The Eagles and Dixie Chicks Play Big League Country-Rock at Busch Stadium
Both the Eagles and the Dixie Chicks have a history of toeing the line between goes-down-easy mass appeal
and piss-off-your-demo politics, and the bird-named bill made even more sense after seeing the bands back-to-back.
The Dixie Chicks, too, has melded country, bluegrass, rock and pop for years -- they covered both Bob
Dylan and Train last night -- and, if the band was ever outside the snug embrace of mainstream approval, well, it's back now.
As the sun laser-cut down the first base line, the Chicks kicked into 1998's "Wide Open Spaces" to a mostly-full stadium.
Lead singer Natalie Maines, sporting a close-cropped "pixie chick" haircut, sounded strong as ever throughout the set, her
unique voice alternatively ringing out, leaping and breaking in just the right places. All the elements were in place during
a hit-laden set spanning its career: Emily Robison's sweet banjo, Martie Maguire's nimble fiddle, Maines' spunky snarl. The
biggest hoots went up for won't-back-down anthem "Not Ready to Make Nice" and "Sin Wagon" - which includes the once-controversial
lyric "mattress dancing" - proving that any past perceived sins are indeed forgiven.
Appropriately enough for the venue home to a Cardinals lineup, the Eagles' set was a long string of hits.
With the four members - Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh - standing at the front of the stage, the
show started with the signature a cappella harmonies of "Seven Bridges Road," which was enough to raise neck hairs on a St.
Louis summer night. The Eagles spurred directly into country testifier "How Long" off 2007's Long Road Out of Eden;
meanwhile the beer vendors whispered warnings of "last call." It was 8:54 p.m. - for thirsty upper-deck dwellers, it was time
to take it to the limit.
The mostly middle-aged crowd around me perched comfortably in the hard-backs for the show's duration, but
their seat-dancing, hand-waving and singing along were emphatic. When a Spanish trumpet sounded before the fourth song, audience
members cried, "They wouldn't play it this early, would they?!" Sure enough - curveball! - Henley behind the drums boom-boomed
into "Hotel California."
Each of the members took turns on lead vocals and in taking command othe stage, as the set paid homage to
the members' solo careers, as when Schmit laid down a Bee Gees-style cushion of falsetto on "I Can't Tell You Why." (They
did not play Frey's "The Heat Is On," but the H was definitely O.) The solo hits might even have gotten the most audible thrill
from the audience - especially on Henley's '80s-era staple "Boys of Summer" and Walsh's comic "Life's Been Good," during which
he updated the lyric to "they send me emails, tell me I'm great."
In fact, most anything that Walsh did was greeted with raucous approval, and whether tightly strumming his
guitar or beaming his beloved nasal whine to the back of home plate, he did sound great. They all did. Vocal chords and musicianship
intact after nearly 40 years of rock stardom, excess, in-fighting, break-ups and reunions? Somehow, the Eagles did it, and
emerged as consummate professionals.
While banter with the crowd was limited and with each other nonexistent, Frey did extend nods to our local
consummate professionals: "We probably drank more Budweiser than any other band in 35 years," he said, and "We're in Albert
While no errors were committed during the course of the show, there were also no out-of-the-park home runs.
Walsh funked things up as usual, but the set list didn't deviate from the rest of their tour stops by even one song, and the
band could have pushed the songs further by tripping out the guitar work or adding a vocal surprise. Eagles fans will let
them spread their egos' wings and indulge - the crowd already paid $85 to sit on the other side of a city block to hear them
From basically any seat in the house, other than the first twenty rows of the center field "floor,"
it would be easy to feel disconnected from the performers and the magic you're certain is happening onstage. The crowd out
where I was made the most of its surroundings: strangers shared seats, favorites and song-specific memories and dancing people
became best buds with the row behind them, even if their shaking asses blocked the view of the tiny dotted figures under the
lights. By the time the crowd swooned, swayed and wiped away tears during show-closer "Desperado," the music we love had simply
become part of the night and its celebration.
Eagles and Dixie Chicks nest in Busch Stadium as Red Birds visit Blue Jays
by Greg Geary/ Little Rock Headlines Examiner
While the St. Louis Cardinals were on the road playing the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Eagles and
Dixie Chicks were double billing at home in the outfield of Busch Stadium Thursday night.
"We're the Dixie Chicks and we're going to entertain you," said lead singer Natalie Maines.
The ladies took flight with "Wide Open Spaces." Three video screens made everyone have a good seat.
"Truth No. 2," "The Long Way," "Landslide," "Sin Wagon" and "Mississippi," a Bob Dylan cover, were
all well done.
Following "Cowboy Take Me Away," Maines grabbed a camera and mentioned that "Katie was supposed
to be here tonight but she had to go to the hospital today." Katie, she told the audience was supposed to be having
her wish granted tonight from Make A Wish. Maines had the entire crowd say "Hi Katie," as she took a picture.
A surprise came when they offered their version of Train's " Hey Soul Sister." "Long Time
Gone," "Not ready to Make Nice" and "Ready to Run," were all well received. "Goodbye Earl," rounded off their set.
The Eagles opened with "Seven Bridges Road." "How Long" and "Take it To the Limit," followed.
While the left and right video screens flashed back and forth from individual to collective shots of the band, the larger
middle screen was used to set the theme of the particular song being played. The "Hotel California" image seemed to
captivate the crowd, as gasps were heard as the vision came up. "Peaceful Easy Feeling," and "I Can't Tell You
Why "mellowed the crowd before the musical spell of "Witchy Woman" took hold of the masses.
"Lyin' Eyes," "One of These Nights," "Walk Away," "Boys of Summer," and "In the City," were next
in the rock and roll litney. Some awesome shots of big city bridges were portrayed on the big screen.
Before launching into "The "Long Run," Don Henley reminded everyone that the Eagles will celebrate
40 years together next year.
Joe Walsh, who was introduced as the one "known to law enforcement all around the world," had fun
with the crowd before performing "Life's Been Good." "Here's a song from the last century you might remember, I hope
During "Dirty Laundry," the middle screen showed a barrage of news people and personalities, including
Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Geraldo, Jerry Springer, complete with a chair throwing match, and more. Headlines
and magazines flashed on the screen, featuring the scoop or dirty laundry as the singers called it. "Funk #49" electrified
the set. "Heartache Tonight," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Take it Easy," "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Desparado" were weaved
Glenn Frey said it was great to be playing in Albert Pujols' house. He also noted that the
Eagles have had more Budweiser than any other band in the last 35 years. Oh yeah, those other birds lost to the Blue Jays
tonight but I think it's safe to say the flock gathered at their home nest was happy with a winning lineup.
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