FAREWELL I TOUR: LIVE FROM MELBOURNE
The Eagles are an impressive band with an amazing collection of hits that first made their presence known with their debut album in 1972. Their success was derived from creating songs that were equally at home on AM country stations as well as FM rock stations. They are one of the few bands that you could play in any city across the country and find fans of all ages.
The Eagles are now the foursome of Henley, Frey, Schmidt and Walsh. Felder was fired in 2001 and the parties have filed lawsuits against each other. On stage, the band is backed by a drummer/percussionist whose instrument selection depends on what Henley plays, two keyboard players, a horn section that also provides violin and percussion, and an outstanding guitarist named Steuart Smith who flawleesly recreates Felder’s parts.
The first thing that you notice about this DVD, which was recorded in November 2004 at the Rod Laver Arena, is that the video quality is outstanding. The picture is so vivid it appears as if you are in the front row of a small club. I’m certain it was recorded High-Definition video, but it doesn’t state it anywhere in the DVD booklet.
The concert opens with a string of six classics, but then things come to a halt when they play the only song of the set that I didn’t enjoy, Walsh’s “One Day at a Time.” It’s a serious buzz killer about his newfound sobriety. The lyrics are playful like most of Walsh’s are and I’m glad being sober works for him, but it’s not the right time. It’s great if it helps someone, but if I’m at a concert with some friends or a date and am enjoying my night out with a few cocktails, I don’t need a sermon.
The set list had a lot of solo material incorporated into it, which pleasantly surprised me because some bands try to keep their work separate. They appear to genuinely enjoy playing each other’s songs. Frey dances up a storm during Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” and Henley can be seen laughing during Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good.” Recent compositions have made their way into the set as well, the best being the 9/11-inspired “Hole in the World.”
After about an hour they take a break, returning out on stools for a segment that focuses on their ballads and acoustic sound, such as “Tequila Sunrise” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”
Disc 2 opens with the aforementioned “Life’s Been Good,” the best song ever about being a rock star. It is made even sillier as Walsh wears a helmet-cam for the audience-participation part of the concert, showing his view and putting the audience up on the video screen at the concert. Disc 2 also features more of Walsh playing lead guitar. Smith handled most of those duties on Disc 1.
The Eagles deliver a high quality performance and the concert reminds you of what talented songwriters and musicians they are. They create interesting, identifiable stories that have great melodies and amazing vocal harmonies. They still sing very well together although Henley’s range, which still sounds good, has been understandably affected by his age.
The bonus feature is an 11-minute interview of the band. They talk about how lucky and thankful they are, and they talk about how much work goes into the show in regards to rehearsing.
I recommend this DVD for fans and if you check the set list, you might discover you are one and weren’t aware of it as you repeat to yourself, “Oh, I know that song.” Portions of this concert previously appeared on NBC.