legendary band who obviously can still play.

Some songs that caught my attention were 'Tequila Sunrise' and New Kid in Town'. Every great band or singer has a signature sound. The Eagle tone is the California sound and with those two songs you can imagine yourself driving on a highway with a convertible in San Diego (or anywhere in the Southwest for that matter) during sunset. Walsh's 'Life's Been Good' was simply the high-light of the night.

Typically and what has become all too familiar with the arts community, Henley offered a brief political comment. I have noticed that over the years the Montreal fan has become somewhat rude and inconsiderate whenever a musician attempts to speak. Lately, they have been, as if it matters, determined to make sure they let their displeasure be known about contemporary American politics. Henley attempted to place into context his song 'Hole in the Ground' but was drowned out by a couple of somewhat isolated boos and woos. Boos and woos from a society that isn't exactly perfect itself these days.

I observed that even Henley was not impressed by the lack of respect shown by the crowd regarding the mere mention of 9/11. While you can feel the tension of stupidity among the political, Henley mentioned to the effect that his leaders deserved a hole of some sort. That, needless to say, got a roaring cheer of approval. What it showed me is that people are not interested in listening to the big picture on any issues. They just want to hear what they want to hear.

As for Henley's comments a couple of things. First, he should consider a post-rock job in government since, like his many contemporaries, he has an apparent obvious deep knowledge of foreign affairs. After all, the politically astute audience had a grand time listening to him degrade his leaders. So he's a shoe in. Mind you, at least Americans do so in public. Do Canadians ever do that? Does Shania Twain ever go on stage and protest the Nowheremen in the Liberal Party? I can just picture her getting on stage and kicking the mike screaming "Fuck you, Martin!"

Second, I guess the conservatives, what little of them they seemed, in the crowd and their money meant little to him. Business people who earn their money from the public are political atheists. They keep their political stripes hidden. They understand that they can't afford to alienate their customers. Why can't artists simply do the same?

Then again, I'm too anal for such things.

Despite this, and right now you are fair to tell me to loosen up though I think I make a fair point, The Eagles provided fans a night of impeccable and superb music here in Montreal.

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