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Saw the Eagles on Wednesday


IanHenry

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On Wednesday night I went to see the Eagles at Manchester, and came away feeling slightly disappointed, and I really can't put my finger on why I feel that way. The music and musicianship was top notch with the band being supported by a lot of great backing players (I actually lost count of how many), however there was no sense of excitement to the evening. Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned the band were good, and I'm sure that most of the audience enjoyed the show.

 

Of all the bands that I've watched over the years (there has been many, bands that is)there has been only one other that has left me with this feeling, and that was Deep Purple a couple of years ago, again technically top notch, but lacking excitement.

Can It be that those bands have played together so long that they've lost the raw edge, become almost to perfect? Does a great live show need an element of imperfection?

 

Ian

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There's alot to what you say.

 

I've seen/felt the same thing myself...

 

I do think however it could be subjective. There are possibly folks in that same audience that felt it was the best show they've ever seen... But you're right, you can generally get a feel for that sort of thing and sometimes the magic just isn't there...

 

There's also a huge variable of band energy on any given night. If they're at the end of a long stretch of road dates they could well be very tired... They aren't exactly spring chickens either...

 

Let me ask you, was Don Felder there? He's been playing solo with Peter Frampton's Music Circus. (or whatever he's caling it) Having others play parts they didn't originally play or even fill-in performers can make a huge difference too.

 

If it wasn't truly the original lineup that can make a difference and like I said, I could see just not feeling-it on any given night as a performer on tour doing the same numbers over and over and over again because most fans couldn't care less about new writing and everyone wants to hear Hotel California every night at every show and how that kind of thing could get very tiring and even depressing...

 

Just speculating of course, but I know what you mean...

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I saw them a couple of weeks ago in Dublin. I found that the first part of the concert was too sedate as they played all the easy listening tunes back to back. Joe Walsh seemed to just be a passenger. The second act was a different story where they let Joe off the leash and he didn't disappoint. apart from Joe, it was all a little sterile.

 

I didn't much care for the video interludes in between telling the story of the Eagles. It was almost their version of "Mama Mia" like it was a stage show instead of a concert with everything carefully choreographed to perfect. I bet they even say the same exact things every night and never deviate from the script for fear of an *** kicking from Glenn Frey.

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There's alot to what you say.

 

I've seen/felt the same thing myself...

 

I do think however it could be subjective. There are possibly folks in that same audience that felt it was the best show they've ever seen... But you're right, you can generally get a feel for that sort of thing and sometimes the magic just isn't there...

 

There's also a huge variable of band energy on any given night. If they're at the end of a long stretch of road dates they could well be very tired... They aren't exactly spring chickens either...

 

Let me ask you, was Don Felder there? He's been playing solo with Peter Frampton's Music Circus. (or whatever he's caling it) Having others play parts they didn't originally play or even fill-in performers can make a huge difference too.

 

If it wasn't truly the original lineup that can make a difference and like I said, I could see just not feeling-it on any given night as a performer on tour doing the same numbers over and over and over again because most fans couldn't care less about new writing and everyone wants to hear Hotel California every night at every show and how that kind of thing could get very tiring and even depressing...

 

Just speculating of course, but I know what you mean...

 

No Jimi, Don Felder wasn't there, despite it being the history of the Eagles, Don wasn't even mentioned, all the other ex members got a mention though. I think Glen Fry and Don fell out over money. The line up was:

 

Don Henley

Glen Frey

Joe Walsh

Timothy B. Schmit

The highlights of the show were an alternative arrangement of Witchy Woman and Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way and Life's Been Good.

I do wonder if using session players (there were two keyboard players) looking for the perfect sound could be a problem? Rock and Roll should not be perfect, even Jimmy Page's performances were full of "interesting" notes. If you want perfect, you'd go and watch bands like Yes or Camel.

Maybe it's an age thing, the average age of the audience was quite old, myself in my 50's was probably one of the younger ones (it reminds me of the last time that I went to watch Santana, half way through the performance I got a tap on the shoulder and an elderly lady saying "Excuse me, excuse me, I've dropped my stick behind your seat, can you get it for me?", I just thought that's so Rock and Roll Baby) The audience were also very inanimate through out the performance.

 

Ian

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...even Jimmy Page's performances were full of "interesting" notes...

I LOL'd!

 

Yup; If you want to hear songs played exactly as they are on the record then you might be better advised to stay at home with the CD (or 33 1/3).

 

I have to say that way back when they were 'current' I saw the likes of Yes and Genesis and their performances, whilst very similar to the recordings, were anything but 'Sterile' so there must be something more to it than just replaying the same notes in the same order in the same timing with the same feel.

I suppose it might be difficult to inject a bit of BadAss Attitude into 'Peaceful, Easy Feeling', though.

 

A mate saw Zappa back in the '80s and apparently he was an utter perfectionist as far as his band's playing was concerned.

Someone played a duff note once(!) and Frank gave him the Glare of Doom!...

 

P.

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ha!

 

Got me thinking about my own point of view in how do you actually even pretend to be "Excited" to play a song you've beaten like a $20 wall mart rug for 40 years?

 

One of my projects is a classic rock cover band, and you just know, before the night is over, someone is asking for Mustang Sally... (just happened this past weekend, I thought we were going to make it through the last set with out this coming up.. but, nope.. with two songs left, there it was... -- Ah crap! so close.. soooo close..)

 

But, I digress..

 

While I can appreciate their possible disdain for playing "Desperado" for the 10 billionth time, with the price they are asking for tickets to see them, maybe they should "Try harder!"

 

/Ray

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.. with two songs left, there it was... -- Ah crap! so close.. soooo close..

 

While I can appreciate their possible disdain for playing "Desperado" for the 10 billionth time, with the price they are asking for tickets to see them, maybe they should "Try harder!"

That's too funny!

Back in my day you could substitute the word 'Freebird' for 'Mustang Sally'...

 

As far as The Eagles and 'Desperado' (I almost typed 'Desperate' - Freudian?) is concerned I give you Robert Plant in a'Rolling Stone' interview last month discussing a Led Zep reunion;

"A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that's shitty about big-time stadium rock. We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I'm not part of a jukebox!......Do you know why the Eagles said they'd reunite when 'hell freezes over,' but they did it anyway and keep touring?" he asks. "It's not because they were paid a fortune. It's not about the money. It's because they're bored. I'm not bored."

 

eusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gif

 

P.

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toss in my 2 cents worth on the matter.

I've never gotten to see them live. over the years i have heard that their performances are too perfect. never deviate from the record. exactly the same, note for note. and while i respect perfection, the bands and musicians i've grown up loving : Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Roy Buchanan, Warren Haynes, let the heat of the moment, and inspiration steer their playing. Thats the music I gravitate towards, and the musical bar I have tried to reach for 40 yrs.

Also, if anyone has watched the Eagles documentary, it's obvious that ego and greed caused Frey & Henley to give Felder the boot. Not taking anything away from Walsh, but I've always felt Felder is /was the best guitarist the Eagles ever had.

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The Eagles, while still great players, and very much technically accurate,

to their music, are...IMHO, Too Much So. I've never seen them really "break

loose" from their "formula," the way some (more exciting/interesting) bands

often do. Their shows (at least the one's I've seen) are never left to chance!

So, it is very much like listening to the Juke Box. Some people, that don't

like "surprises," don't mind that, even prefer it. But, that's not me! I like

some mystery, and adventure, in the music played "live!" Otherwise, why bother?!! [tongue]

 

But, it's not just The Eagles, either. A LOT of older bands do that, now. It seems

to be more about making tons of money, than surprising anyone. :rolleyes: Of course,

they HAVE to make a ton of money, anymore...as the "shows" are so expensive,

and elaborate, to even put on. I (really) miss the "good old days," when you

went to a concert, just to see the band! Not all the pyro, and elaborate staging.

The MUSIC was enough!! "C'est La Vie!"

 

 

CB

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..Not taking anything away from Walsh, but I've always felt Felder is /was the best guitarist the Eagles ever had.

That's a very interesting point, Karloff.

If it's the same documentary that I've seen it answered a few questions about Walsh's involvement with the Eagles that I had been wondering about since the day he joined.

 

From what I can remember the rest of the band loved the way Don Felder would construct his solos; they were meticulous, lyrical and beautiful.

What they loved about Joe Walsh, OTOH, was his ability to just rip it up on the spur of the moment.

Together, the rest thought, Felder and Walsh were a perfect example of how a 'chalk and cheese' approach could actually improve the core of the band's sound.

 

And in the docu I saw the film-maker suggested it was largely Felder's preference to return towards a more 'Country' feel that distanced him from the rest of the band.

This might be wrong, though. IDK.

 

Walsh, for his part, was asked why he joined them; after all, in his previous incarnations (with the James Gang and Barnstorm) HE was the main attraction and they were also both far more 'Rocky' bands than The Eagles were. His reply was that to start with it had been made clear to him (by Frey and Henley) that they were wanting a harder sound but more than that Walsh said that he, himself, could never write material / songs anywhere near as good as the others could write. On his own he would fizzle out quite soon but with The Eagles?...

 

P.

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Yes, I can appreciate that a band that has been around as long as the Eagles must be well and truly hacked off with playing Hotel California, and I'm sure that moving from one Hotel/Airport to another and living from a suitcase can't be a lot of fun (I know from my traveling experiences)especially as one gets older, but that's life for a multi millionaire rock star.

At one point when Glen Fry was talking to the audience (got the feeling it was the same speal every night) he mis-pronounced "Mancunian" (that's what they call the people of Manchester UK)and blamed Wikipedia!

As the ticket prices started at about £80 ($136) I think the audience has every right to hear Hotel California etc. If you call a show "The History of the Eagles" you'd kind of expect it.

 

Ian

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That's a very interesting point, Karloff.

If it's the same documentary that I've seen it answered a few questions about Walsh's involvement with the Eagles that I had been wondering about since the day he joined.

 

From what I can remember the rest of the band loved the way Don Felder would construct his solos; they were meticulous, lyrical and beautiful.

What they loved about Joe Walsh, OTOH, was his ability to just rip it up on the spur of the moment.

Together, the rest thought, Felder and Walsh were a perfect example of how a 'chalk and cheese' approach could actually improve the core of the band's sound.

 

And in the docu I saw the film-maker suggested it was largely Felder's preference to return towards a more 'Country' feel that distanced him from the rest of the band.

This might be wrong, though. IDK.

 

Walsh, for his part, was asked why he joined them; after all, in his previous incarnations (with the James Gang and Barnstorm) HE was the main attraction and they were also both far more 'Rocky' bands than The Eagles were. His reply was that to start with it had been made clear to him (by Frey and Henley) that they were wanting a harder sound but more than that Walsh said that he, himself, could never write material / songs anywhere near as good as the others could write. On his own he would fizzle out quite soon but with The Eagles?...

 

P.

 

 

great points, and i agree. Felders playing created all the signature licks of their songs. And they wanted Walsh for his "edge"

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...I think the audience has every right to hear Hotel California......If you call a show "The History of the Eagles" you'd kind of expect it....

This also brings up the 'Rock and a Hard Place' quandry;

Playing the songs 'as they are known and loved' finds them sounding stale yet If they re-structured the songs to mix it up a bit and make them fresher - as Bob Dylan used to do with his material - then the band would no doubt be slammed for not playing the 'classic' versions.

 

It's a no-win situation.

 

The poor wee lambs....lol!

 

P.

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This also brings up the 'Rock and a Hard Place' quandry;

Playing the songs 'as they are known and loved' finds them sounding stale yet If they re-structured the songs to mix it up a bit and make them fresher - as Bob Dylan used to do with his material - then the band would no doubt be slammed for not playing the 'classic' versions.

 

It's a no-win situation.

 

The poor wee lambs....lol!

 

P.

Yes Pippy, I agree, as I mentioned earlier one of the highlights was a new arrangements for Witchy Woman, which you can find on YouTube if your interested, it's worth a listen.

 

Ian

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Back in my day you could substitute the word 'Freebird' for 'Mustang Sally'...

 

 

yea I know, I've been giggin since the mid 70s Philip, so we'd hear that one too... every freaking night! Thank GOD that one finally got some "rest"

 

LOL!

 

/Ray

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I saw The Eagles in 1979 or 1980. I wouldn't bother seeing them today if they were in my backyard. (Unless they brought back Felder and Meisner (and maybe even Leadon) [biggrin]

So if they were in your backyard, you'd leave your house and let them play for the neighbors? [flapper] [flapper] [flapper]

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Kaiser ....

 

Oh, yeah on them there songs... <grin>

 

Okay, in general I think we have some difficult material here to go through - and it's "philosophy" in a sense.

 

One difference between "swing" and "jazz" is, IMHO, that when you had everybody playing off the map (actual paper notes or just memory) and it's been recorded, that's how a lot of us figure that audiences wanna hear a tune. That's "swing."

 

I remember watching Harry James playing "Sleepy Lagoon" around '67, ages after it was a hit in '42. Sounded just like the record except if you were a Harry James fan, it did swing a bit more but those guys made good records.

 

But... I think that's what a "polished" band still tries to do today. The Eagles are a good example, but so are a batch of others.

 

Oddly IMHO one heard a lotta that perspective even with "jazz." The solo somehow should be what you heard on a record, not something totally different. Still, a little more loose but... not that loose. Especially not if it's considered a "standard" by the audience.

 

Playing both rock and country for money seemed to bring a band consensus that at least the major features of the recording should be included - and the closer, the better.

 

Me... I prefer the more "off the map" perspective, loose and alive no matter what genre.

 

But then... I find myself doing some of my solo stuff almost identically to what I did with the piece 40 years ago.

 

So I guess my conclusion is you can't win for losin'.

 

m

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