5 reasons to love a Hall & Oates concert
When the sight of two 60-something-year-old musicians resting on wooden stools brings a full house of 2,000 to its feet, you know you're in the right place: a Hall & Oates concert. Wednesday night's "Up Close and Personal" tour stop in Clearwater by the Philly-bred soul-rockers wasn't merely a concert. It was more of a revival.
"I remember this place!" Daryl Hall said to the Ruth Eckerd Hall crowd during a break between the hits, with the crowd still on its feet. "We've had some of our best shows ever here." Without an opening act and with the band's setup at the very front of the stage, it seemed as intimate as a coffeehouse gig. Even the six-member backup band, featuring longtime friend T-Bone Wolk on guitar and a sax player who could be Lucius Malfoy's musically skilled twin brother, didn't distract from the setting or the stars.
At the end of the 90-minute show, the pair seemed awestruck by the adoration of the crowd. "Thank you! Really. It's been way too long," Daryl said after four encores. "We'll be back here again real soon."
FIVE REASONS TO LOVE A HALL & OATES CONCERT:
1. THEY OPENED WITH THEIR BIGGEST HIT: Really! Maneater! Who does that!?! Most bands would save a tune like that for the final encore. No sweat for H&O. They followed Maneater with 30 more minutes of '80s hits before John Oates took over vocals for the relatively obscure but excellent 1980 single How Does It Feel To Be Back.
2. LADIES LOVE DARYL HALL: I mean REALLY love him. So they dress up like they're hitting a bachelorette party in Vegas, power-chug the vino and squeal out their often slurred but heartfelt lust for the crooner while trying to stay in their outfits. Somewhere I have the phone-cam pics to prove it.
3. NO NEW SONGS TO PROMOTE: No new album means more time for the classics. Sara Smile, She's Gone, Out of Touch, Family Man, I Can't Go For That, One on One, Say It Isn't So. All present and accounted for last night.
4. THEY MAKE TIME FOR THE DEEP CUTS: Most hard-core fans will gush about their love of 1973's Abandoned Luncheonette, so H&O made time for two cuts from the disc, including the always fun Las Vegas Turnaround.
5. FOUR GREAT ENCORES: Rich Girl, You Make My Dreams Come True, Kiss On My List and Private Eyes. Don't even bother sitting down for these. And if you don't clap along to the chorus of Private Eyes ... really, you're letting the best of life pass you by.