Last Friday, the Eagles' traveling rock 'n' roll history exhibit made a stop by Banker's Life Fieldhouse.
Touring in support of their most recent documentary release, simply titled History of the Eagles, the band has embarked on a world tour, giving each city a three-hour course on the Eagles' coming of age, in the form of a classic rock party.
The show unconventionally opened with Glen Frey and Don Henley gently strumming their acoustic guitars to the tune of "Saturday Night," from 1973's "Desperado." As the crowd would come to find out, the scene served as homage to the group's humble beginnings. Band members gradually joined the duo as the history lesson unfolded, including the group's original guitarist, Bernie Leadon.
Throughout the first half of their set, the Eagles alternated between storytelling and corresponding songs, sometimes personally recalling anecdotes and other times simply showing a video (presumably from the documentary) on the jumbo screens. The band played twelve songs exclusively from their first four studio releases (Eagles (1973), "Desperado," "On the Border," and "One of These Nights") before taking an intermission. While the group is up there in age, the intermission seemed a little unnecessary, especially considering Paul McCartney's break-less, 30+ song set that took place in the same stadium just over three months prior.
After returning to the stage for the second part of their set, the band seemed to stray away from the storytelling elements that they had so heavily stuck to in the show's initial hour and a half. Instead, the show evolved into a more conventional stadium rock 'n' roll experience. Sticking dominantly to tunes from 1976's Hotel California and 1979's The Long Run, the group wailed through classic rock favorites, even performing a few of Joe Walsh's solo hits. However, for any freshman enrolled in this rock 'n' roll course, Walsh's tunes would have been assumed to be part of the group's later career, considering the Eagles' abandonment of their initial storytelling, documentary-style concert structure.
For their two encores, the group performed expected hits that were obviously missing from their set, including "Hotel California," "Take It Easy," "Rocky Mountain Way," and "Desperado." While fans left with a healthy dosing of classic rock fever, historical insight on the band, which presumably seemed to be a crucial piece of this "History of the Eagles" tour, seemed partial.