Since their debut in 1972, the
Eagles have become one of those bands who are part of popular
culture's musical heritage. Who hasn't heard "Hotel California,"
if nothing else? Despite only releasing six studio albums, from
1972-1979, and despite having suffered from conflicts within the
band, the Eagles have managed to win over not just their 1970s-era
audience, but also a new generation of fans. The Farewell Tour I
reunites four of the Eagles on stage: Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe
Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit. The result is a "best of"
concert that is a lot of fun to watch and listen to.
Thirty songs from the Eagles'
repertoire are performed in this concert, filmed in Melbourne,
Australia. As we might expect from a group that's been around for
thirty-odd years, all of the band members seem mellow and comfortable
on stage; at times they're a bit playful, and in general seem to be
having a good time. The music itself doesn't sound dated at all, but
rather somehow timeless, with a sound all its own; that's probably
attributable to the quality of the songwriting, which comes through
particularly in the classic Eagles hits. Unlike some pop hits,
there's something lasting about the surreal "Hotel California,"
the hard-edged "Life in the Fast Lane," or even the
energetic "All She Wants to Do Is Dance."
Two new songs are also included
here: "No More Cloudy Days" and "One Day at a Time."
Personally, I liked the "vintage" Eagles songs better, but
fans will enjoy hearing the newer work as well.
I was quite impressed with the
camera work and editing for this concert DVD. While the music is the
central point of the program, the concert is also fun to watch (which
isn't necessarily the case with all the filmed concerts I've seen).
The camera moves from wide shots of the whole stage to close-ups of
the band members, giving us interesting shots of the solos and
supporting work. There's enough motion and switching of angles to
make for a lively feel, without going overboard and feeling jerky.
Some audience shots are mixed in, but wisely for the most part the
camera sticks with showing us the Eagles.
The songs included here are split
between Disc 1 and Disc 2, and include the following:
The Long Run
New Kid in Town
Peaceful Easy Feeling
I Can't Tell You Why
One of These Nights
One Day at a Time
The Boys of Summer
In the City
Love Will Keep Us Alive
No More Cloudy Days
Hole in the World
Take it to the Limit
You Belong to the City
Life's Been Good
Life in the Fast Lane
Rocky Mountain Way
All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Take It Easy
The Eagles: Farewell Tour I is a
two-disc set, packaged in a cardboard fold-out case inside a
paperboard slipcover. It's a stylishly designed case that looks very
nice. A small booklet with the song list and production credits is
The menus are attractive and easy to
navigate; disconcertingly, they are also completely silent, which is
not what I'd expect from a concert DVD. Don't worry, the audio plays
correctly as soon as you start the actual program.
Image quality for concert videos is
always a concern, so it's nice to see the excellent transfer for this
production. The concert is shown in an anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1
transfer. Colors are handled well, looking vibrant and natural. The
contrast is good as well, with strong blacks but sufficient detail in
the lit areas of the stage.
Two audio tracks are included: the
default PCM stereo, and a DTS 5.1 surround track. Both offer clean,
crisp sound that appears to fully reproduce all the audio details of
the concert. I found the PCM stereo to be rather flat, though. The
DTS would be my choice of tracks. It maintains all the clarity and
crisp detail of the PCM track, with the added benefit of excellent
One bonus feature is included on
Disc 2: an 11-minute set of interviews with the members of the
Eagles. You shouldn't expect any amazing insights in such a short
amount of time, but it's reasonably interesting if you are an Eagles
If you enjoy the Eagles, you'll
enjoy their Farewell Tour I: Live in Melbourne DVD. It's a fun
concert with good music, very well put together, and with a nice
video and audio transfer. Recommended.