Takin' It Easy

The Eagles
Earl's Court, London
June 12, 2001

Set List: Seven Bridges Road/The Long Run/New Kid In Town/Wasted Time/Peaceful Easy Feeling/Pretty Maids All In A Row/Love Will Keep Us Alive/The Boys Of Summer/Take It To The Limit/Best Of My Love/Already Gone/In The City/One Of These Nights/Hotel California/Lyin' Eyes/I Can't Tell You Why/Walk Away/Tequila Sunrise/Sunset Grill/You Belong To The City/Life's Been Good/Dirty Laundry/Funk #49/Heartache Tonight/Life In The Fast Lane/Rocky Mountain Way/All She Wants To Do Is Dance/Take It Easy/Desperado

HOW MUCH?! TICKETS AT 46.50 OR 36.50 - plus booking fee?! Twenty quid for a baseball cap?! Well, it certainly looks like the quartet of remaining Eagles are adding an extra cushioning layer to their retirement nest egg with these four London shows. Maybe the few empty spaces taught them a little humility, though one doubts it.

But you get what you pay for with pros like the Eagles, and the music on display was never less than superb. For two and a half hours, guitarists Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh, drummer Don Henley and super-cool bassist Timothy B. Schmit - plus extensive backing cast - trotted out Eagles hits and solo gems with an ease that often bordered upon the casual. Indeed, it wasn't until the second of two sets, ushered in by the timeless Hotel California, that anybody really seemed to break sweat.

Frey was his acidic self, dryly introducing Lyin' Eyes by saying: "This is about my ex-wife. She's called Plaintiff." When not being propped up by backing six-stringer Stuart [their misspelling not mine] Smith, Walsh showed touches of his old magic. Henley, who seemed to spend less time playing drums than last time, in '96, used all the experience of his many years to wring every last sob from the audience - especially during Wasted Time and the show-stopping Desperado. And Schmit, who sang like an angel on I Can't Tell You Why and Love Will Keep Us Alive, reminded us that he was there to do more than merely make up the numbers.

Rocky Mountain Way, New Kind In Town, Best Of My Love and others are all regarded as universal standards, even if you live in a trailer park in Idaho. So it's a vain hope that material for a new album that's being written during this tour will live up to those immaculate standards. But when you're legendary, you have to live with these things.

Dave Ling


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