Review + Live Photos
Welcome to the Hotel California.
Last night, legendary rockers the Eagles took the stage at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The performance was part of their on-going Hotel California Tour, a trek celebrating their seminal smash-hit album. The band played an incredible 3-hour set that included essentially everything an Eagles fan can dream of.
As the arena went dark, a blue neon sign emblazoned with “Hotel California” from the iconic album cover slowly descended from the rafters. Then, a hotel bellhop slowly sauntered across the stage and held up a vinyl of the masterpiece for which the tour is named. He took out the record, blew the dust off, and when the needle dropped – the curtain rose.
While it may have been subtle, the additional theatrics really set the tone for the show that was about to come.
The capacity crowd immediately got on their feet as the first few notes of Hotel California‘s title track rolled off of guitarist Joe Walsh’s fingertips. The energy in the arena was palpable. The fans knew they were in for a night in the fast lane.
They rolled through their seminal LP front to back, treating fans to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A full orchestra and choir accompanied the band, which helped realize the album’s complete potential in a live setting. The crowd was on their feet for the entire opening number “Hotel California,” and rightfully so. Vince Gill took over vocal duties for the GRAMMY® Award-winning single “New Kid In Town.”
Then, Don Henley stepped out from behind the drum kit as Joe Walsh ripped into the opening riff of the rocker “Live In The Fast Lane. The crowd jumped up out of their chairs and sang along with Henley to one of rock music’s biggest anthems. It was a highlight of the show, for sure, and the Eagles had barely started their engine.
Noteworthy moments from the album play-through included “Wasted Time” with the North East Corridor Orchestra for the Reprise, the foot-stomping rocker “Victim of Love,” and more. The final track of the set saw the band join forces with the orchestra once again plus the University of the Arts Chorus. It made for perhaps the fullest version of the song that fans had ever heard.
The set was the kind of celebration an album of this caliber deserves.
After a short break, the Eagles returned to the stage for Act II. The kicked things off with “Seven Bridges Road.” The proceeded to roll through a greatest hits set, dropping one fan favorite after the other. The even extended themselves beyond the Eagles discography. They performed Joe Walsh’s “In The City” and “Life’s Been Good,” plus a cover of the James Gang’s “Funk #49” (of which Walsh was a member).
Other highlights included “Take It Easy,” “One of These Nights,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Witchy Woman,” “Lyin’ Eyes, “Heartache Tonight,” and many more.
Although they were already 23 tracks in, the Eagles returned to the stage for a four-song encore. They began the end with another Joe Walsh hit “Rocky Mountain Way.” The elegant “Desperado” followed, then Don Henley’s nostalgic solo hit “The Boys of Summer.” They gently closed out the unforgettable evening with “Best of my Love.”
Holy smokes, what a show.
Hotel California is the third best-selling U.S. album in history, certified 26-times Platinum by the RIAA. After its release in 1976, it topped the charts and won two GRAMMY® Awards for “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California.” Several of the songs from the album have not been performed since the original Hotel California tour. The band’s Their Greatest Hits 1971-1977 is the best-selling U.S. album in history, with the RIAA certifying the collection at 38-times Platinum.
In today’s faddish, fractured rock landscape, the Eagles retain an appeal that transcends both generation and genre, cementing the band’s role as enduring musical icons. As the best-selling American band of the ’70s, and one of the top-selling acts of all time, the Eagles have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, scored six #1 albums and topped the singles charts five times. They have won six GRAMMY® Awards, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, in their first year of eligibility, and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016.
The Eagles’ Hotel California Tour rolls on through May 28, wrapping up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.