FILE PHOTO: Daryl Hall and John Oates performing in concert earlier this year
IRVINE, C.A. – There is a kind of disbelief that takes place before a Daryl Hall and John Oates show. Could we really be about to witness the duo whose catalog is cited as a point of genesis by nearly every R&B and soul performer today? Will they really be here, live on stage, in the year 2015?
When the bass line to “Maneater” thumps, and the blond-maned Hall pounces at the microphone with that powerful, resonant voice, the disbelief turns to a general sense of wonder:
How can they still look and sound this good?
Here in southern California, at a completely packed Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, both Hall and Oates are redefining what it means to be nearly 70 years of age.
For the first few songs, they triumphantly parade through their 1980s hit book. They tear through the likes of “Out of Touch”, “Say It Isn’t So”, and “Did It In a Minute” with a feverish sense of urgency; the blending of their voices sounding as fresh as ever.
Hall, with his trademark Ray-Ban aviator-style sunglasses and perfectly coiffed flowing hair, will turn 69 this year, but doesn’t even look 50.
Oates looks similarly ageless, rounding out an unbelievably youthful looking duo that somehow released their first album 43 years ago.
While their catalog continues to sound fresh when heard in this current decade, many of the songs they wrote were simply meant to be played and heard live. The pair just released the live DVD and CD “Live from Dublin”, as a showcase of their continuing domination of the concert stage.
“I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” comes to life in the live setting with Hall’s added vocal improvisations and the addition of talented backing singer Porter Carroll, clocking in at nearly 15 minutes. It’s a showstopper.
After leaving the stage on a high note with that song’s conclusion, they returned to a roaring demand for an encore, and ended up delivering two of them.
To excite more screams from the audience for the remainder of the show, all Hall needed to do was tap his keys to the instantly recognizable strains of “Rich Girl” or “Private Eyes”.
The Irvine crowd was standing in awe by the show’s end – with their initial disbelief still intact.