Last night I went to see the band of my Childhood - The Eagles - perform their Long Road out of Eden tour at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham City Centre. This was the fourth time I've seen them play - the first being in 1999 just a couple of weeks after they dropped Don Felder from their line-up due to 'artistic differences' with the rest of the band. Stuart Smith has stepped up to the fold, and although he still wears the 'black shirt' on stage to blend into the background, despite contributing to the compositions on their latest album.
All in all it was a fantastic gig - they balanced a few of their own classics with those of the individual band members - allowing Joe Walsh and Don Henley to bash out 'Boys of Summer' and 'He's Cool' to the wishes of the crowds. It's always an 'older' crowd at these gigs, but it was nice to see a few younger faces enjoying the concert too. The vocal harmonies were so tight, which is all the more amazing considering these guys are now getting on a bit :)
The only down side to the night was that Glen Frey has obviously got a big of a frog in his throat, and although he managed to soldier on through with a valiant attempt - he didn't hit the highs of the last few tours I've seen him do. Don't get me wrong, his voice was still hitting the notes and singing along - but it wasn't the voice of Glen Frey, but Glen Croak. I'm sure it's just a passing illness, so I hope he recovers from it soon.
One of the things I like about the Eagles is the simplicity of the tracks. Tim B. Schmidt isn't the most amazing bass player you'll ever see - but he hits the notes at the right time and puts plenty of emotion into it all. He's "the ribbon" of the group, according to Frey, "playing low and singing high".
The backing band were awesome as usual, adding plenty of brass and percussion to the eclectic mix of songs.
I'd give the concert an 8/10 - bearing in mind the last three have all cleared 9 it's still a good performance, however, those of you unfamiliar with their latest works may want to go and get the newest album to get the full enjoyment of watching them live.