Hall & Oates
(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI - August 24th, 2004)
From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soul brought them enormous commercial success - including six number one singles and six platinum albums - yet little critical success.
Performing tonight as the headliners for the 'Rock 'N' Soul 2004 Revue' alongside both Michael McDonald and the Average White Band, the duo bound onto the stage direct from their backstage meet and greet and straight into 'Out Of Touch'. Following that with 'Say It isn't So' watching the heavily-extended bass-guitar-played-behind-the-head solo from T-Bone should have alerted us all early on that this was not going to be your average Hall & Oates gig!
With a subtle backdrop of a red curtain and some flashing yellow, red, and blue spots, John - sporting a Live Aid T-shirt - thanks the crowd for coming out before the guys bring their newest hit to the fore, 'Do It For Love'. "We're gonna go way back to the beginning now," explains Hall as they break out a bumpy 'She's Gone' whilst being smothered in blue lights. Physically shaking himself looser by the second, Hall then showcases the single 'Cab Driver' from his new solo album Can't Stop Dreaming, before he takes to the keyboard for an extended, and towards the end, warbled 'Sara Smile' - which itself flows effortlessly into a funkier-than-usual, '(I Can't Go For That) No Can Do' ... complete with ultra-extended sax solo!
'Maneater' is next up, quickly followed by a rip-roaring vocal battle between the duo on the classic 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'. And then, that was it ... for the true Hall & Oates portion of the show anyway! Leaving the stage, they quickly came back with the entire AWB and Michael McDonald front and center and dropping the red curtain at the back, revealed that it was now time for the 'Rock 'N' Roll Revue' portion of the show!
Now with at the very least 18 performers on a stage built for a good seven or eight, the 'band' began the "encore" with 'I've Got Work To Do' and with dueling keyboards in evidence (and McDonald primarily on vocals), 'Kiss On My List'. Swapping vocals, the Doobie Bros' 'What A Fool Believes' is given to Hall, before he announces that "... the Philly sound and Motown songs bring us all together. They are timeless." And with that, the 'band' bring out the Temptations' 'Since I Lost My Baby', before they sing "their" last song of the night, 'You Make My Dreams Come True'.
Ending the night on the bouncy 'Hot Fun In The Summertime', what started out as a Hall & Oates show, in truth didn't stay that way for long and quickly turned into a whole other beast! With it not being your average H&O show, it seemingly didn't sit too well with some of their fans here tonight. The second set jam was an eclectic musical gig, for sure, but being devoid of more Hall & Oates classics kinda had the H&O crowd scratching their heads well before the final stage bow!
Review by Russell A. Trunk