Jun 11, 2010

Concert Review: The Eagles at New Madowlands Stadium (with Dixie Chicks & Keith Urban)

What a great night at the brand new Meadowlands Stadium last night. The Eagles put on an amazing show wowing the 50,000 plus, on what turned out to be a beautifal early summer night, after a brief sun shower passed through. Supported by the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban it was a 5 hour extravaganza of some great music.

THE NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM: As for the new stadium, there was really nothing there that blew me away. Upon first arrival, there were slow lines at the pay booths, which charged a hefty $25 to park. There wasn't much direction, the lanes all of a sudden merged down into only two pay booths which was causing the whole delay. There you get your first close up of the big large grey Stadium, which really is kind of ugly.
The parking situation was ridiculous at first. I arrived at 400 PM and was sent to a parking lot behind the racetrack, a long way away from the stadium. I was told there would be shuttle buses to take us over! Shuttle bus, after I paid $25, no way. I demanded out of there & had the guy stop traffic so I could leave. I left and got a better spot right near the last remnants of the original Giants Stadium. The tailgating was good, just like the old stadium. (I always felt The Meadowlands tailgaiting is the best in the New York area. In all the stadiums I have been to, it's second to only Milwaukee.) There certainly were Not enough garbage cans, and way too much construction still ongoing around the facility. It’s hard to believe they have been in the Stadium business for so many years, because it just seemed so uncoordinated.
As you walk into the stadium there are escalators that take you up into the concourse area that is very plain. There area is wide and spacious with a lot of concessions, but most of them were closed? Go figure. The interior design is nothing special, just cinder blocks & very gray. The most impressive feature was the large bar area right alongside the entrances to the seating sections.

There was a large variety of tap beers, quick efficient bar tenders & no long lines. There seemed to be a lot of bathrooms, and again no lines. Inside they certainly cut corners on the urinals. They are nothing more than plastic tubes coming out of the wall. Terrible & ugly. I was lucky enough to use the Family restroom next to the ladies room twice. No wait & had the whole thing to myself, before the women took it over during the Eagles set.
We had great seats, lower level, Section 111 Row 7, the seats were cushioned and there was ample leg room. There are large video scoreboards in each corner of the Stadium which I am sure will be great during football games. The Stadium has three tiers and the top still had a section that was under construction. The upper tier looks like it’s a long way from the field, and I am sure the upper rows views can’t be all that great.


KEITH URBAN: The shows opener was country music star Keith Urban. I was not familiar with his music, but he definitely puts on a good show. He’s somewhere between country, pop & a bit of rock & roll. The guy can sing & plays good guitar. I was surprised how much I liked his set. The highlight of his show, was when he jumped off the stage and circled the perimeter of the floor level right into the crowd. He jogged around & played guitar along the way, giving high fives to all the fans that swarmed around him. Of course he had tight security surrounding him for his protection. There was a small stage set up in the back of the floor section where he played out his next to last song, then continued his jog back to the main stage.

DIXIE CHICKS: Next on the bill was The Dixie Chicks. Putting all their past politics aside, because I believe it’s all about the music, they are fantastic live. I got into them back in 1999, when I went to Dallas, Texas. The combination of country music & hot chicks with a southern drawl kinda grows on you. I first saw the Dixie Chcks back at the height of their fame in 2000 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, and they blew me away. I did see them again a few years later & their politics did turn me off. But there was none of that last night, just great music.

The beautiful sisters Martie & Emily are talented musicians playing a variety of instruments, with fantastic harmony vocals. It’s amazing how the beautiful Martie Maguire can make playing a fiddle be so sexy. The controversial lead singer Natalie Maines came out to everyone’s surprise, sporting a crew cut. Her voice sounded great even without hair, no one can take that away from her. The Chicks backing band are also fantastic, tight & very together, as always. The Dixie Chicks are a very polished professional live act. The played a short but great set featuring the classics, Wide Open Spaces, Ready To Run, Landslide, Long Time Gone, Sin Wagon & Good Bye Earl.

THE EAGLES: The Eagles hit the stage about 9PM, opening with the acapella Seven Bridges Road, followed by a fairly new song; How Long, in the country rock style of Take it Easy. Next they get down to serious buisness, settled in to perform hit after hit, one more classic tune than the next. The combination of timeless Eagles classics, and others from their successful solo careers make for a great set list.


Musically the band is as tight and strong as ever. Whether they are playing soft country rock, ballads, or good old rock & roll, the band takes it to another level each time out. Tonight they also had a horn section behind them adding an extra feel to some of the arrangements. Vocally its amazing how all their voices still sound the same.
Don Henley was just fantastic vocally, & even though he doesn’t say anything to the crowd, he looked like he was having a great time. He spent the majority of the show playing drums & percussion, only coming to stand out in front of the microphone & play a bit of guitar on a few songs. It’s here you realize how good a drummer & musician he is. During the band intro's Glen Frey said the two were friends & partners since 1971 & Henley was the best singer/ song writer he ever worked with.

As for Frey, his vocals were just as outstanding. I don't think he gets enough credit for the good guitar player he is. Not only his rhythm & acoustic playing but his lead guitar work is also fantastic. He also sat down & played a bit of keyboards as well. The only disappointment with Frey was, that he did not play any of his solo material. He serves as the master of ceromonies, doing most of the talking. He introduced the band, and gave a brief intro to some of the songs. He still refers to his ex wife as "plantiff" which got laughs from the crowd.
Timothy B. Schmidt is a great bass player that also has a beautiful soft voice. He only sings the lead on one song “I Can’t Tell You Why", but his backing vocals are a large part of the Eagles sound.
Anytime I see the Eagles, it seems Joe Walsh always steals the show. The crowd loves his laid back, comedic approach to everything. The former ultimate party dude is clean & sober these days, but his image lives on forever. As Glen Frey said “He is familiar to law enforcement and hotel staff around the world, Never met a man he didn't like, or a room he couldn't wreck." Walsh pleases the crowd with 5 songs, two James Gang classics & two legendary solo songs as well as In The City, from the Eagles Long Run album. (Also featured in the cult movie classic, the Warriors.) Walsh isn’t just fun & games, his guitar playing is amazing. He wowed the crowd again with the electric voice box guitar part of Rocky Mountain Way during the encore.

The 5th Eagle, not an original member, is Stewart Smith, who has taken over the guitar parts of the exiled Don Felder & original member Bernie Leadon.

In closing I just want to say again, this was a great show. My favs were Lying Eyes, Life In the Fast Lane, In the City, Boys of Summer & of course Hotel California.



EAGLES SET LIST -6/10/10 - New Meadowlands Stadium:
Seven Bridges Road
How Long
Take It To The Limit
Trumpet intro/Hotel California
Peaceful Easy Feeling
I Can't Tell You Why
Witchy Woman
Lyin' Eyes
One Of These Nights
Walk Away
Boys Of Summer
In The City
The Long Run
Life's Been Good
Dirty Laundry
Funk 49
Heartache Tonight
Life In The Fast Lane

ENCORE
Take It Easy
Rocky Mountain Way
Desperado

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done. Nice clean and to the point write up.. Wife and I are headed to the show at Gillette Stadium tonight so its most kindly appreciated.