The Eagles Took It To The Limit at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

Celebrating 51 years as part of the California sound and their hit-making music, the Eagles came back to Tampa after just a year with an encore 3-hour stellar show.  Playing their iconic album, “Hotel California” in its entirety, the show opened with the “Captain” of the Hotel California putting the needle on the vinyl in a nod to 1976, when the album was released. There was patchouli and colitas rising up in the air. The Curtain drops to those classic notes of the Grammy-winning title song and the Eagles line-up.  Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit and country superstar Vince Gill filling in for his late friend Glenn Frey. Steuart Smith plays the double-neck guitar.  Vince sings lead on “New Kid in Town”.  Henley 75, in his place on the drum kit rocks it on “Life in the Fast Lane” and the audience who had been sitting down, stood up to go along on the wild ride with the famous Joe Walsh guitar riffs!


For the end of side one of the album, Don comes front stage to sing the incredible ballad “Wasted Time”, one of the Eagles most beautiful tunes.  Written by Frey and Henley, they brought in elements of R&B into the song and for this tour they brought an orchestra and choir!  Conductor Jim Ed Norman who has worked with the Eagles for most of their string arrangements on various albums including Hotel California leads the way.  Side two of the record opens with the “Wasted Time Reprise” which gives the orchestra a chance to shine.  The guitar driven “Victim of Love” with everyone on electric and Joe playing it slide rocks out.  The haunting “Pretty Maids All in a Row” with Walsh on lead vocals.  The audience was singing along to the entire album of songs.  “Try and Love Again” performed by Gill who brings his great voice to it.  For the Eagles to have a musician like Vince Gill step up to keep their music going for Glenn and the fans is a testament to the music and Gill as a fan himself.  Ending the record with “The Last Resort”, with the orchestra, is a masterpiece written by Henley and Frey.   After concluding, Don Henley said “Back in the day, albums were only about 40 minutes, I miss those days”. Henley promised to play until 11:00 pm and bring a surprise guest upon their return, after a 20-min intermission.

Musician Eagles

The second half of the show is greatest hits of both the Eagles and their solo work, too many hits to list here.  “Seven Bridges Road” with everyone on acoustic guitars opened the second half of the show.  Our surprise guest was Deacon Frey, who sang “Take It Easy”, the hit that his dad sang lead and co-wrote with Jackson Browne. As Deacon left the stage, a photo of Glenn flashed across the big screen for a heartfelt tribute to their lost bandmate.  Timothy B. Schmit performed the lead on the heart wrenching ballad “I Can’t Tell You Why” in his beautiful falsetto.   Back to back solo hits starting out with the Eagles covering Joe’s “Life’s Been Good” with hilarious instruction by Joe for audience contribution to the song.  Joe is a G.O.A.T. guitarist at 75!  Henley plays his huge hit “The Boys of Summer” that was MTV’s video of the year in 1984! The set ended with everyone in Amalie Arena singing 1979’s “Heartache Tonight” and shots of the audience on the big screen.

Returning for the encore, starting out with Joe’s classic, “Rocky Mountain Way” which is 50 this year and sounds as fresh as it did the first time I heard it on the radio in 1973!  Henley brings on the yearning ballad of “Desperado”, one of the most famous songs of the band and pop culture.  Deacon returned to the stage to sing “Already Gone”. Closing out the show, Henley stepped to the microphone to thank the audience for 51 years and asked everyone to sing together.  “Best of My Love” written by Henley, Frey and J.D. Souther was an appropriate ending for this remarkable show that went over 3 hours. Seeing some of our country’s best musicians and hearing the timeless classics of not only one generation but many to come is a great way to spend the evening! 

Eagles Website

Amalie Arena Website

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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