Don Henley with special guest Jewel

Photos by Shane Jones

Photos by Shane Jones

By Shane Jones

Artist: Don Henley with special guest Jewel

Date / Venue: Tuesday March 21st - Horncastle Arena, Christchurch

On a cool, damp Tuesday night I headed on down to Horncastle Arena here in Christchurch, to see the long awaited class act of Mr Don Henley from The Eagles.

Nothing changes in my life with seeing The Eagles, from three or so times now and every time it's been wet, am I jinxed?? That I don't quite know the answer to, but that's the story of my life, just like the story Don was about to tell. But before Don comes on to play,  his beautiful Alaskan support solo artist, Jewel steps out and does a great rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow... so maybe I am jinxed ??

Jewel played a stunning arrangement of songs and brought up her childhood life and sang her songs Standing Still, My Father's Daughter, Foolish Games and You Were Meant For Me. Representing her upbringing of living on the streets, shoplifting and early touring - she made fun jokes about it all, which had her audience laughing with her.  She displayed her exceptional yodelling, taught to her by her father when she was very young. Then she stopped and said "do you want me to go faster?" to which the audience replied "Yes!" And she replied with "You're all psychos". But what we all witnessed was truly amazing to finish off her set.

A short intermission and then music and old news archives started playing from old retro radios suspended high above the stage. They lit up with each new song, and old news reels, until the stage went dark and a huge roar from the audience cheering into the darkness to the silhouetted movement on the stage, before it was gloomily lit up  with Don Henley standing centre. With supports each side from his band, he sang the opening song Seven Bridges Road. A traditional set opener for The Eagles followed by Dirty Laundry from his solo career. Like Jewel he also gave a little run down on his own personal life and joked about what's happening back home in the US and claimed it was "Bat Shit Crazy" and he would buy up property and move here to New Zealand to live.

After what seemed like a cat and mouse type of game with Eagles, then solo career songs throughout the night, with crowd favourites of Sunset Grill, One Of These Nights, New York Minute, plus many more.  To the one song he never worked nor played on Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule The World, having a dig at the now president of the US, to finish off the first set with The Boys Of Summer, to where he disappeared backstage.

After reappearing he dedicated the next 2 songs to his old band buddy Glenn Frey, with Life in the Fast Lane, and the biggest song of all, Hotel California.

With band member Steve Smith's playing a double necked guitar, then to leave the stage again, to which a few of the audience then thought it was over and stood up to move to the outer doors of the arena.

Then all of a sudden he would then reappear with Wasted Time and Desperado to finish off the last song of the night, She's Only Happy When She's Dancing.

So for me rounding up this nostalgic memory lane of Eagles and his solo career show It was a little hard to comprehend to not having the rest of the Eagles band members beside him, but the musicians he had around him, all 16 of them, played a very tight show and if you walked away feeling you didn't enjoy the show then you have no pulse.

If your looking at seeing him again in NZ then his next show is Thursday in Auckland  followed by the last one in Wellington on Saturday, Check out your area ticketing agency for tickets but be quick like in the Fast Lane, otherwise you'll be left in the cold like a Desperado.