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Mon Nov 24 23:34:21 SAST 2014

Checking in at the Hotel California

Nikita Ramkissoon | 10 April, 2012 11:46
Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Timothy Schmit of the Eagles live at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, 2012.
Image by: Nikita Ramkissoon

Not many people go to concerts with their parents.

On Sunday, I did, and it was fantastic. You see, I have loved The Eagles since I was a kid, and this love is tied in with my family’s obsession with music. Memories of my parents dancing to Tequila Sunrise, and my dad playing Lyin’ Eyes on his old acoustic guitar are still powerful and fresh.

Seeing them live was a dream come true.

Armed with naught but their instruments and wit, the 40-year-old band enthralled the audience at FNB Stadium on Sunday, April 8, and rocked out more so than some young bands who recently graced the very same stage.

There was no opening act. Nobody can open for them.

From hits like Take it Easy to the ever-famous Hotel California, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy Schmit kept us spellbound for two hours in one of the best concerts I have ever been to. Not even the intermittent rain dampened anyone’s spirits as the stadium was filled with fans singing along to old favourites that marked the soundtrack so many lives.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never, ever forget. Especially that solo and those opening bars of Desperado on the piano.

Now, any Eagles fan would know that their performances are minimal. With four microphones, five guitars, two drum kits and a keyboard, the instruments and their voices were all that were needed to make this show spectacular. No fancy lights. No gimmicks. No lasers or stage antics.

Just the music and the stories from the band’s 40-year history.

You can see they’re friends, they’re close and they have been through hell freezing over and back with plenty tales to tell.

Good music knows no age and passion knows no bounds. These golden oldies are as young as ever, and their music still relevant, fresh and enduring.

It may be the only time I will ever see The Eagles perform live, and I am so glad I did.

I shed a tear as I watched these guys – pushing 60 – singing as if they were still in their 20s, transported to the days my parents fondly talk about, as if I were there myself.

They’re an institution, and have forever cemented their place in rock ‘n roll history with strong vocals and harmonies and epic guitar work. They have created memories, and once you’re a fan, there is no accepting mediocrity.

They showed us this on Sunday night. And how.

After all, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

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