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Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand 20 February 2011

The Eagles, Thailand Feb 2011

The Eagles 'Greatest Hits' is the biggest selling album by any Western rock act here in Thailand. Along with the Scorpions it the the music of the Eagles that you're more than likely to hear on any night out in the land of smiles.

If I was given 100 Baht for every time I've heard a local bar band perform 'Hotel California' with broken English vocals then I would've saved enough money to buy my own personal jet to fly to this beautiful country, a place that you can checkout any time you want, but you can never leave.

It's the second time The Eagles have performed in Thailand, having last been here in 2004 and tonight is the first date of their Asian tour taking in such countries as Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Although Thailand is still listed as a Third World country, that doesn't mean that you can pick up a cut price ticket to see the country rock legends. 

Tickets in the front block next to the stage are priced at 7,500 Baht ( approx. 150, the average weekly wage for your educated Thai.) or for those like myself who have a ticket up in the gods, then that will set you back 3,000 Baht ( approx 60 , but I shouldn't complain as i actually bought the very last ticket on sale for this concert before it sold out, lucky boy indeed.).

The evening starts with Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh evenly spread out front off the stage with acoustic guitars in hand as the band give us a short burst of 'Seven Bridges Road' before rocking things up a little with 'How Long', a single from their seventh and last studio LP 'Long Road Out Of Eden'.

Surprisingly 'Hotel California' is the fourth song in. Whilst it was great to hear Don Henley perfectly sing this classic from behind his drum kit, I felt the song lacked bite being played so early.

Most of the guitar work was handled by the 'fifth' Eagles member Steuart Smith who did a fluid job throughout the evening, but I felt that such an iconic song would've of benifited being at the tail end of the set when the band could lead off the crowd and give this song some great ending improvisation just like they did back in the seventies.

The Eagles

The favourite Eagles member here in Thailand was bassist Timothy B. Schmit who was greeted with the loudest cheers of the night especially from the ladies in the house who were swooning over his youthful looks and were seducted by his self penned hit, the smooth sexy number 'I Can't Tell You Why'. Later Schmit would talk some pleasantries in fluent Thai much to the appreciation of the Bangkokians.

The harmonies of the band members is precise and flawless on songs such as 'Lyin' Eyes' delivered with such vitality, you realise why the Eagles are such a big unit in the history of rock and why so many bar bands who attempt to cover these songs never break away from performing in front of the bedroom mirror.

After a short interval the band return the way they started the evening - with acoustics in hand - to give us some recent material from the overlooked 'Long Road Out Of Eden'. The strength of songs such as 'No More Walks In The Wood' and the whimsical 'Waiting In The Weeds' were the highlights of the evening and certainly had me returning to the album once I returned back home.

The harmonies were evident again for 'Best Of My Love' the first number one hit for Eagles followed by their first million seller 'Take It To The Limit', stats proudly stated by Glenn Frey.

The set took a dip a little bit with some solo offerings from the band members that are not so well known in this country. Joe Walsh gave us some James Gang tracks, 'Walk Away' and 'Funk #49' but his solo hit 'Life's Been Good' lightened up the evening which featured some photos of his past on the big screen showing the man clowning around in numerous disguises.

Don Henley's 'Dirty Laundry' was way out of pace with the set, although having a strong lyrical content, the music was just horrible 80's MTV AOR pap.

The evening ended on a high bringing a three hour set to a climax with 'Take It Easy' and Henley out front with 'Desperado'. The Eagles are a class of their own who have rightly earned their place in the history books of rock.

Set List : Seven Bridges Road / How Long / I Don't Want To Hear Anymore / Hotel California / Peaceful Easy Feeling / I Can't Tell You Why / Witchy Woman / Lyin' Eyes / The Boys Of Summer / In The City / The Long Run / No More Walks In The Wood / Waiting In The Weeds / No More Cloudy Days / Love Will Keep Us Alive / Best Of My Love / Take It To The Limit / Long Road Out Of Eden / Walk Away / One Of These Nights / Life's Been Good / Dirty Laundry / Funk #49 / Heartache Tonight / Life In The Fast Lane .. encores .. Take It Easy / Desperado

Review and photos by Mark Taylor

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