Photos by Jim Mimna
The Scene: A healthy mix of young and old shuffled into the 1stBank Center on Monday night to soak in the smooth sounds of Pop icons Daryl Hall and John Oates. Fun was to be had and even with a less than packed house, those of us in attendance knew one thing was for sure. The hits would keep coming and we were not disappointed. With over 30 of their songs to reach the Billboard Top 100 (6, to reach #1) the soon to be Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees delighted the crowd with a stellar 90 minute set, chock full of the songs we came to hear.
Hall & Oates: The duo wasted no time and dove right in, opening with their 1982 classic “Maneater.” From the get-go you knew this would be a night of smiles as it was impossible not to get washed over by the warm and fuzzy feelings that come from silky saxophone riffs and perfectly blended harmonies. “Out of Touch,” the duo’s last single to hit #1 on the charts, kept the party going and it was awesome to see generations of fans singing along together as the night went on.
Despite the arena setting, Hall’s banter and laid back vibe made things feel more like a taping of his show, “Live from Daryl’s House,” than a rock show in room as big as the 1stBank Center. “Method of Love” brought a surprisingly funky feel to the middle of the set showcasing the great backing band they have on the road with them. “Alone Too Long,” a tune that got some recent love serving as the theme song to the HBO show “Hello Ladies,” slowed things down before a 7 song run to close out the show that would be hard for any band to top.
“She’s Gone” and “Sarah Smile” brought the house down before an amazing, 12 minute, funked out version of “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” closed out the set. This was the highlight of the night and, for a lot in attendance, I think its safe to say they haven’t gotten down like that since the mid 80s. With Hall on the piano they came out for an encore of “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dream’s Come True.” The latter had just about everyone in the crowd doing “The Carlton Dance” to that infectious groove. To the delight of the everyone, the band came back on stage for two more classics and executed a seamless segue of “Kiss On My List->Private Eyes.” This kind of setlist magic is something that you’d expect to see at a Phish or Furthur concert and was an awesomely unexpected way to close out a ridiculously fun night.
Its easy to write off artists like Hall and Oates as a nostalgia act but I don’t see what’s bad about getting nostalgic every once and a while. Nights like this prove that thought. While they might not be Lennon and McCartney or Mick and Keith, respect should be paid. Between the commercial success and the fact that if you toss any of their songs on at a party, heads will start boppin’ and asses will start shakin’, it’s tough to classify Hall and Oates as anything but one of the great songwriting tandems in rock history.
Stage Presence: A-
Set/Light Show: C+