Fans could be forgiven for thinking that the spirit of the Eagles might have died with the passing of founder Glen Frey in January 2016. However, as their latest tour kicks off at the Greensboro Coliseum today, it is clear that his legacy is very much alive and well. Despite Don Henley’s suggestion that the band had performed its swan song with Jackson Browne at the Grammys in 2016, the introduction of Frey’s son Deacon into the lineup meant that the band could entertain the idea of gigging once more.
Following the critically acclaimed success of the “Classic West and East” concerts back in July, the new lineup decided to hit the road once again this fall for four “An Evening with the Eagles” concerts. Undoubtedly one of the most influential American rock bands of all time, the Eagles once again bring their Southern California harmonies and country-tinged melodies to live audiences in Atlanta, Louisville and Detroit from October 17- 27th.
Band members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt will be joined by Vince Gill and Deacon Frey to play favorite classics such as “Seven Bridges Road” and “Take it Easy”, with Deacon taking vocals on a couple of the tracks to pay homage to his late father.
One of the most influential American rock bands of all time, the Eagles are no strangers to performing in sold-out arenas around the world. Indeed, their “History of the Eagles” tour in 2014 broke copious U.S. box office records, including five sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York and six sold-out concerts in Inglewood, California. These days, however, the band is looking to take the pace down to focus on smaller, more intimate performances. And who can blame them? Having sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, topped the singles charts five times and received six Grammy awards, the Eagles have nothing to prove.
While the Eagles’ latest live offerings may be a world away from their poker-fueled tours of the 70s, this can only mean good things for dedicated fans. Smaller gigs mean genuine connections with the band, a more respectful and relaxed atmosphere and an enhanced energy that cannot be replicated in a large arena. There is no doubt that fans attending the “An Evening with the Eagles” concerts will be treated to this kind of experience, even despite the lack of legendary Glen Frey.
Though Frey had success with several solo hits such as “The Heat is On” and “Smuggler’s Blues”, it was his singer-songwriter work with the Eagles that cemented his reputation within the industry as an American rock heavyweight. After the band reunited in 1994 for a one-off set of shows, they released a live album of their performances which, to the band’s complete surprise, went platinum nine times over. This led to a string of sold-out stadium tours and a 2007 comeback album titled “Long Road Out of Eden”, which sold more than four million copies worldwide.
The magic of this original lineup can never be replicated again, indeed, without the colossal talents of Frey at the songwriting helm as achieving the sublime greatness of “Lyin’ Eyes” or “Already Gone” would be a distinct impossibility. But while the likelihood of the Eagles releasing new material any time soon is improbable, it is still worth trying to catch the new lineup live. Their gigs during the “Classic West and East” concerts resulted in glowing reviews from Time Out — “the powerful performance felt like a proper celebration of Frey and the legacy of one of the most successful bands of all time” — and the Los Angeles Times — “The Eagles understand that getting fans to fall in love with a band…requires songs that make listeners believe they belong too.”
Yes, they might be missing Glen Frey, but his legacy lives on. And the Eagles are still a band worth shouting about. Long live the Eagles.