"We all read the fable about the tortoise and the hare and we decided a long time ago, it was better to be the tortoise," Don Henley told the enthusiastic Nashville audience last Thursday night (Sept.

"We all read the fable about the tortoise and the hare and we decided a long time ago, it was better to be the tortoise," Don Henley told the enthusiastic Nashville audience last Thursday night (Sept. 18). "We're still here. You're still here."

During the veteran band's Music City show, the Eagles demonstrated why they are still packing arenas and earning accolades (including their recent Country Music Assn. nomination for Vocal Group of the Year). On this current tour, the band has more on the agenda than just reprising their greatest hits, and the more than three-hour set drew heavily on music from "Long Road Out of Eden," the 2007 release that marked their first album of all new material in 28 years.

Dressed in black suits, white shirts and black ties, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh opened the show with "How Long," the Grammy-winning initial single from "Eden." The next song, "Just Too Busy Being Fabulous" had the crowd singing along as though it was a vintage Eagles hit rather than a recent offering from "Eden." They continued to serve up new music with Schmit delivering a soulful "I Don't Want to Hear Anymore" followed by "Guilty of the Crime."

"Check your ticket stubs. This is the Eagles ÔAssisted Living' tour," quipped Frey, "and we're the Eagles Ñ the band that wouldn't die."

Indeed the band has never sounded more vibrant. Always technically excellent, it would be easy for them to go on autopilot at this stage of their career, but the Eagles seemed to be enjoying themselves more than ever as they delivered classics like "Hotel California," "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "I Can't Tell You Why," "Witchy Woman," and "Lyin' Eyes." The first half of the show also included "Boys of Summer," one of Henley's signature solo hits.

They served up a searing version of "The Long Run" before taking a short intermission and starting the second set with "No More Walks in the Woods" and "Waiting in the Weeds," from "Eden," which Frey joked were their "botanical songs." Schmit gave a shout out from the stage to George Grantham with whom he performed years ago in the band Poco before he launched into "Love Will Keep Us Alive" from the "Hell Freezes Over" project.

The highlights during the second part of the show were numerous, among them title track "Long Road Out of Eden," "Take it to the Limit," "Life in the Fast Lane," and "One of These Nights," a stellar performance by Henley who has always impressed with his ability to play drums and deliver those signature vocals. Henley's talents also took center stage on his solo smash "Dirty Laundry," accented by a video montage that underscored the song's indictment against tabloid media.

The band encored with "Take It Easy" and the haunting, beautiful "Desperado" wrapped up a great night of rock n' roll from one of that bands that helped define the genre. The Eagles' hits have never sounded better, and with the inclusion of new songs from "Long Road Out of Eden," they showed that they have added a new chapter to their legacy.