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HomeMusicEagles - Co-op Live, Manchester, June 7 

Eagles – Co-op Live, Manchester, June 7 


For a band synonymous with California sunshine rock, overcast Manchester may seem an unlikely place for the Eagles to bow out. However, it’s here that they have chosen to play their last ever shows on British soil, as their Long Goodbye tour draws to a close.

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After a rocky start, with several of its opening shows having to be moved or postponed due to issues with the building, the Co-op Live arena is now in full swing. The Eagles are a good advert for its “exceptional acoustics”, with the band themselves remarking on the venue’s crisp sound, though its “cutting-edge visual technology” goes largely unused. There is little in the way of pomp or spectacle for these final shows. “We’re just a bunch of guys with guitars,” said Don Henley from this stage earlier on in this five-night residency. “There’ll be no fireworks, wind machines, confetti cannons or butt-wagging choreography.” 

Instead, what we get is a seasoned band running through two hours of hits with professionalism, poise and seamless delivery. To this day, Eagles’ Greatest Hits (1971–1975) remains one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, having shifted over 40 million copies. They play every track from that album tonight, except one (“Best Of My Life”). 

The harmony-heavy country shuffle of “Seven Bridges Road” opens the set, as the band – currently consisting of Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B Schmit, Vince Gill and Deacon Frey – stand in one long row across the stage as if they’re about to break into an impromptu line dance. Instead, they go straight into “Take it Easy”, its gentle flurry of acoustic guitars sliding smoothly into that infectious titular refrain. Frey – the son of late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey – takes lead vocals, as he does on many songs tonight, immediately adding a rich, warm and weighty tone to proceedings. “He’s carrying his father’s legacy like a champ,” Henley announces proudly at one point. 

A swift gear change takes place, as the band roll out the slick disco-funk strut of “One Of These Nights”. Standing united on stage with no clear frontperson, they take it in turns to lead, with Walsh’s “Witchy Woman” a propulsive chug, as his spiralling guitar lines dance around Henley’s pounding drums. 

They’ve been playing the same songs in the same order each night, so by this stage they are running through them with pristine efficiency, if occasionally coming across a little workmanlike. There’s a midpoint dip in the set around “New Kid In Town” when things begin to feel a little sluggish, but an outing of Henley’s solo hit “The Boys Of Summer” picks up the pace by bursting into 1980s stadium rock territory, via its rousing anthemic chorus. 

The band’s ode to their cocaine era, “Life In The Fast Lane”, closes the main set with an extended hard rock stomp. They soon return for an encore, powering into “Hotel California”, which has the crowd all on their feet. A final salvo of “Desperado” and “Heartache Tonight” brings things to a close with a pleasing balance of tenderness and punch. 

“We’ve been playing this music for you for 52 years now,” Henley tells the crowd. “In case we don’t see you again, I want to thank you.” While there is a strangeness in knowing these are some of the final ever performances of songs that have been omnipotent for so many decades, as the curtain finally comes down, there’s a feeling that they won’t be disappearing anytime soon.  

Setlist 
Seven Bridges Road
Take It Easy
One Of These Nights
Lyin’ Eyes
Take It to The Limit
Witchy Woman
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Tequila Sunrise
In The City
I Can’t Tell You Why
New Kid In Town
Life’s Been Good
Already Gone
The Boys Of Summer
Funk #49
Life In The Fast Lane
Encore
Hotel California
Rocky Mountain Way
Desperado
Heartache Tonight



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