The concert was attended by more than 50,000 fans. It was only the second concert in the newly-built Kingdome. The first was Paul McCartney & Wings in June.
Original concert poster
The sound was terrible in the giant venue unless you were seated directly in front of the stage. Fans who came to hear the Eagles’ perfect harmonies couldn’t hear them unless they were right up close. Patrick McDonald of the Seattle Times, noted that due to the size of the Kingdome and the number of people in attendance, the show resembled an “indoor Woodstock” with people milling around and friends sitting together passing pipes and joints. However, unlike Woodstock, the Kingdome was equipped with a giant video screen that hung near the stage:
“One major difference was the big screen, which did give everybody a good view of what was going on on stage. They were doing different things with than at the Wings show – split screen, dissolves, extreme close-ups, etc. It was like watching In Concert on a giant TV screen except the sound is better on TV.”
Patrick McDonald, Seattle Times, August 8, 1976
This video screen footage of the Seattle concert exists as a bootleg. Below I have included the video of Randy’s two lead-singing performances, “Midnight Flyer” and “Take It To The Limit.” Unfortunately, the beginning of “Take It To The Limit” has been edited out and it starts in the middle of the song. I have also included “One Of These Nights” because Randy was groovin’ through the whole song. A link to the entire concert is at the bottom.
“Take It To The Limit”
Listen to the end to hear Glenn Frey say “That was Randy Meisner, our bass player, hitting the high notes there. We love it every night.” Then Joe Walsh pipes in: “He can sing higher than that if he needs to.”
“One Of These Nights” with groovin’ Randy and his eardrum-shattering high notes during the choruses at the end.
J.D. Souther opened the show and later joined the band onstage for “Best Of My Love,” which he co-wrote with Don Henley & Glenn Frey.
The Summit had a four-sided video screen called a “Telscreen” which hung from the ceiling. Any band who came in to perform paid a flat fee for use of the Telscreen and received a videotape of the concert in return. These Telscreen performances were often bootlegged, hence the existing footage of the Eagles Summit show, which has never been released officially.
According to a March 5th, 1978 article in the Houston Chronicle, the Summit’s Telscreen production crew were known to add graphics to their video footage as it was happening. During concerts, they focused mainly on whoever was singing. This explains the footage of the Summit show, which included graphics between songs and very few camera angles.
At the show, Randy and Joe both wore white t-shirts bearing the logo for Criteria Studios in Miami where the band was finishing up Hotel California at the time. In fact, the previous night’s show in Baton Rouge was held up for two hours because the band was late arriving from Miami.
In 2006, Randy recalled the grueling touring and recording schedule from this period:
“We had to go out on the road while we were doing that album and then go back to Criteria Studios in Florida to finish it…We went back and forth a lot…wanted to get the tracks right and mixed right. We knew the album was special.“
Interview with Ken Sharp, 2006
The less-than-complimentary review in the Houston Chronicle noted that the band looked and sounded “frayed around the edges,” this was perhaps due to their touring/recording schedule from the time period.
Below are Randy’s two lead-singing performances from the concert: