Vince Gill and the Eagles Bring the Stars to Grand Ole Opry
It was a Las Vegas Fight Night atmosphere at the Grand Ole Opry on Sunday night (Oct. 29) as nearly two dozen country celebrities turned up to see the Eagles play an invitation-only show.
Few, if any, left the two-hour-long concert early, and why would they? Whenever the energy would level off for a moment the group (including Vince Gill) would lean into another hit, and another and another. "Life in the Fast Lane" was a final knockout punch before two encores served as necessary cool-downs. A subdued Opry audience rose to their feet after each of the last seven songs. Joe Walsh did the heavy lifting late, flexing guitar skills rarely seen or heard at this historic country music venue.
At this point in their career together, the Eagles are at their best when they're together. It's easy to spot flaws in Don Henley and Walsh's voices, but when Timothy B. Schmidt, Gill and the late Glenn Frey's son Deacon are added, it's an unmistakable, impenetrable wall of harmony you wish you could bottle and sell. "Seven Bridges Road" came first, and what a great choice it was. Other all-in highlights included "Take It to the Limit" (with Gill taking lead vocals), "Best of My Love" and "Those Shoes." Reba McEntire led a long list of stars in the audience.
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The versatile Henley led the concert with a certain cool showmanship that's befitting of his age. He'd switch between drums, guitar and auxiliary percussion, singing from any station. If it was a hit, the Eagles played it during a concert recorded to air on SiriusXM's Hotel California channel over Thanksgiving weekend. "Already Gone," "Somebody" and "Life's Been Good" start the ascent to the night's summit, with a powerful, equally tight five-piece horn section on Walsh's "Funk #49" and more.
After a lonesome horn introduction to "Hotel California" the band started what would become a non-seminal performance of a song fans had been calling for since the show started. "Desperado" closed, and without uttering a word the five men walked offstage to an earned and enthusiastic ovation. No one will compare the group now to the rockers they were 40 years ago, but this Opry performance was a modern instant classic.
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