The Eagles played their first gig since the start of the pandemic at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. The tour was originally slated to begin on Sunday, but Hurricane Henri forced them to scramble and bump it back two nights. Here’s fan-shot video of “Hotel California,” which kicked off the evening.
This is a continuation of their aborted 2020 Hotel California tour, which was derailed by the pandemic after just 10 gigs. Every night begins with a complete performance of their 1976 masterpiece. After a brief intermission, they return for a long set of hits like “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “One of These Nights,” and “I Can’t Tell You Why.” Near the end, Joe Walsh revisits his James Gang days with “Walk Away” and “Funk #49,” and Don Henley revives his 1985 solo hit “The Boys of Summer.”
Henley is the only founding member of the Eagles still in the band, although Walsh has been there since 1975, and bassist Timothy B. Schmit joined two years after that. Glenn Frey died in 2016 and the group briefly seemed like they were over, but they returned to the road the following year with Vince Gill and Frey’s son Deacon.
“It’s a little surreal for me when I’m on the drums and [Deacon is] directly in front of me; his hair and his profile are eerily reminiscent of his father’s,” Henley told the USA Today in 2020. “But it’s also been a healing thing for him and for those of us in the band who worked with his dad. Actually, he remembers our parts from the records so well that if we’ve let something slip over the years, he’ll say, ‘That’s not what you were doing on the record.’ And we go, ‘Oh, yeah. You’re right!’”
The 2021 show is virtually identical to the one they staged in 2020, but they dropped the reprise of “Hotel California” that closed out the night last year. It’s been replaced by “Best Of My Love,” which they dedicated to Don Everly and Charlie Watts.