Eagles Live at Portland’s Moda Center – Anytime I catch an area show or a gig at a shed; I must venture around the back of the venue to see what kind of production is in store for the night. The Eagles who were supposed to perform at The Moda Center in The Rose City on May 5th, 2018, rescheduled to show to May 22nd due to Don Henley taken ill. The show at The Moda was a massive production, the band hauled their stage set, their gear and the rest of their visuals in 14 tractor trailers. One can’t help but salivate and await admission into the venue to witness the kind of spectacle that The Eagles had in store for fans in Portland.
The Eagles brought along openers JD and The Straight Shot which was a somewhat of strange choice, they could have brought on a new, young country rock act. The leader of the band [JD] looked to be as old as some of the guys in The Eagles. They performed music that was a cross between country, Americana music and blues. They were received relatively well by the folks that had made their way into the venue by they hit the stage. It wasn’t until later that night, I found out that ‘JD’ is James L. Dolan is the CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation and the Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden Corporation. I’m intrigued by this vanity project and if this was a ‘buy on.’
In full disclosure, I’m not an Eagles fan, I’m familiar with the classic material because I’ve heard it during my teenage years and of course if you were raised on classic rock radio; like Portland’s KGON how could you not be familiar with “Desperado,” “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” or “Hotel California?” Those songs are staples in rock radio, still to this day. I would have never guessed I’d be catching The Eagles in 2018, because I’m a casual fan at best, but also because there’s an integral piece of the puzzle missing—Glenn Frey.
Who would have thought that The Eagles would have pressed forward without Glenn Frey who passed unexpectedly in 2016? While one might immediately think that The Eagles did this tour for the money? Well, money is money, as mentioned previously The Eagles are staple in classic rock radio due to their catalog. The songs are beloved by generations of people and frankly, The Eagles transcend genres. I don’t have to tell you about their music and their legacy. The reality is had the fans not supported it, this tour would have not happened and it would not be doing the kind of business that it’s doing. Judging by the capacity audience [on a Tuesday night] at The Moda and the obscenely priced t-shirts flying off the merch tables; seems like the people have spoken.
The Eagles recruited country artist Vince Gill and Glenn’s son Deacon Frey to sit in in his absence. Deacon Frey, is a dead ringer for a Glenn Frey in his mid-20s. Deacon took over the vocal duties on “Take It Easy,” “How Long,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone.” The response from the audience was
incredibly encouraging and supportive. I imagine this was an incredible weight on the young Frey’s shoulders but he handled it with ease. Gill tackled classics like; “Take It To The Limit,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight,” Gill made this look effortless, of course it’s not. The Eagles managed to squeeze in one of Gill’s originals “Next Big Thing” into their 2 ½ hour set.
While, I hadn’t caught The Eagles leading to this show, the way that Gill and the young Frey fit into the performance gave the vibe that they had been there all along. I later asked a couple of die-hards on the way out of The Moda if the new additions were as seamless it appeared to my eyes and ears. The two responded in unison, “Fuck yeah, dude!” Now, perhaps they were the wrong people to ask since they clearly had indulged in an adult beverage or five. However, for a gig that was rescheduled from a Saturday two weeks prior to a Tuesday night, the place was poppin’ and there were nothing but smiles as people ran for the exits. The highlights of the show were; “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “Hotel California,” “Heartache Tonight” “Funk #49,” and “Rocky Mountain Way.” I’m a sucker for anything Joe Walsh and it’s great that he is performing at the best of his abilities. Don Henley’s voice declined a little bit, it was hard to say if he was still on the mend from the illness that he was battling which lead to the initial date of May 5th being postponed. I hope it’s that or perhaps it’s wear and tear from a lengthy tour on the elder statesman of rock. Having said that, collectively this band is loaded vocally. I was overwhelmed by the length of the set, as a casual fan. 90 minutes of this would have been equally as good if not better, but what a night regardless.
Follow the Eagles Online: https://eagles.com
Follow JD & the Straight Shot Online: https://www.jdandthestraightshot.com