The Eagles Check In to Hotel California

The Eagles checked into the Hotel CaliforniaFriday and Saturday nights and played that 1976 album in its entirety at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

With the sound of wind, rain and thunder reverberating through the arena, a neon sign of the album’s logo descended from the rafters while a man in a cape walked out holding a vinyl copy of the album. As he placed it on a turntable, the band kicked off the title track.

During “Life in the Fast Lane,”Don Henley asked the audience if they were still with him, which brought a huge cheer. For the next song, “Wasted Time,” a 46-piece orchestra rose from behind the band.

A woman as a cigarette girl came out to flip the album over, and, with the orchestra, the reprise of “Wasted Time” started Side Two. The orchestra backed the band through “Pretty Maids All in a Row,” “Try and Love Again” and, with the addition of a 22-member choir from the University of Las Vegas, the album’s final song, “The Last Resort.”

After an intermission, they continued with “Seven Bridges Road,” followed by “Take It Easy” sung by Glenn Frey's son Deacon. Calling it a “quick 43 years” since the release of Hotel California, Henley said, “Thank you for your support. You have touched these crusty old veterans’ hearts.” 

Augmented by a five-piece horn section on some of the 23 songs (including encores), the second set concluded with a reprise of "Hotel California." All told, they played 32 songs over three-and-a-half hours.

Guitarist Joe Walsh plugged an upcoming JoeWalshForPresident.com page, saying it’s “time to give me the ball.”

The MGM Grand lobby had signs reading "Welcome to Hotel California" and song titles and lyrics. Even the elevator doors were wrapped. 

The late Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh once reflected on the Eagles' Hotel California album:

WELCOME TO THE HOTEL CALIFORNIASET LIST:

  1. “Hotel California”
  2. “New Kid in Town"
  3. “Life in the Fast Lane”
  4. “Wasted Time”
  5. “Wasted Time” (Reprise)
  6. “Victim of Love”
  7. “Pretty Maids All in a Row”
  8. “Try and Love Again”
  9. “The Last Resort”

SECOND SET:

  1. “Seven Bridges Road”
  2. “Take It Easy”
  3. “One of These Nights”
  4. “Take It to The Limit”
  5. “Tequila Sunrise”
  6. “Witchy Woman”
  7. “In the City”
  8. “I Can’t Tell You Why”
  9. “Lyin’ Eyes”
  10. “Best of My Love”
  11. “Peaceful Easy Feeling”
  12. “Love Will Keep Us Alive”
  13. “Walk Away”
  14. “Those Shoes”
  15. “Life’s Been Good”
  16. “Boys of Summer”
  17. “Funk 49”
  18. “Already Gone”
  19. “Heartache Tonight”

FIRST ENCORE:

  1. “Rocky Mountain Way”
  2. “Desperado”

SECOND ENCORE:

  1. “The Long Run”
  2. “Hotel California” (Reprise)

Hot Takes:

  • This production was one of the Eagles' largest. Will they take it on the road?
  • Hotel California has sold more than 26-million copies in the U.S. It was number-one on the Billboard album chart for eight weeks and produced three hit singles – the title track (number-one), "New Kid in Town" (number-one), and "Life in the Fast Lane" (number-11).
  • It was nominated for five Grammy Awards and won two –Record of the Yearfor “Hotel California” andBest Arrangement for Vocals for “New Kid in Town.”
  • Hotel California was the album on which Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon. It was also their last with bassist Randy Meisner.
  • There were talks about basing a musical on the album, but nothing has materialized.
  • A dedicated Eagles merchandise store in the hotel had lines out the door. Fans spent an average $123 per purchase.

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