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Don Henley’s Birthday Concert Party Delivers

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From his childhood in Linden to short college stints in Nacogdoches & Denton, through all his time living in Dallas (pre & post Hollywood), Don Henley is 100% Texan.  That Lone Star State heritage was on full display Saturday night at the American Airlines Center, when The Eagles’ co-founder celebrated turning 70 with an all-star special-guest-filled performance in front of a jam-packed crowd.

The show opened with antique radios lowered from the ceiling, each playing different audio clips recapping the years of Henley’s youth.  Country, Soul, & early Rock & Roll were evident influences on his love for music, as fans in the arena heard song snippets from Johnny Cash to Glen Campbell, James Brown to Al Green, Elvis to The Beatles to Hendrix, all intermixed with major news headlines from the same era.  Then his backing band & singers went into a rousing rendition of the 50’s ditty “Big D” to set the tone for the evening.

At that point, out came Don to take command of the stage, & he did not disappoint, opening with The Eagles’ 1980 hit “Seven Bridges Road”, & closing two dozen titles later with his solo classic “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” , followed by a fitting finale:  the Lennon-McCartney penned “Birthday”!   In between, there were Henley songs from the 80’s like “The Heart Of The Matter” & “Dirty Laundry”, intermixed with iconic 70’s Eagles’ selections such as “Hotel California” & “One Of These Nights”.

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As expected, Don Henley band mates & former collaborators were there too, sharing in the fun.  Joe Walsh led the group on his “Rocky Mountain Way”, Timothy B. Schmit was out in front for “I Can’t Tell You Why”, & both played during the other Eagles’ titles where Henley was handling vocals.  Don also teamed up with Fleetwood Mac & solo star Stevie Nicks for their monster duet “Leather And Lace”, while Scandal’s Patty Smyth came on stage to do “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”, a big hit for her & Don Henley in 1992.  

As this review from the Dallas Morning News notes, he may now be 70, but it sure seems like Don Henley’s got plenty left in his musical-tank!

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