Don Henley played for a packed Sony Centre last night and it was, in a word, beautiful. Now, I never thought I would use a word like that when describing a rock show, but, nevertheless, it’s true. Maybe it was the venue, maybe it was the dramatic lighting, but this almost theatrical homage to Henley’s home town of Cass County and of course his classic hits was polarizing.
What made this show stand out even more was the no phone/camera policy. This goes beyond a photo restriction and actually required everyone to keep their devices in their pockets; no checking the time, no checking texts or sharing the concert with those who were not lucky enough to be there in person. Personally, this lead to me not only focusing on the music, but more specifically, the lyrics.
Once intermission hit, I thought I would emerge from the theatre to find people scrambling for their devices, feeling that almost instinctual need many of us have now to reconnect with the outside world. Instead, I saw groups chatting casually about the opener, sharing their thoughts with those who were actually there with them instead of their virtual acquaintances through a brightly lit screen. How novel.
Playing under rows of vintage radios, and cracking jokes along the way, Henley played for almost 2.5 hours straight reprising hits like “Dirty Laundry”, “End of Innocence” and “The Last Worthless Evening” while sharing songs off of his new album and even covering classics like Jay Hawkins‘ “I Put a Spell on You”. A fantastic show full of good times and good energy, Don Henley proved that his love for Toronto is, indeed, still strong.
– Morgan Bates, Q107