10 Songs Eagles Haven’t Played on the ‘Hotel California’ Tour Yet
If time and basic endurance constrictions didn't exist, Eagles could play their entire discography of 84 songs onstage. But that's not the case, so some great songs have to get cut from the set each night.
The band recently resumed its Hotel California tour, which first launched in 2020 before pandemic restrictions halted the run. About half the set these days consists of 1976's classic Hotel California played in its entirety, while the rest of the evening is filled with some of Eagles' most popular songs, including "Take It Easy" with Vince Gill on lead vocals, "Tequila Sunrise," "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and a few Joe Walsh solo songs, like "Life's Been Good" and "In the City." The encores offer a few more fan favorites: Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way," "Desperado," Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" and closer "Best of My Love."
The inevitable truth of touring is that some songs simply don't fit into the current set list. Based on setlist.fm info, we take a look, in no particular order, at 10 Songs Eagles Haven't Played on the Hotel California Tour Yet.
1. "The Sad Cafe"
"The Sad Cafe" is best known as the melancholic and cinematic closing song on The Long Run. Written by Henley, Walsh, Glenn Frey and frequent collaborator J. D. Souther, the song is about Los Angeles' the Troubadour, where many musicians would congregate before breaking big. Henley and Frey first met at the storied club. But the song just wouldn't sound the same without guitarist Don Felder's fluid solo. He was fired in 2001.
2. "Saturday Night"
Even though "Saturday Night" was released in 1973 when bassist Randy Meisner was just 27, the song is about growing older. "When I was younger, I would be out partying and with girls and having fun," he told Rolling Stone in 2019. "And that's what it was about: Whatever happened to it? And the answer was, 'You're older now.'" Meisner, who co-wrote the song with Henley, Frey and Bernie Leadon, was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1977. Eagles have occasionally included it on their set lists since his split, but so far not on the Hotel California tour.
"Doolin-Dalton," one of the first tracks Henley and Frey wrote together, depicted the adventures of the Dalton Gang, a wild bunch of outlaws who robbed trains and roamed the west in what was then called the Oklahoma territory: "Well, the towns lay out across the dusty plains, like graveyards filled with tombstones, waitin' for the names." Henley and Frey share lead vocals on the song, so it makes sense it hasn't been performed since 2015, about six months before Frey's death in January 2016.
4. "James Dean"
Pure adrenaline pumps through "James Dean," a single and highlight from Eagles' third album, On the Border. "Too fast to live, too young to die," Frey sings on this cowboy rocker. Along with J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne receives songwriting credit on "James Dean." Up-tempo and energetic, the song is a perfect fit for concerts, which explains why it's in the Top 40 of the band's most-played live songs. Still, it hasn't found a place in the new tour.
5. "Learn to Be Still"
Every Eagles concert set involves a balance between slower songs and more up-tempo numbers. "Learn to Be Still," an example of the former co-written by Henley and former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, was one of four new studio songs included on the 1994 comeback live album, Hell Freezes Over. But there appears to be room for only one Heartbreaker collaboration at the moment: Henley's "The Boys of Summer," which was co-written by guitarist Mike Campbell.
6. "After the Thrill Is Gone"
An underrated gem from One of These Nights, "After the Thrill Is Gone" finds Henley at one of his most introspective moments, contemplating love that's gone stale. "Time passes and you must move on," he sings. "Half the distance takes you twice as long." It's been played about only a dozen times by the band, but, again, without Felder's mournful guitar solo, it's easy to figure out why the song hasn't appeared onstage since 1980.
7. "Bitter Creek"
What begins as a considerably laid-back song deceptively flows into something more rhythmic, with tightly knit harmonies that mirror Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Leadon wrote "Bitter Creek" about an outlaw named George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, whose escapades are detailed in the song's final verse. Leadon left Eagles in 1975. Since then, "Bitter Creek" has been performed less than 10 times.
8. "How Long"
Only a handful of more recent songs have appeared regularly on Eagles set lists. In the case of the J.D. Souther-penned "How Long," the song dates back to 1971 and was often part of Eagles shows in the '70s. But they didn't get around to recording it until 2007, when it appeared on Long Road Out of Eden. The song won the band a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal — its first since 1979 — but hasn't made its way to the Hotel California Tour yet.
9. "Is It True?"
"Is It True?" - an under-the-radar gem from On the Border - was written by Meisner, and the easy-flowing, Beach Boys-like song would make a great addition to Eagles' nightly set list. But unless the bassist intends to make a surprise appearance at an upcoming show, it's unlikely "Is It True?" will be heard live anytime soon. (Meisner was invited by the band to appear on tour in 2013, but he declined due to health issues.)
10. "No More Cloudy Days"
Since Frey's death, the late cofounder's son Deacon has taken over some of his father's performing duties. But he has yet to attempt "No More Cloudy Days," a song written solely by Frey that the band hasn't played live since 2011. Deacon's role has become an integral part of Eagles concerts. “This is so much fun for me," he said in 2018. "I'm having the time of my life. I wouldn't want to remember my dad any other way than by playing his songs."
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