Philly Soul Visits St. Pete’s Waterfront Mahaffey Theater
They jokingly call themselves the “Fighting Cocks of Philly” but Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren are really two of the G.O.A.T.S of the Philly sound of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and are still making new music in the 2020’s. They came to the Mahaffey Theatre to a sold out show this week on the “Live From Daryl’s House” tour. Hall is celebrating his new solo compilation album, “BeforeAfter” with the tour. Yes, it is Hall without Oates playing his solo catalog and Rundgren playing his hits and covers. The LFDH band is backing both musicians, which is no small feat and they do it perfectly!
The stage set for Todd is simple, the famous photo from inside the “Something/Anything album hangs above the stage. Mr. Rundgren appears in a maroon suit with black button down vest and opens the first hour of the show with “Real Man” from his 1975 “Initiation” album. A great, energetic rock opener which leads into another fan favorite, “Love of the Common Man”. Rundgren takes us back to 1970 with his “We Gotta Get You A Woman” from the “Runt” album. He is working the stage and the audience as he continues with more beloved tunes like “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me”, both which get standing ovations from the Mahaffey sold out crowd. One of his best guitar rockers is “Black Maria”, incredible ax work from Todd. One of the highlights of the TR setlist is the medley of soul songs that he tears up starting with Curtis Mayfield’s, “I’m So Proud”, Smokey Robinson’s, “Ooh Baby Baby”, The Delfonics, “La La Means I Love You” and tops it off with Marvin’s, “I Want You”. Todd’s voice is timeless, he finishes his set with his own soul classic, “The Want of Nail”.
“Live From Daryl’s House” comes to life with a stage set that looks like the original house that Daryl lived in when he started the Internet show in 2007 along with the Daryl’s House logo in red light. Daryl is dons a black jacket and bandana neckerchief. The band is ready for round two, which starts off with the 1986 hit “Dreamtime” from 3 Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine. “It’s Uncanny” from “No Goodbyes” in 1977 and “Problem With You” from his 2011 “Laughing Down Crying” album. One of this writer’s favorite Hall albums is “Soul Alone”, a great record by Hall and he plays the track “Philly Mood”, it doesn’t get more Philly soul than that!
“Everytime You Go Away” written by Hall and was made a big hit in 1985 by singer Paul Young. It is played the way it is on the original recording by Hall and the band, a smooth, soulful ballad. Hall makes his way to the grand piano on stage to take us back to his first solo album, “Sacred Songs” and he plays the title track and a deep cut fan favorite, “Babs & Babs”, giving us a bit of prog rock and some news. “Live From Daryl’s House” will return. They will begin filming in September and one of his guests will be King Crimson’s, Robert Fripp, who produced “Sacred Songs”. While at the piano, Hall performs a cover of the Eurythmics, “Here Comes The Rain Again”. Hall recorded a video of this with Dave Stewart on LFDH a few years ago. It is so hauntingly beautiful and audience members were screaming and whistling at the end. Hall said he is currently recording an album with Dave Stewart as well. Hall sounds good, it is hard to believe these guys are in their mid-70’s! Like I said there is no John Oates here but Hall does perform several H&O hits for the fans including a lovely rendition of “Sara Smile” on piano and for the dancers in the aisles, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” to end the set.
But wait, we are not finished! Daryl brings Todd back to the stage for the encore making this a real “Live From Daryl’s House” experience for the audience. They trade off playing each other’s songs, Hall’s “Wait For Me” and Rundgren’s, “Can We Still Be Friends” which had people up out of their seats and singing along. They played a Philly classic by the Soul Survivors, “Expressway to Your Heart” and Hall closed the show with “You Make My Dreams”. Philly soul is alive and well with Hall & Rundgren keeping it going for new generations!
You can check out all info and tour dates at Live from Daryl’s House.
Vicky Sullivan Photos