It was another night of hits and good times at The Joint last Friday, as Eagles front-man Don Henley brought his solo project to town. Henley, backed by a six-piece band and, occasionally, a seven-piece horn section immediately jumped to the hits and didn’t look back for nearly two hours.
As the band walked onto the stage, the audience roared approval of the opening of “Dirty Laundry.” Henley at center stage dove in, pulling off a perfect rendition of his biggest hit, which he called his “valentine to the tabloid media.” Following “Sunset Grill,” Henley took a moment to greet the crowd, saying it was good to be back before adding that he has some good friends from the area.
“It’s good to be here, good to have a job in this economy, here is a song about that,” he said before moving on to “New York Minute.”
There wouldn’t be a whole lot of flash to the set, aside from the horn section adding a little extra kick to some of the tunes, but Henley was definitely on his game. He was as close to perfect as an artist can be when playing live. He also wasn’t afraid to mix things up a little, as he included covers of “It Don’t Matter to the Sun,” by Garth Brooks, using just a piano and bass guitar to keep time, and Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
“This one is from your own Garth Brooks from back when he was playing that other guy,” Henley said of “It Don’t Matter to the Sun,” adding that he would like to include it on a country album he is planning. He went on to claim that an R&B album would follow his country album, before covering Eric Hutchinson’s “You Don’t Have to Believe Me.”
The song brought the entire band to life, and featured a funk sound that Henley pulled off well. “He’s a very polite young man,” Henley said of Hutchinson, adding “When he heard I was playing his song, he sent me a thank you note.”
Apparently having bitten by the funk bug, Henley and gang followed up with a cover of Kool and the Gang’s “Funky Stuff.” Following the brief trek across genres, Henley came back to his roots, playing “Boys of Summer,” and “All She Wants to Do is Dance,” before the crowd jumped on their feet as he finished with “Life In the Fast Lane.”
Don Henley photo gallery
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Following a nice ovation, Henley returned to the stage and finished off with two more Eagles songs. The crowd again voiced it’s pleasure when Henley went through smash hit “Hotel California.” A deafening silence then fell over the crowd as he finished with “Desperado.”
Having not known exactly what to expect going into this show, I walked out knowing that I had seen a masterful performance by Henley. The 64 year-old looked great, and sounded fantastic. There is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to be a great draw for years to come.