With the release of Don Henley’s first solo album in 15 years, fans have had mixed feelings on his change to country music. His new Cass County album that was released on September 25th contains a lot of country music, but many of the songs he does on his new album tie back to his Texas roots, which he talks about during his show as each new song is introduced and he provides the history behind it. It’s still his familiar signature voice and style that fans love, and he showcases his solo career and versatility quite well during the show.
To accompany him on stage, he brought an eight piece band with him which included Eagles guitarist Steuart Smith, three very talented female background singers as well as a full five piece horn section which appeared on and off throughout the concert.
At 68 years old, he sounded great, and his voice is for sure standing the test of time very well. Fans are used to the harmony vocals typically performed when Henley tours with the Eagles, and the concert opened with the entire band performing "Seven Bridges" in harmony. The setlist was great, and Henley mixed it up well, performing his new music as well as music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
As co-founder of one of the biggest bands of all-time, the Eagles, Henley still knows how to please the crowd, something which he stated, was very important to him as he introduces his new country songs to his fans.
The nearly 2 and a half hour setlist included (in this order):
Seven Bridges Road (Steve Young cover)
No, Thank You
The End of the Innocence
Praying for Rain
That Old Flame
The Heart of the Matter
She Sang Hymns Out of Tune
I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover)
Let's Burn Down the Cornfield (Randy Newman cover)
Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
New York Minute
Take a Picture of This
Words Can Break Your Heart
The Last Worthless Evening
When I Stop Dreaming
The Cost of Living
Bramble Rose (Tift Merritt cover)
It Don't Matter to the Sun (Garth Brooks cover)
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears cover)
Where I Am Now
The Boys of Summer
Train in the Distance
All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Henley also lets everyone know he intends to put up with absolutely no shit during his shows. As he was introducing Eagles guitarist Steuart Smith, one fan in the front row shouted something which annoyed Henley. Although not entirely audible from further back, a good guess is that it most likely had something to do with former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who was fired from the band many years ago, and was replaced by Steuart. Henley motioned to security and stated, "Get this guy the fuck out of here and give him a full refund." The band introductions continued with Don saying as a parent of teenagers he usually does well with patience, but in this case, he tolerated nothing more from the obnoxious fan. The show went on with standing ovations following the encore.
Henley also wished a happy birthday to his fellow Eagles co-founder, Glenn Frey, now 66 years old, who by the way is currently dealing with a recurrence of previous intestinal issues and is facing major surgery and a long recovery ahead. The Eagles were scheduled to be recognized during the Kennedy Center Honors on December 6, 2015 for a lifetime of work. That portion of the ceremony has now been delayed until 2016. The Eagles have stated that Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt plan to attend next year.
The crowd was rockin’ during the entire show (including during the new country songs), and as for fan reactions to the new songs and a 15 year wait for a new solo album from Henley, anyone that I briefly interviewed following the show had the same thing to say, "It was well worth the wait."
For additional information and remaining tour dates, you can check Don Henley’s website