When I saw the news The Eagles were coming to town I am going to be completely honest that the first thing I thought of was The Dude from Big Lebowski saying “I hate the friggen Eagles man!” before being promptly tossed from a a cab in the classic film Big Lebowski. My immediate next thought was damn that would be a fun night of music with Jimmy Buffet and The Eagles at an outdoor concert. In that time of thinking I was too slow and didn’t get the show. Flash forward a few months and I got the word I was going to cover the show after all as another of our writers was unable to make it. My mind was blown, and would be many more times through this journey. So on a week where the Twin Cities scorched at 100+ degrees and I was working multiple weddings on photo duty I ran from a wedding reception, literally through downtown Minneapolis, got my ticket then sprinted to the stadium to take my seat. Sweat, heat exhaustion, and a chaotic commute later I will say this show was worth it and then some.
Opener Caroline Jones was the mystery of the night I was most curious about. A new name to music and known rising artist I wanted to hear what the buzz was about. Sadly the set was short but I am positive that will change as her name becomes popular. Between her playfully fun personality and her musical talent I think it’s just a matter of time. I could be going WAY out on a limb in some folk’s minds but she sounded to me very much like a female Vince Gill. Clean guitar picking play with smooth vocals and relateable lyrics the biggest difference between the two would be she’s a little more pop and the song topics more of the millennial generation. But she was a great warmup for the crowd. Barefeet and Tough Guys are the obvious crowd favorites. While Barefeet is a catchy pop sound Tough Guys got some deserved attention. With a sort of Carrie Underwood sound and sass, or maybe Miranda Lambert I can’t pick, I will enjoy seeing where she pops up next and when she’ll be back to Minneapolis next.
Sadly on this night of amazing music our photographer was not approved to cover Jimmy Buffett’s set. But for those wondering. Yes, yes he does sound and look almost the same as ever. You could close your eyes and it would be Cheeseburger in Paradise circa 1980s all over again with Florida beaches and fruity drinks. Though and opener I enjoyed the entire set from Buffett. I’ve never been a die hard fan, it wasn’t my generation sorry folks. But, he’s got a song lineup you cannot deny is fun and memorable. Which his set did a great job honoring with all the classics and a few crowd sing alongs. What stood out to me was the casual air of his set. Not casual as in low effort, but it made Target Field feel like someone’s sizable backyard where friends had set up a stage to play some music.
The tropical get up of the Parrotheads (as Buffett’s fans call themselves) that made downtown Minneapolis look like Honolulu for an afternoon. It certainly felt appropriate for the weather, and their sunny attitudes convinced the predicted rain to hold off until the next morning. But the visual aid in identifying his fans made one thing perfectly clear – Target Field concerts have an economic impact that goes well beyond the stadium’s walls. Music lovers had traveled from all over Minnesota and other states, they stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants and turned what would be a quiet Saturday downtown into a busy one.
However, what I was there to see and what we are here to discuss is the one and only, or 5, Eagles. With a few additions to their band lineup they brought the energy, noise, and memories to Target Field. Songs which I acknowledge I hadn’t heard or remembered being Eagle’s originals all came rushing back to me from song one. Now, when you do something often enough it tends to lose it’s magic at times. In my case concerts have their ups and down so there’s shows where I leave feeling less thrilled than a trip to the grocery store. But from the moment I entered the stadium this was different. You truly can feel the energy of fans at some shows and it is infectious. So the moment I was in my seat and the stadium went dark to announce The Eagles were beginning things shifted up a gear.
The lights went dim, the announcer asked for phones to be shut off, and then we waited. Suddenly 5 lights fired up and lit the band’s front men and they started an acapella intro to Seven Bridges Road. Now that may sound like oh hum, but when you have an iconic sound like the voice of this band you are setting the mood for the night by doing a harmonizing start to the show. And the message was immediately received by all 41,182 fans in attendance as the band got rolling.
The band rocked through the start of their show as they warmed of the crowd with some tunes such as Take it Easy and Take it to the Limit A couple of songs I never fawned over but found more intrigue with after hearing them live. During the first run of songs is when I had my mind blown for the second and third time. A question mark on my mind was, who the hell is this guy in the band wearing a Twins jersey? Does he think he’s local and cool now with that? And then I was put in my place, hard. It was none other than Deacon Frey, son of the late Glenn Frey. Deacon knows Minnesota well and immediately spoke of his memories fishing on Lake Mille Lacs. Ok Deacon, I apologize and bend the knee.
After my ego and cynical self was taught a lesson I got the third mind blower. They introduced the rest of the band and casually, har har, introduced none other than Vince Gill. A legend of his own, just playing along with one of the biggest rock bands ever. My family was in the crowd and knows Vince’s music well and loves him so I immediately texted them saying . OH.MY. GOD!. And they responded in kind saying YESSSS!!!. Vince wouldn’t ever be my pinch hitter for The Eagles if I was given that task for who knows what reason. But my god was he the right pick. The man has the voice to hit all the songs the band has and fits right in with the guys personality. Truly a gift ontop of an already great show.
Frankly I could go on for another 1000 words about this show, probably because they played for an estimated 2 hours and 22 minutes. But I’ll keep the song picks brief. All your favorites? They played them. And they were amazing. Including when the band said “you kids, this next one your parents LOVED back in the day” and they went right into Life’s Been Good. My god they rocked that song, the opening riff as amazing as the first I had heard it on cassette. Of their entire show I gotta my favorites still stand out as Life’s Been Good, Already Gone, Take it Easy, and Funk 42. The brass section on Funk 42 was down right nasty and I did not expect that when I got to this show.
Final thoughts. I am sorry Lebowski aka The Dude aka Jeff Jeff Bridges, you’re wrong to hate the Eagles. 41,000 fans and myself agreed on one thing last night: The Eagles still have IT and rocked the whole show at Target Field. I wish they’d live another 70 years for me to see them with my own family and friends for nostalgia. But I will take the memories and experience from this show with me always. Mind forever blown.