The rock and soul train rolled into Tampa on Friday night with over 10,000 on board! Those Philly boys Daryl Hall and John Oates along with another Pennsylvania native Pat Monahan and his band Train brought their zillion hits along for the ride! Daryl and John have so many hits they can’t all be played on a 3 ½ hour double bill show with an opening act! First stop for this train was opener Kandace Springs of Nashville. She warmed things up nicely with a 30-minute set of original material and covers like War’s “The World Is A Ghetto” and the Roberta Flack cover “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”.
A 3-piece band with Springs on keyboards & vocals along with drums and bass, she kept the mood mellow and soulful. Kandace played for Prince at his Paisley Park Studio after Prince heard her cover Sam Smith’s “Stay With You”. You can check out more of Kandace Springs on www.livefromdarylshouse.com (Episode 71 in the archive).
Next stop rolling in was Monahan’s San Francisco founded band Train. Pat is a high energy frontman! He is continually moving around the stage. Tossing t-shirts to the audience while wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey in the home arena earned him some points with the Tampa hometown crowd! Monahan brought out his array of hits including “Hey Soul Sister”, “Marry Me”, “Save Me San Francisco” with Monahan and Company kicking out balloon balls into the crowd which made for some great visuals and fun for the audience. Monahan’s vocal range is impressive. Train has recorded Zeppelin, which Pat is a fan and brought Zepp to the set list with a cover of “Black Dog”. There was a tribute to Tom Petty with “Free Fallin” which had the audience up on their feet singing along to every word. They closed their set with their first big breakout hit 2001’s “Drops of Jupiter”, complete with a background of spacey colors and visuals, it was the perfect ending from the San Fran Bay Area Train.
The last stop was the Daryl Hall and John Oates love train. The intro of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers included snippets of some past hits that didn’t make the setlist but reminds you of how many hits they’ve had and how long they have been around. Opening with that classic “Maneater” and then hit “Out of Touch” from the epic 1984 album “Big Bam Boom” the crowd was on its feet! There is no dead time in an H&O set, from “Say It Isn’t So” to the John Oates’ lead vocal on “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. The band has some of the best musicians backing them with precision. Orlando’s Charlie “Mr. Casual” Dechant is the longest running member of the band with 40 years in! His saxophone riffs are iconic! Eliot Lewis on keys and vocals was with the Average White Band for 13 years. Guitarist Shane Theriot is from New Orleans and a Grammy award winning producer. Klyde Jones on bass has played with Daryl solo since the 90’s as well as with the Average White Band. Porter Carroll on percussion was an original member of “Atlantic Star” for those of you R&B buffs and last but not least Brian Dunne on drums who has sat behind the kit for artists Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan.
The stage set changed to that old “Abandoned Luncheonette” album cover with “She’s Gone”. The lighting and graphics throughout the show were state of the art and stunning! Then Daryl Hall took it to another level by sitting down to a grand piano to bring the crowd to its knees with that epic love letter “Sara Smile”. Bringing Pat Monahan back to the stage, they performed a tribute to Philly with their newly released tune with Train called “Philly Forget Me Not”. The song is the first to chart for the duo in 14 years! They combined efforts on Train’s hit “Calling All Angels”. The song of the night goes to “Wait for Me”! Hall on piano with Monahan trading verses and Oates on harmony, is one of Hall’s most beautifully written songs and a die-hard fan favorite. The encore included such hits as “Kiss On My List”, “Private Eyes” and the up on your feet everybody dance, “You Make My Dreams Come True”. Daryl Hall and John Oates have been driving this love train for over 40 years and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping yet, except to the next gig!
Photos courtesy of Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography.