America, how about a dedication song from the Eagles?
Don Henley performed “The Best of My Love” for America to close the band’s “Hotel California 2023 Tour” show at the Prudential Center in Newark on Friday, April 7.
“This is a song from 1974 that I had the opportunity to write with Deacon’s father (Glenn Frey) and our friend JD Souther,” Henley said. “This is a song about a couple breaking up, but first tonight I want to dedicate this song to America and all its madness and glory. Sing with me, okay? Let’s do something together.
The packed crowd swayed and sang along to the middling country rock classic. Yes, the lyrics seem to fit the current state of the country.
“You see it your way, I see mine, but we both see it slip,” sang Henley, 75.
Henley didn’t address any politics earlier in the show, but there’s often an underlying angst in Eagles songs that suggests frustration with the state of society. Nowhere is this 1970s American breakdown more evident than in the song “Hotel California,” a hazy West Coast ode. The group performed the album in its entirety during the first episode of the show, leading off with “Hotel California.”
A mysterious captain (programmed to receive?) kicks things off by dropping the needle by putting the classic 1976 album on the record player. The band hit “Hotel California” with rich harmonies and sunset shimmering guitar leads. In his own right, legendary musician Vince Gill took over the late Frey’s vocal lead on “New Kid in Town.” It launched the original, but also found its own niche.
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The band — including guitarist Joe Walsh and bassist Timothy B. Schmidt — is complemented by touring musicians, an orchestra — which Henley calls the Northeast Corridor Orchestra — and the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir. Touring guitarist Stuart Smith was a focal point on several leads and solos.
An extensive collection of great hits following the “Hotel California” performance. Deacon Frey came out to sing two of his father’s classics, “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Sense of Ease.” He resembled his father, Glenn, who died in 2016 at the age of 67. An image of the deceased Frey appeared on concert screens after Deacon’s performance.
Walsh received audience calls during the night and it was no surprise. In the year He is a 1965 graduate of Montclair High School. It featured “Rocky Mountain Way,” the singles “Life’s Been Good” and “In the City,” as well as his James Gang classic “Funk #49.”
“I’m happy to be back here,” Walsh said. “You know what I miss? People saying, ‘Get out of here!’ I miss you.
No one in the baby boomer crowd told him to get out. Alternating between drums and guitar, Henley performed his 1984 hit single “Summer Children.”
The Eagles’ “Hotel California” concerts began in Las Vegas in 2019. The tour has one more scheduled stop, Saturday, April 8, at the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore.
“It’s good to be here,” Henley said. “It’s good to be anywhere at this stage of the game. Fifty-one years is a long time in this business, and if we don’t go through this again, I’d like to thank you all on behalf of the team, the team, and everyone here with us. Through thick and thin. Thank you very much.
Eagles Newark setlist
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for USA Today Network New Jersey. Find him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]
This article originally appeared in the Asbury Park Press: Eagles ‘Hotel California’ Newark show: review, set list