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The Eagles, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas, October 11, 2013, Reviewed

sleepy time, boys

I am the wrong person to review an Eagles concert because I absolutely hate them. I hate their somnambulistic country/rock hybrid, which is neither country nor rock. I hate their combination of well-crafted, uninspired studio “perfectionism” and the insufferable conceit of ego monsters Henley and Frey. This is a unit that started recording over four decades ago and has maybe ten passable to good songs, yet they continue to parade their solipsism as though they are eternally relevant. I hate that they even make cocaine seem like a boring drug.

They are currently performing on the “History of the Eagles” tour, which reads better on a t-shirt than “The Endless Evening of Self-Congratulation.” Packing 20,000 middle-aged white people (who looked like they stumbled in from an Amway convention) into an arena built for professional basketball, the Eagles spent the evening discussing their history from the stage and on pre-taped segments. They performed almost thirty songs in a show that lasted over three hours. I wasn’t sure if I was watching a concert or serving a sentence.

The first set of music started with Henley and Frey performing an acoustic version of “Saturday Night,” which sadly wasn’t the Bay City Rollers song. Original lead guitarist Bernie Leadon made it a trio for “Train Leaves Here This Morning,” then Timothy B. Schmidt came out for “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Eventually, the stage would be filled with not only the Eagles, but included six additional musicians on keyboards, percussion, piano, and guitar. Joe Walsh was handcuffed for most of the evening as Stuart Small spent the evening performing the Don Henley guitar parts.

Whether you enjoy an Eagles concert would solely depend on your enjoyment of their catalogue, since their primary goal is to replicate their studio work. Visually, despite a video screen behind the performers, they make a bowl of oatmeal look like the Las Vegas strip. I don’t know why a fan wouldn’t just stay at home and listen to their Greatest Hits album. It’s cheaper and the bathroom lines are shorter. The only thing you would miss is Glen Frey’s constant blathering about how great they are.

If you don’t play into the fantasy that the Eagles are an important band, you are basically stuck listening terminal sets of mid-tempo dross that only ends when they give Joe Walsh a chance to take center stage. Even the original studio version of “Funk #49” had ten times the energy than the live performance, which must mean that the James Gang had a competent rock rhythm section.

Look, I’d write more about this soulless celebration of self-importance (you want to know that my notes include that Henley sounded like a “castrated dolphin,”), but it’s not worth anyone’s energy. I’m not checking into the hotel California, I don’t care about the new kid in town, and I’m perfectly happy eating lunch all by myself. The fact that the Eagles can make as much money as they want by trotting out this uninspired drivel might be the best performance art joke in the history of popular music.

Grade – D+

First Set:

Saturday Night

Train Leaves Here This Morning

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Witchy Woman


Tequila Sunrise

Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (Reprise)

Already Gone

Best of My Love

Lyin’ Eyes

One of These Nights

Take it to the Limit

Set Two

Wasted Time (Reprise)

Pretty Maids in a Row

I Can’t Tell You Why

New Kid in Town

Love Will Keep Us Alive

Heartache Tonight

Those Shoes

In the City

Life’s Been Good

The Long Run

Funk #49

Life in the Fast Lane


Hotel California

Take it Easy

Rocky Mountain Way


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