Because their kiss is on your list, Daryl Hall and John Oates sold out the Warner Theatre again Wednesday night!
The talented gentlemen from Philadelphia brought along a six-man band to play 14 time-honored tunes from their catalog, including “Kiss on My List,” from 1980’s Voices. By the time they hit that number in their second encore, much of the audience in the orchestra had spilled into the aisles and lined up around the stage to dance the rest of the night away. It’s become expected that people will simply dance, regardless of where they are seated, at a Hall & Oates concert, and the folks at the Warner were pretty cool about letting the audience do its own thing.
Hall & Oates did their own thing as well, crooning through a well-received collection of ‘70s and ‘80s songs that everyone in the house loved. When I say they played these songs, I should instead say they emoted them! They jammed the night away. So when you hear they played 14 songs, they made a very respectable 90 minute set out of those 14 songs.
I was excited right away as Hall & Oates and their band walked to the opening notes of “Maneater,” the classic from 1982’s H20. They followed that up with a personal favorite song of mine, “Out of Touch” from my favorite album by the duo — 1984’s Big Bam Boom. Their blue eyed-soul was awash in the rising tide of new wave by 1984, and the blending of styles brought out some remarkably catchy creativity to my welcoming ears.
The DC audience, of course, welcomed most heartily “She’s Gone” from the 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette later in the set.
“We love to play this song because it never gets old,” Daryl Hall said in introducing it. In rapturous agreement, the house gave Hall & Oates their first standing ovation of the night. The extended and heartfelt cheering lasted several full minutes, during which Daryl grinned from ear to ear and practically glowed under the well-earned admiration.
Catch a performance of “She’s Gone” from Oct. 26, 2014 at The Greek Theater, Los Angeles:
Hall & Oates threw in a few surprises for me, particularly early in the set when they performed “Back Together Again” from 1977’s Bigger Than Both of Us (from which they also later performed “Rich Girl” to much fanfare) and “Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)” also from Abandoned Luncheonette, one of the first songs to infamously draw inspiration from Daryl’s ex Sara Allen (who of course was once a flight attendant). The same Sara, of course, inspired “Sara Smile” from the 1975 “silver album” Daryl Hall & John Oates — a song that the duo also revisited during Wednesday night’s set. Ms. Allen must be a helluva a woman for sure, and we’ll always have these classics thanks to Daryl’s admiration for her.
The whole band rises to the occasion for these heartfelt numbers, but I must give a shout-out as always to the very talented Charles DeChant, who often takes center stage to blow us away with his soulful saxophone. Charles is a consummate performer and a generous presence on stage. His playful interaction with guitarist Shane Theriot, particularly during an interlude for “Do What You What, Be What You Are,” is a highlight of the show.
Charles also gets a little corny at the end for the big finale of “Private Eyes,” a song he knows all too well as he appears on keyboards in the well-known music video in 1981. From the back at stage left during the song, he’s on keyboards once again, miming along to the lyrics of the song, making hand circles over his eyes for “watching” and scurrying hands for “every move.” You can’t say the man doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Watch Hall & Oates (with a young Charles DeChant) in “Private Eyes”:
Hall & Oates continue touring with a show in Columbus, Ohio, on May 1, and then they continue across Pennsylvania then to Midwest and back throughout June and July. It’s a great time to see them! The gents and their band are in fine shape, and surely will not disappoint you.
And if you can’t wait, the new season of Daryl Hall’s “Live from Daryl’s House” debuts tonight with an episode in Mexico featuring special guest Sammy Hagar. Check it out at http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com!