Following the passing of Glen Frey in 2016, there seemed very little chance that the band would ever play live again. However following a short hiatus, The Eagles returned to live performances with Frey’s son Deacon on vocals and country legend Vince Gill on rhythm guitar and vocals.
Eagles – Live From The Forum MMXVIII (Rhino)
Release Date: 16 October 2020
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Recorded and filmed across three nights at the LA Forum in 2018, this live record sees the legendary band take flight once again to prove that their songbook is truly timeless and indeed bigger than any one member of the band.
The album begins with the gorgeous vocal harmonies of ‘Seven Bridges Road’ and its followed by a stunning ‘Take It Easy’. Sounding uncannily like his father, Deacon Frey has surely done him proud by carrying on breathing life into these much-loved songs.
Speaking of legendary voices, Don Henley’s has matured like a fine wine with age. Weather it is the heady west coast Rock of ‘One Of These Nights’ or the dreamy melancholy of his own ‘Boys Of Summer’, Henley is still sounding good even well into his 70s.
If Don Henley is the wine then surely Joe Walsh is the Tequila.
His songs have always brought a joyful and energetic insanity to prevent the rest of The Eagles getting too peaceful and easy. Walsh is still a criminally underrated songwriter, but at least he is well represented here.
A tremendous run through of ‘In The City’ is followed by the evergreen ‘Life’s Been Good’. As a special treat we even get Walsh’s own ‘Funk 49’ played complete with full horn section.
They are some of the highlights of an already stellar setlist and at just under 30 songs it’s a fine collection.
It has to be said that sonically ‘Live From the Forum’ is just fabulous, especially with a good set of headphones; all the feeling of a big arena show, without losing the energy or becoming flat.
Disk Two starts with Vince Gill singing the glorious, open road anthem ‘Already Gone’ with such sweet harmonies it is impossible not to smile and sing along.
Gill’s voice is a perfect fit for The Eagles whether it is handling the stone cold classics like ‘New Kid In Town’ or the stripped down artistry of his own solo song ‘Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away’.
The lonely horns of a spaghetti western lead us into the ‘Hotel California’.
There is a wonderfully bitter-sweet pleasure listening to this song knowing full well nobody will ever write a such an evocative and glorious Rock anthem ever again.
The only way to go from there is down the always spectacular ‘Rocky Mountain Way’.
With its gorgeous piano and angelic harmony vocals, ‘Desperado’ is still the perfect closing song and it sees the band get a well deserved standing ovation.
Rather appropriately, The Eagles return for their encore of ‘The Long Run’.
Their harmonies are still perfect and their music is truly timeless. More than anything else, ‘Live At The Forum’ is a fitting tribute to and a perfect celebration of a glorious 50 years of music and a songbook like no other.
A must listen for Eagles fans new and old alike.