I remember the moment I learned the Eagles would be touring in Europe again. I sat on a train to Steven for the weekend and I called him up, excitedly, asking if I could arrange ‘something’ for that particular weekend in May. Surprised and curious he had said: ‘of course’. This was the third time I had heard of a tour and this time I was going to be on time for tickets, so I ordered them right there and then (thank the Dutch Railway for Wi-Fi on their trains)! VIP tickets. This is one of the reasons you put money aside. You can’t die and never have seen the Eagles live!
They would play a couple of times in the Netherlands, but Antwerp in Belgium is closer to my home than Amsterdam. (I had also seen Queen with Paul Rodgers here twice, a couple of years ago). I had copied a few Eagles albums for in the car and I sang out loud until we were On The Border. There was a bit of a traffic jam and it was a hot day, but I really did get a Peaceful Easy Feeling. The bruise on my knee from last week had grown into a huge purple ball but I wore a little black dress anyway. We arrived early and collected our tickets and goodie bags.
The one proper restaurant near the Sportpaleis venue knew how to attract customers: they played one of the Eagles’ DVDs. We had seats to this concert, as there were no standing tickets. The upside of that is that you know where you’ll be and you don’t need to hurry. So before the show started, I bought a t-shirt I had set my eyes on for a while and then we walked in. I had seen the seating plan of course. But when the guy showing us our seats kept walking closer towards the stage, my ‘fan girl’ heart skipped a beat. WE WERE ALMOST FRONT ROW. LOOK HOW CLOSE WE ARE TO THE STAGE! I AM GOING TO SEE THE EAGLES FROM THIS CLOSE.
Of course it would still take a while before the show would actually start, but that’s just details. Meanwhile we looked around in awe of how big this venue is and how it was slowly filled up with a lot of people. (I will never get used to that). There was a dad sitting in front of us with his two children and I remember thinking what a good parent he must be. Of course all these people together make a lot of noise, but we had also bought these fancy earplugs, which allow you to enjoy the music without all that noise. They’re brilliant. Steven and I could still hear each other perfectly and afterwards we didn’t have that buzz in our ears.
The Eagles were phenomenal. This is how music is made! Don and Glenn started out small, like the Eagles did back then. They really did tell the story of their history. The others joined them soon. They played all their classics; ballads and the rock ones. Joe truly is as funny as I had expected (with his camera) and isn’t Timothy so lovely?! The only very small downside was that they didn’t play The Last Resort, but there are so many favourites, I understand the choices. Maybe a real downside was the lame audience (the boys had to ASK them to clap along – I mean, come on!) But at least they didn’t watch the show through their camera screens (we were very cleverly warned not to).
It didn’t really bother me though, nor the lady next to me. We both danced in our seats and thoroughly enjoyed the gig. After all these years. Growing up hearing the Eagles on a cassette in the family car. After all the evenings mum played the Hell Freezes Over DVD. And after all the times I learned to play their Tequila Sunrise in university. At the end of the show, Glenn asked for a pen. I had one, but it took me too long to act. I just stood there, smiling. Thank you for the music, Eagles! You rock!
It took a while to get out of the parking lot. We didn’t arrive home before 2 am. But it was worth this once in a lifetime experience. Alright. Nighty night.