Last night I had one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. After months of waiting and counting down the days, I finally got to watch the Eagles perform live in Dubai – and damn! What an awesome show it was! One could imagine that after four decades beyond when their hits were first declared hits, the Eagles would be more like ageing doves by now, but thankfully, they are still going strong and sounding better than ever before.
I have been to several great concerts in the last few years ( Celine Dion, Maroon 5, Backstreet Boys, Beyoncé, Jay Sean, Usher, Westlife and even Rakhi Sawant – don’t ask me about that last one…that’s for an entirely different blog post) but the sound of the Eagles has by far been the very best. In fact the songs weren’t just the best, they were awesome. The only thing better would have been getting to go out for some beers with them afterward.
The combination of talent in the band is unbelievable, with the force of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy Schmit. Between them they are able to compose slices of life, which the whole world can relate to. Aren’t you so grateful that Hell finally froze over?
As we were entering the arena, we could already hear the strains of Take it Easy hitting the airwaves and in about 15 seconds flat, beers in hand we were all singing along. The ambience was electrifying and the Eagles seemed determined to play note, after note, after note, after perfect note, just like they are on the original recordings.
Joe Walsh was undoubtedly the star of the show. I didn’t realize until recently, what an integral part Walsh has played in the band, directing them to move away from mellow hits like Take It Easy to the iconic Hotel California and Life in the Fast Lane. In fact all the best notes and the hypnotizing guitar solos in Hotel California are played by Walsh himself. What talent, what a voice, such an attitude – a complete maverick!
And then it finally happened, though the song started off with an air of mystery, it soon stepped into the instantly recognizable. And every one of the twenty thousand individuals there stood transfixed through the 7 minutes of sheer auditory pleasure. The only conscious thing I remember doing during the song was to turn my phone camera on in video mode. Everything else was a transcendental blur. Once Hotel California (which I believe to be even more superior to Stairway to Heaven) was done; we knew the end was near and in a fitting finale to their note-perfect performance came the most brilliant display of fireworks I have ever seen.
As the luminous lights lit up the desert sky, I stood there mesmerized realizing that I was experiencing something that will last with me forever – I was a tiny part of the Eagles musical journey!
Like my pronouncement on Hotel California being superior to Stairway to heaven, I have one concluding point to make. It has been more than forty years since the Eagles started churning out hits and album after brilliant album. And though they took a 13 year siesta here they are still playing together as masterfully as when they first began. All around us musical careers are made and broken in quick succession, artists spend a few months in the spotlight and then disappear into oblivion forever, so it is high time we give the Eagles the respect they deserve and call them the “Greatest Band still performing” and when I say that, I’m not afraid at all of any stones that may be rolling threateningly in my direction. Bring it on! The Eagles are by far The Best!