Photos: The Eagles share their legendary history with Salt Lake City crowd

First Published      Last Updated Oct 03 2014 02:17 pm

The Eagles swooped into Salt Lake City and gave the near-capacity crowd at EnergySolutions Arena a three-hour history lesson on the band itself.

Opening song • The evening began as Glenn Frey and Don Henley walked on stage with acoustic guitars in hand and played "Saturday Night" from the band's second album, "Desperado." Frey then gave a quick tutorial on how the band was formed and — to a roar of approval from the audience — introduced Bernie Leadon, who was a founding member of the band in 1972 and has rejoined them for this tour. The three original members sat on stools and equipment cases and performed "Train Leaves Here This Morning" from the band's debut album, "Eagles."

By the time the band got to the fourth song, "Witchy Woman," bass player Timothy B. Schmit and guitarist Joe Walsh had joined the group to round out the rest of the lineup for the first half of the show.

Highlights • By the time intermission arrived, the band had played 12 songs off their first four albums, including crowd favorites "Already Gone," "Lyin Eyes" and "Best of My Love," displaying the tight vocal harmonies and country-tinged rock that made the band famous.

After intermission, the Eagles launched into more of their up-tempo hits and brought audience members to their feet, with hits like "Heartache Tonight," "Those Shoes" and "The Long Run." Walsh and his guitar work were featured heavily in the second half of the performance, with the band performing his solo hits "In the City" and "Life's been Good." Walsh's zany personality was on full display as he traded licks with Steuart Smith, who had taken the place of Leadon for the second half of the show. A rousing rendition of "Life in the Fast Lane" closed out the second half of the show.

Encore • The band returned to the stage for the first encore and the crowd went crazy as the first note of "Hotel California" rang through the arena. For the next seven-plus minutes, the crowd was led on a journey to the mythical hotel, punctuated by Walsh and Smith's dueling guitar solos that bring the song to a close.

For the second encore, Leadon returned as The Eagles launched into one of their biggest hits, "Take it Easy." Audience members were on their feet singing and dancing along to every word. The final song of the night was "Desperado," the perfect way to wind down a wonderful evening of music from a band that has endured its share of ups and downs through the years. As the lights rose, Frey, Henley, Schmit, Walsh and Leadon returned to the stage to thank the audience. But it was the audience that wanted to say thanks for three hours of history, music, and a couple laughs along the way.