March 1st, 1985 was the last time Philadelphia raised Daryl Hall & John Oates played Madison Square Garden. Fast forward to February 19, 2016, and they have SOLD OUT the world’s most famous arena! Daryl Hall & John Oates were radio darlings throughout the late 70’s and MTV’s Big 80’s videos but never loved by the critics. Who cares? Not the 20,000 people who sold out Madison Square Garden!
As a writer, I try to stick to facts and give you the story. Dear Readers, in this instance, I have a personal interest in this story since I have been a fan of H&O for 40 years. I have gone to many Hall & Oates shows over the years. Shows in the 80’s, when they were at the “top of the heap”, in the 90’s when they went “acoustic”, in the early 2000’s when they made a “comeback” (they really never left) with their hit album “Do It for Love”. They both worked on solo ventures but were always playing live together somewhere in the world.
As I walked to The Garden, I was thinking how great it is that Daryl and John have finally gotten recognition for their musicianship. They are in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2014 were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was never about hit records for them, it is about being musicians. John is now living part-time in Nashville writing and recording. Daryl is busy with “Live from Daryl’s House” and his restaurant “Daryl’s House Club” in upstate New York which showcases both local and national musicians. John Oates’ current solo album is “Another Good Road”, be sure and check it out. Everything they do is about music.
Opening acts for the big show were Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, both have been guests on “Live from Daryl’s House”. As the jumbo screen counted down to Daryl and John taking the stage, the audience stood up and never sat back down! Opening with “Out of Touch” and gliding through the familiar sea of hits, “Sara Smile”, “She’s Gone”, “Maneater”, the audience of multi-generations sang along knowing all the lyrics. As a die-hard fan, I always want to hear “deep cuts” because “B” sides and album cuts are some of Hall & Oates’ best work. Alas, not on this night!
The hits are what everyone came to hear in New York City. The energy of the band in the “World’s Greatest Arena” was so electric that the hits sounded great to this jaded fan who has heard them many times. That is why Daryl Hall & John Oates continue to sell out shows. They are one of the best live acts, with stellar musicians who have played with a Who’s who of artists. Orlando’s Charlie “Mr. Casual” DeChant on sax with those iconic notes is an original member of H&O. The final encore brought out Sharon Jones and Mayer Hawthorne on the Delfonics classic “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind”. It was an appropriate ending to a great show paying homage to the Philly sound that has made Daryl Hall and John Oates the greatest selling duo in rock history!
Headlining a summer tour with two great acts opening for them, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue along with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings! This is a must-see tour for music aficionados! The tour makes a stop in Tampa on May 21st at the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre. Tickets at hallandoates.com
Don’t miss it! You know I won’t!