Videos: The Eagles Honor Glenn Frey, Fleetwood Mac Break Out The Hits At Dodger Stadium
So maybe Desert Trip bit the dust, but Dad Rock Festivals are still going strong with the "Classic" series—while Classic West landed in Dodger Stadium this past weekend, Classic East (featuring the same lineup) will head to New York City in a couple weeks.
Certainly, the shows are crowd-pleasers more than anything else— a love letter to the throngs of admiring fans. You might get a smattering of New Material, but the main course is comprised of the hits. What? You want to hear Stevie Nicks' new collab with the Chainsmokers (it doesn't exist), or do you want another stirring rendition of "Gypsy"?
It was under this expectation that the acts headed into Dodger Stadium for Saturday and Sunday. There was one factor, however, that separated Classic West from the mission statement of Desert Trip—it was the memory of the late Glenn Frey, The Eagles founder who'd passed away in early 2016. As noted at Forbes, bandmate Don Henley had said shortly after Frey's passing that the Eagles would never play again now that he's gone. But it seems that Henley and the band have changed their minds a year later. In many respects, Saturday's show was an ode to Frey. This point was driven home by the fact that Frey's 23-year-old son, Deacon, filled in for his father on stage, and even sang lead on a number of Frey's hit tracks. Vince Gill was also enlisted to help fill in the gap left by Frey's absence.
"These last couple years have been pretty tough, and the only remedy for something like that is love, and I’m feeling it from you tonight," Deacon said right before "Peaceful Easy Feeling":
And here's Deacon singing lead on one of his father's best-known songs, "Take It Easy":
Of course, "Hotel California" was a highlight, and was preceded by a trumpet solo:
While The Eagles headlined the Saturday show (with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers opening), Fleetwood Mac took the reins on Sunday following sets by Journey and Earth, Wind, & Fire. The L.A. Times had a particularly unflattering take on the performance, saying the band seemed shaky and uninspired at best. "Having seen Sunday’s miserable excuse for a concert, I wish I’d been closing my eyes," said the Times. Yikes. The Times did bring up a good point by saying that the band had missed a golden opportunity by playing "Tusk" without extra horns and drummers; the band had taped the song's legendary music video in 1979 at Dodger Stadium with the USC Marching Band in tow, and it was the perfect chance to harken back to that moment.
It still stands, though, that Fleetwood Mac can do no wrong as long as they play the hits, and the hits were in abundance, including the objectively perfect "Dreams":
As well as "Don't Stop":
"The Chain" was perhaps one of the band's sharper performances of the night:
And here's "Tusk" sans marching band. The band does seem a little shaky here, and likely could have been bolstered by the energy of a live horns section:
Also, bonus round. Here's The Doobie Brothers playing "Long Train Runnin'":
And Steely Dan with a pretty slick take on "Dirty Work" (plus more trumpets!):