Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Eagles Light

The very day the Don Henley show was announced, we bought tickets. It was at a new venue that has great sound and visibility. Sadly, my husband had an out-of-town work obligation and could not attend tonight's wonderful concert. I loved it from start to finish (Don was on 1 hr. and 45 mins.) After the first song, there was something awry on stage. Turns out that, with the air conditioning blasting and the heat outside, it was giving Don chills and he was losing his voice. So he told the audience the air had to be shut off for awhile in order to get his voice back and our money's worth. We got it and his voice progressively improved during the set.

It started with "Dirty Laundry" and his other solo hits. Then he told the story of writing "Witchy Woman" in Feb., 1971. I don't know that I had heard it live before and loved it, knowing the story behind it.  He also talked alot (hoarsely, at that point) about " Sunset Grill", apologizing to vegetarians for eating hamburgers there, made with slabs of Velveeta, by the previous owner, Joe.  The current owner rebuilt the restaurant and bought an illegal gold record (Henley's, of course).  He urged people not to eat there as it is not the real thing any more.

 My daughter fell asleep after the third song, draped across her seat and my husband's empty seat. The warm-up act had the opposite effect on her.  Henley, as I told my daughter he would probably do, did a Linda Ronstadt tribute, with a Randy Newman song from the 60's, asking the crowd to accept each other's differences of opinion with a sense of humor, while visualizing Bush and Cheney doing a soft-shoe dance. Some people left -- not sure if it was to get drinks or make a statement. That was followed by his hit about forgiveness.  Ironically, I figured it was about the same time that Howard Dean was addressing the Democratic Convention.

"Boys of Summer"  and "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" got the crowd on their feet, followed by "Life in the Fast Lane" and more Eagles songs. I held my cell phone up during "Boys of Summer" so my husband could hear part of the song that he likes best. After almost 90 minutes, they left the stage. The crowd wasn't ready; they quickly came back for the first encore of "The End of the Innocence" and one other.

As they came out for the second, and final, encore, I cried. I knew that it was the last time I would be hearing "Hotel California" and "Desperado" for a while and I was sad that it was now over.  "Desperado" was dedicated to his friend, Stevie Nicks.  There was another dedication to fellow Texan Lance Armstrong.  Don never introduced his band, because people came to see him.  I recognized two people from "The Eagles" last tour; a keyboard guy that plays when Glenn Frey sings and this exceptional guitar guy my husband had noticed, playing a two-headed bass or guitar who was spotlighted frequently during the show. 

 I whispered to my daughter during the second encore that we had heard "Hotel California"  and "Desperado" live, twice, two months apart and what a gift that was for me!  She sweetly hugged me and smiled. Then, when it was over, and Don was shaking hands with everyone in the front row, they turned the air conditioning on again.  I smiled and cried all the way to the car.  Can you guess what we listened to in the car all on the way home?