A sold out crowd at the KFC Yum! Center saw the History of the Eagles and relived some of the greatest moments in the history of rock and roll on Saturday night. The Eagles were the biggest selling band of the 70s and proved it with sing along hits and some surprises, too. The band seemed fresh and inspired by hitting the road again and playing the first show of the tour in front of an arena packed to the rafters with fans.
They started their set with founding members Don Henley and Glenn Frey just sitting down in a couple of chairs in front of a black curtain. They played guitar and opened with “Saturday Night” from the unfairly maligned “Desperado” album. As they mentioned, that was how the idea of the band started. Just a couple of guys sitting around playing.
From there another founding member, Bernie Leadon, came out for “Train Leaves.” Fans who know the history of the band know that Leadon left in 1975 and hasn’t been part of most of the reunion stuff that has taken place with the exception of their 1998 induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
From there, they went with familiar hits like “Peaceful Easy Feeling” followed by “Witchy Woman” as Timothy B. Schmit joined them in front of the black curtain.
Fans of Joe Walsh had to wait a few more moments before they’d see him. But then all at once the evening changed. The black curtain came away and the full, open, airy stage set was set in motion. The Eagles continued to rock while the fans were treated to enormous flat screens behind the band.
The screens evoked memories of 70s rear-projection systems with a 2013 twist. Those blobs of color morphed into video accompaniment which was especially effective on “Tequilla Sunrise.”
As might be expected, a three hour show with only one act contained an intermission but the Eagles built in excitement before the break by rocking “One of These Nights” and “Take It to the Limit” which received standing ovations.
One of the great parts of the show was subtle. The way they sequenced the music to take fans on an emotional ride might be lost of the casual concert goer, but you knew you had been rocked by the end of the night. The final third of the show picked up the pace with such intensity that staying in your seat became impossible.
The Eagles said their good nights after blazing through “Life In the Fast Lane” but fans were having none of that so the band came out for their planned encore “Hotel California.” They torched that one as well.
After another round of goodbyes, the fans still demanded more and the Eagles delivered “Take It Easy,” “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Desperado” to close their show.
The first show of any major arena tour is usually to work out the kinks and get ready for the world at large. Without any major flaws to report, the Eagles are ready to give a tour de force history lesson.
Photos: Tim Girton/Louisville.com