The Eagles, venerable avatars of '70s West Coast country rock, roll on -- the latest leg of their tour will come to North Carolina, although not the Triangle. They play Greensboro Coliseum on Jan. 17. The Eagles last played the Triangle in 2005 at Raleigh's RBC Center.
The ticket pre-sale starts Friday, with the regular public on-sale date set for Nov. 14 at the usual places. Prices are to be announced, but here's a guess: Not cheap. At all.
Now that triple-digit prices are common for big shows, it's almost quaint to remember that the Eagles were the first act to push the $100 price threshold for concerts in the Triangle. In 1994, their first reunion tour came to Walnut Creek and reserved tickets cost a previously unheard-of $97 (which comes to $139.81 in 2008 dollars). Below are a couple of stories that ran about the Eagles at the time, including the concert review.
Take 'em to the cleaners one more time
By Scott Huler and David Menconi, News & Observer
May 9, 1994
My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things.
The Eagles are playing Walnut Creek Aug. 18 and 19. All reserved seats cost $97 a pop.
That's the Eagles. As in, last album: 1980. Last studio album: 1979. Last hit: "Heartache Tonight," 1980.
Ninety-seven bucks a pop.
If your life is characterized by even the tiniest fragment of soul, you have to be thinking of better ways to spend the $200 or so it would take for you and a friend to get a couple of seats on the back row of the reserved section.
Here are some suggestions.
FUN WITH MATH
Last year, Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey played at Walnut Creek's annual rib cookoff -- admission: $5. Don Henley played the Creek, too, for a pretty standard $22.
If Walsh, Frey and Henley were worth a total of $27, that means that this year you're paying $70 for the addition of Timothy B. Schmit and Don Felder.
That means the two guys who weren't even original Eagles cost more apiece than co-founders Henley and Frey put together.
And they say inflation is under control.
GET OUT OF HERE
According to a nice lady at Maupin Travel, you can go a variety of places for around $194. She provided the following prices:
Any number of B&Bs in Charleston, S.C., cost less than $100 a night. Add a great dinner and you're still under $194.
At Asheville's famous Grove Park Inn, rooms start at $100 a night.
You can fly to Atlanta from RDU for $99 per person. If you're willing to drive to Greensboro first, you can fly round-trip to Atlanta for $79 or New York City for $99. If you'd rather get to New York City on your own, you can go to see "Beauty and the Beast," the biggest show of this season, for $65 a person. And still have enough money for a pretty nice dinner.
A night at Chapel Hill's Fearrington House, including breakfast and afternoon tea, is less than $160. They promise not to play any Eagles songs.
Forty-seven tete-a-tete lunches at Taco Bell (two tacos and a medium soda apiece).
At $3 an hour in the Green Room in Durham, a couple could play pool for about 64 hours for $194.
At Raleigh's Western Lanes, bowling is $2.25 a game. A couple could bowl 42 games, rent shoes, and still have enough change left for sodas and chips.
THE BIG PICTURE
Ark Shelter: "$97 could house and feed and provide services for 10 people for one night," according to Anne Burke, of the Urban Ministries of Raleigh.
The Open Door Clinic: "We could diagnose, treat and provide medication for four sick indigent people," Burke said.
THE WHOLE DEAL
Maybe it would be better for all 20,000 people attending a night of the show to get together, pool the $1.25 million they were going to spend on Eagles tickets, and entertain themselves.
If they did, The Catering Works in Raleigh came up with this alternative party for the same cost:
A three-part bash features themes of New York City, Texas and Carolina.
At the New York party, take free carriage rides while you dance among the ice sculptures to a top jazz band.
There's beef tenderloin, every kind of cheese and fruit you can imagine, and crab and brie in filo, mushroom caps, and shrimp cocktail being served by waiters. Of course an open bar serves up all the martinis, wine and imported beer you'd care to drink.
The Texas party is equally plush, with a saddle and wagon wheel theme and hayrides. The Carolina party focuses on beach music, flowers, dancing among the tiki torches to a steel drum band, and daiquiries and beer to wash down the tempura, crab and salmon.
The party starts at 8 p.m., and at 10:30 the walls come down, allowing guests to mix. At 11 there are fireworks and drawings for free weekend trips to New York, Dallas and the Bahamas.
At midnight you have to go home, but The Catering Works figures there'll still be enough left to donate a dollar of each ticket to charity.
Then again, you could always sit on the lawn at the Creek, buy their overpriced beer and hear "Peaceful Easy Feeling."
IF IT'S EAGLES YOU'RE LOOKING FOR
The North Carolina Zoo's adopt-an-animal program gives you the opportunity to provide the money to feed and care for all kinds of animals. Turns out that $194 will keep a golden eagle in yummy gray mice and fresh sticks for the aerie for 141.62 days -- a little less than five months.
IF IT'S MUSIC YOU WANT
That $194 could get you in to see more than one concert. In the last four months, you and your date could have seen the following musicians, with change left over.
Counting Crows and Cracker -- $9
Arrested Development -- $16
Tony Bennett -- $24.75
Pinchas Zukerman and the N.C. Symphony -- $18
James Brown -- $23.50
FOR $97 WILL THEY AT LEAST EXPLAIN THIS?
"They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast."
Eagles serve up nostalgia, note by note
By David Menconi, News & Observer
Aug. 20, 1994
RALEIGH -- Ever since word got out that reserved seats for the Eagles would cost $97, the Triangle has been buzzing with one question: Would the show be worth it?
An almost triple-digit price tag is uncharted territory for a rock concert, a new gold standard. What could any band possibly do to justify that?
Well, if you're the Eagles, you just show up and play them hits (with great competence, of course). That's precisely what they did Thursday, the band's first of two nights at Walnut Creek.
Most of the near-soldout crowd seemed delighted with the transaction. At 28 songs and almost three hours, it came out to about $3.46 per song for the folks with high-end tickets.
That's expensive nostalgia, and this lineup isn't technically the "original" version of the Eagles. But the lineup of drummer Don Henley, bassist Timothy B. Schmit and guitarists Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Joe Walsh is the ones most fans remember because of its association with that holy grail of classic rock radio, "Hotel California."
They started out as if they were going to play that entire album from groove to groove, drawing the show's first five songs from it. "Victim of Love," "New Kid in Town" and the title track were predictable enough, but they also threw in unexpected "Hotel California" obscurities like "Wasted Time" and "Pretty Maids All in a Row."
The latter song featured a lead vocal by Walsh, who got a surprising amount of spotlight time, given the fact that he was basically a hired gun sideman for most of his tenure in the Eagles. For some reason, Frey had apparently been appointed the go-between interpreter between Walsh and the crowd, and did most of Walsh's song introductions for him.
Walsh looked ravaged, as if he needed the help. He still plays a mean guitar -- after all these years, the pounding guitar and drums workout on "Funk #49" remains an astonishing piece of music. But his renditions of forgettable solo songs like "Ordinary Average Guy" and "Help Me Thru the Night" were somewhere between pointless and embarrassing.
Mugging for the cameras and wearing a goofy hat made of balloons, Walsh carried on like a man operating with more strings on his guitar than brain cells in his head. He did, however, appear to be the one guy who was having fun up there the whole time.
Onstage fun was in short supply during the Eagles oldies. They played those songs in postures of grim concentration, because that was the show's crunch time. Overkill airplay of songs like "Already Gone," "Desperado" and "Take It Easy" (all three of which were withheld until the second encore) have left them so ossified that they have to be rendered exactly as they were originally recorded. The crowd would settle for nothing less.
That was hard enough on the vocalists. Henley seemed to be in an especially dour mood, but his voice was fine and could still hit that falsetto on "One of These Nights." Frey looked and sounded tired (probably due to an emergency overnight trip to Detroit, to be with his mother after heart surgery), but managed credible renditions of "Lyin' Eyes" and "Heartache Tonight." And on "I Can't Tell You Why," Schmit sounded like it was still 1979.
But the weight of memory was hardest of all on primary lead guitarist Felder. He had the daunting task of precisely replicating all those well-known Eagles guitar leads, note for note and tone for tone. The fact that Felder was up to it reminded everyone that his guitar-playing was a key (and frequently overlooked) ingredient of the band's original sound.
Everyone was looser during the set's solo turns. Without the pressure of being THE EAGLES, they could lighten up and just be a backup band (albeit a hell of an expensive one).
As the Sting figure of the Eagles, Henley has had the best and biggest solo hits. "The Heart of the Matter," "Dirty Laundry" (with a great Walsh solo, his best of the night) and "The Boys of Summer" earned the best responses of any of the solo songs.
Unfortunately, we also got Frey's "Smuggler's Blues" (a song whose main claim to fame is that it inspired a "Miami Vice" episode), and "You Belong to the Pepsi" (er, "City").
Frey told the crowd that this tour is a "resumption" rather than a "reunion," and they did trot out a couple of new numbers. The best was another Henley song, "Get Over It," which opened the first encore. Henley introduced it as "an anti-politically correct song about the age we live in -- the age of whining."
It was quite funny, with a chorus perfect for yelling along. The crowd did just that, adding 20,000-part vocal harmonies.
A free bonus.