Live Review: Smooth as Ever, Hall & Oates Prowl the Borgata

Published on June 18th, 2011

June 17, 2011 – “Oh oh oh oh!” is what Daryl Hall yells to cue the signature bass line of 1982′s classic “Maneater”. Hall & Oates have been opening their concerts with this song for countless years, but it never loses its power, and nor do they. When watching and listening, the fact that Hall is 64 and John Oates is 62 seems nothing short of impossible. But there’s no age limit on their reach. Teens and boomers alike show up to hear and discuss their musical prowess. On Friday night in Atlantic City’s Borgata Event Center, the venue’s self-description as “the perfect gathering place for 3,700 of your closest friends” was never more accurate.

“How many of you were here last month?” asked Hall after the show had started. No, it wasn’t their second time at the same venue in such a short time, although it was for him. Several weeks before this performance, an episode of the singer’s music extravaganza “Live from Daryl’s House” was filmed at the Borgata’s Music Box. The show featured Philadelphia “soul-mate” Todd Rundgren, who could now be called a regular with his appearances becoming more and more frequent. There was no Todd at this show, but one can’t help but think what kind of a powerhouse Hall & Oates & Rundgren would be.

The duo packs plenty of punch on its own though, and that’s in big thanks to their stellar backing band. Paul Pesco is a fierce guitarist, and Charlie DeChant’s saxophoning skills are unmatched after decades on the road with the band. Drummer Brian Dunne, bassist Zev Katz, percussionist Everett Bradley, and keyboardist Eliot Lewis round out the line-up.

But aside from their respective instruments, these musicians also shine in their vocal harmonies. Such a good vocalist is Bradley that he and Hall engaged in a battle for the wildest scream during “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”. The band left the stage after that song, but it was far too early to call it a night.

They returned with more, including a version of “Kiss on My List” that segued effortlessly into “Private Eyes” as a grinning Hall tapped his keyboard. With their massive musical legacy only gradually being realized, Hall & Oates are way past trying to be hip – they just are.


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  1. Posted by Karen Sposito on June 23rd, 2011, 00:13 [Reply]

    I love Hall and Oats,they are true soul,with heir special touch of chill bumps.I have been a fan since i was 17,i am now 48,they blow my mind.Never stop playing because we need good music in our crazy world,can’t wait till you come to New Orleans,I will be in front row,if I have anything to do with it.God Bless,you are the best,a true fan.Karen Sposito


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