Henley shines as Eagles deliver at Consol
Somehow, after more than 40 years in the music business, Eagles legend Don Henley's rich tenor voice — one of the most distinctive of its generation — sounds exactly the same, and just as appealing. How can Henley have suspended time like this — and how can his band, the Eagles, still sound so great and fresh?
On Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center, Henley and his bandmates, who have been through so much during their four decades both as a band and when split up, gave a thrilling and nostalgic three-hour performance with nonstop hits along with more obscure Eagles songs. Interestingly, the show started with one such song - “Saturday Night,” an easygoing song from the ‘70s album “Desperado,” starring only Henley and fellow Eagles main singer Glenn Frey, sitting side by side, unassumingly strumming acoustic guitars while singing.
The other band members — including the blond Joe Walsh and long-haired Timothy B. Schmit — soon joined Henley and Frey, also known for their successful solo careers, and gave us a concert on July 23 that felt intimate and personal.
Despite the thousands of mostly middle-aged fans that packed the venue, the way the Eagles conducted the show made it seem like they were performing just for us in their living room.
Band members mostly stood or sat in a line at the tip of the stage, and each took his particular songs to shine, while telling sentimental and funny stories about the band's long history. Indeed, this tour was called “History of the Eagles,” and it launched along with a matching documentary.
We enjoyed hearing the band members' reminiscences about how they met and started working together, and the affection they feel for one another showed. Frey — who endearingly seemed to make a consistent squinting face — served as the show's emcee, and had the most stories to tell.
Walsh shined with his own song, “Life's Been Good,” and recreated the song's funky sound and voice effects on stage. Schmit enjoyed the spotlight singing the lead vocals on the band's classic “I Can't Tell You Why.”
We vote for Henley as the show's most talented star, although the show played like an ensemble where each band member had his time to shine and play the lead.
It's not just Henley's perfectly preserved voice, but his versatility: He plays the drums and guitar, writes songs and just shows overall musical genius.
This show could disappoint no Eagles fan. We got all of the band's best.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.