Concert review: Eagles' lackluster delivery a downer

  • Article by: JON BREAM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2008 - 6:33 AM

The Eagles played a concert that could serve as a requiem for the Twins' season.

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Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh in concert at the Target Center.

Photo: David Brewster, Star Tribune

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The Eagles playing nine new songs in concert is about as likely as, say, the Twins playing 163 games during the regular season.

The famously fractured Eagles have been talking about making a new album since, oh, they reunited in 1994. Last year, after years in the studio, they finally finished their first album since 1979, the aptly titled "Long Road Out of Eden."

Similarly, it seemed like the Twins couldn't finish their season this year. Could they beat cellar-dwelling Kansas City just one more time? No, they had to go into overtime in Chicago to end the season on Tuesday.

Unaware of what was happening in Chicago, the Eagles played a concert at Target Center in Minneapolis that could well have served as a requiem for the Twins' season.

After opening with four fairly sleepy new songs, Eagles singer-songwriter Don Henley woke things up with "The Boys of Summer," his biggest solo hit. Little did the 14,500 people at the sold-out arena realize that the line "after the boys of summer are gone" described the Twins game that brought the season to a grinding halt. Even the Eagles' new "Waiting in the Weeds" felt like a Twins post-mortem with a big video screen showing a giant baseball, idle in the grass, as Henley sang "I don't know when I realized the dream was over."

While the Twins played with a relaxed urgency in a tense pitchers' duel, the Eagles played with business-like efficiency befitting their undertaker black suits. If you want a concert that recreates songs note for note, well then you probably would have dug Tuesday's three-hour marathon, complete with nine new numbers. But shouldn't a concert offer another dimension?

The 65-minute opening set was more about professionalism than passion. Thankfully, the self-deprecating Glenn Frey loosened up a bit during "Lyin' Eyes," and, of course, guitarist-singer Joe Walsh injected some much-needed energy and personality with "In the City." Then, during the ensuing "Long Run," the usually self-absorbed Henley actually reached out to Walsh, tapping him on the shoulder while singing "couldn't hold a candle to you."

The second set started with three low-key, sit-on-stool new tunes, moved into two oldies and then lost momentum with "Long Road Out of Eden," the righteous Henley's long dirge-like diatribe about politics, war and greed.

Thankfully, Walsh was on hand to let his hair down on "Walk Away," his 1971 hit from the James Gang, and "Life's Been Good," his 1978 solo smash delivered while wearing a Twins cap, a loosened tie and white shirt sleeves.

Walsh certainly showed that he knows how to play the concert game. Too bad the other Eagles didn't consistently demonstrate the energy, enthusiasm and excitement they did in 2003's excellent concert at Xcel Center. Well, at least, the band finally has new material to prove that they are in it for the long run.

For set list and fan comments, go to www.startribune.com/poplife. Jon Bream • 612-673-1719

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