Hall and Oates
Review by Natalie PackardWhen something is meant to be, it's meant to be. With a dreamy backdrop of clouds, two legendary musicians, one tall and lanky with still one of the best voices in the music business coupled with his steady and classy partner have always had a thing for destiny. The Philly duo Daryl Hall and John Oates have been around since the 1970s. They met by fate and that's what I mean by things that are meant to be. Taking the stage at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee last Tuesday night to a packed crowd, they riveted you back to all phases of their stellar career mixing in a little something of what is to come.
Photos by Terry Mayer
This time around Daryl Hall was a bit more interactive with the audience, commenting on how he liked venues like the Riverside. I think the Daryl Hall that audiences once knew is on a place that he loves again - the stage. Rarely will you find a musician born to be as creative, mesmerizing and soulful a performer and gifted song writer like Hall, while the other half of the duo, John Oates, has to be given equal credit. He provides the perfect blend to Hall's one-of-a-kind voice. Standing by Hall's side as they slipped in their opening song "Adult Education," a big hit in the 1980s off their Rock n' Soul album, Oates did his part. Hall and Oates took center stage with guitars in hand. I've seen them three times live in the past two years. I was glad to see Hall away from the keyboards for a while and really take command of the stage last Tuesday night.
Oates, who is often overlooked, summed up the night for Hall and Oates when he sang "How Does it Feel to be Back" an old song off their Voices album. The duo, which is hot off its VH-1 Behind the Music debut, is about to release an album in conjunction with it in early March with a new song. So, how does it feel to be back for Hall and Oates fans last Tuesday night? A little stuck in the '80s. But who can complain when you hear Hall and Oates' live versions of "Say it Isn't So," "One on One," "Out of Touch, "She's Gone," "Sara Smile." That's enough to say when they're on they're really on no matter what era they put their set list on.
With a great back-up band, Hall and Oates added a little punch and funk to their hit tunes. Receiving many standing ovations to old hits like "She's Gone" off their Abandoned Luncheonette album, the crowd really got into their own groove, singing along to "One on One," which Hall called an "antidote to the '80s."
I'm always fascinated by the writer of the songs which is why I like Hall and Oates songs so much. I also respect people who write their own music in an industry crowded with little talent. That's why I'm hoping the song that Hall and Oates played live for the first time, "Do it For Love," which is featured on the new CD due out in March, will do that "what-comes-around-goes-around" thing meaning talent writes the song and then gets recognized.
The '80s seemed to phase out the happier more positive kind of music or the basic love song in exchange for ushering in the darker side of music. "Do It for Love" just gives an air of all those feel-good words that just makes a Hall and Oates song do what it does so well. I guess that's where the "incident " of the night occurred. While Hall was playing his new song "Do It For Love," he broke a string off his guitar. To make a long story short, Hall eventually angrily threw the guitar back at a roadie. It was visible Hall was angry and while I don't know Hall personally I'm not going to speculate on his temper. I will add that I probably would have been just as upset if I was performing my new song. But what really gets me is that Hall didn't really need that guitar. A good piece of music sung by a good singer sounds good no matter what. Hall sang that song with such a passion and that's why I'll label Hall an emotional singer. I get the feeling that when he's on stage he works through a lot of emotions as to why those songs were written.
With the spotlight on Hall, he broke out into a song made popular by Paul Young but written by Hall, "Every Time You Go Away." Sax man Charlie DeChant can't be overlooked, he added many delightful rests from Hall and Oates during the songs, adding riveting-on-your-seat solos.
I rarely like to write reviews unless it's worth my time. When the mike goes off and Daryl Hall and John Oates leave the stage, they always return for an encore. Their rendition of many loved classic songs during the live performance are worth showing up for at their shows. While many music acts fade, Hall and Oates still put out music and tour for the many fans that still follow them. I hope Hall and Oates continue making music for a long time. By the way, "I can go for that."
Check out some of Hall and Oates' earlier albums: Along the Red Ledge, Voices, Private Eyes, Abandoned Luncheonette and Bigger than the Both of Us. Their new album, Do It For Love, will be released March 19.
Check out Daryl Hall's Solo albums: Can't Stop Dreaming ("Cab Driver," "Hold on To Me"); Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine and Soul Alone.
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