A shining hope for pop music: Hall & Oates at the 1STBANK Center
Hall & Oates @ 1STBANK Center | 3/3/14
With no opening act, Daryl Hall and John Oates took the stage with their six backing musicians. Parts of this band have been together for a long time, including sax player Charles DeChant and veteran studio and touring guitarist Paul Pesco.
It would be difficult to identify any high point in the show -- it was like a greatest-hits record come to life. And they changed many of the songs enough to keep things interesting for the audience and for themselves. Things kicked off with the 1982 hit "Maneater." It was a striking reminder of the way Hall & Oates really synthesized jazz and R&B and rock without subsuming the virtues of any of those musical forms.
Often remembered as just a good pop band, Hall & Oates displayed versatility on rocked-up renditions of songs like "Out of Touch." The band was in fine form and mood; in an unexpectedly heated moment in the playing, Oates did his signature leg kick, and women nearby went crazy. Apparently at 64, he can still have that effect.
Brandon Marshall See?
"Say It Isn't So" has long been one of the band's better, night-hued numbers, and it felt expansive and uplifting despite essentially being a downtempo R&B song. Following that with an even more funk-inflected rendition of "Method of Modern Love" seemed a perfect move in the sequence of the show. It worked as a reverse in tone and pace, from bright and earthy to dusky and ethereal, but dense with feeling throughout.
Halfway through the show, Daryl Hall told us that the whole world is high school but that there had to be a way past all of that. There are petty conflicts and judgments and stupid grudges that seem so much a part of adult life between people and between groups of people and between nations. Following those comments, he and the band went into a song from the 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette: the wry "Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)." Except for maybe some of the specific socio-cultural references, it still seemed relevant, because that same sort of human interaction still goes down.