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The world's best selling duo scores a
surprising second coming

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Highland Park, IL
June 26, 2011
Daryl Hall & John Oates Daryl Hall & John Oates

Story and photos by Andy Argyrakis

During the height of MTV, Daryl Hall & John Oates were on such constant rotation that they became the best selling duo of all time, but not without considerable backlash, if only for the endless exposure and downright ridiculous music video storylines. Ironically, as their sales started slipping throughout the 1990s and specialty projects like Christmas and soul covers collections anchored the 2000s, the group's credibility amongst the press and previously cooler than thou public started rising once again.

Most recently, the pair found themselves gracing the hipster website Pitchfork, popping up at SxSW Festival and Bonnaroo, plus getting covered or sampled by The Bird & The Bee and Gym Class Heroes. Hall even started a webcast called "Live From Daryl's House" attracting guests like Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, Todd Rundgren, Fitz and the Tantrums, Nick Lowe and Chromeo, while Oates turned towards the blues in his solo career. As a group, this summer's tour came in support of the four CD box set Do What You Want, Be What You Are (Sony Legacy) and Chicagoland's summertime staple Ravinia had no trouble selling itself out within seconds.

Of course, some songs held up better than others and the dated "Maneater" might not have been the best place to start, but there was plenty of more sophisticated examples of the group's abilities to come throughout the 90 minute night. The mega hit "She's Gone" endured as one of the best break-up anthems from the acoustic side of the '70s and "Sara Smile" served as one of that era's sweetest.

Since the group was highlighting the box set, it allowed them to color outside the usual greatest hits lines, with "It's a Laugh" serving as a charming soft pop recollection and "Las Vegas Turnaround" coming across as a hit that could've been had not so many others beat it to the punch. "Do What You Want, Be What You Are" faired even better as a straight forward soulful rocker and was one of several jams that highlighted the six piece backing band.

Nonetheless, the business as usual portions earned the best responses, with the finale encapsulating a near ten minute take on "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," followed by encores of "Rich Girl," "You Make My Dreams," "Kiss On My List" and "Private Eyes." In looking at the career spanning show, it's easy to see how Hall & Oates sold over 60 million albums and are earning overdue respect from so many unexpected sources.

Related articles:

Daryl Hall and John Oates (SxSW Musical Festival 2008) - Festival review - Austin, TX March 2008
Hall and Oates - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI February 2002

Daryl Hall & John Oates

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