Live Review: Daryl Hall and John Oates Reign As Atlantic City Royalty

Published on October 5th, 2013

_MG_0686Daryl Hall and John Oates performing live at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 4, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – It’s never less than a sell-out when Daryl Hall and John Oates roll into Atlantic City’s Borgata Event Center.

The duo is accustomed to appearing here no less than annually. You could call them royalty of the east coast gambling hub.

This particular Friday night had the usual offerings of gaming or perhaps a walk down the boardwalk in fresh 75 degree weather. But it also offered a live version of “Maneater”, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

Using his guitar more now than ever in his career, Hall emerged triumphant with the chords to that signature, thumping song in his pocket.

“She’ll chew, chew you up…” he says with a tone of warning.

His vocals were as smooth as glass on MTV anthems “Out of Touch” and “Say It Isn’t So”. Oates’ textured delivery was a perfect compliment when it was his turn to shine on “Las Vegas Turnaround”.

The event center, nestled inside the sophisticated amenities of Borgata, is the place they were born to play.

Hall, with his Ray-Bans and impeccable coiffure, shows no signs of his real age (66!). He and Oates bring a fitting air of luxury to the venue, and the band compliments it with slick perfection in musicianship and attire to be found everywhere on stage.

The crowd stood in anticipation when Hall traded his guitar for the keyboard.

Exquisite backlighting bathed the band in color as Hall simply tapped the instrument in the right fashion to earn applause lines for the likes of “You Make My Dreams” and “Kiss on My List”. The latter flowed effortlessly into “Private Eyes” with a cleverly designed keyboard bridge.

One can imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when a Daryl Hall Boulevard or a John Oates Drive is christened in Atlantic City.

Their appeal is not a thing of mystery. Potent rock, soul, and funk melodies ensnared a legion of fans decades ago, and the roster has grown over the years thanks to generous exposure in the web of pop culture.

At least part of this staying power in today’s cluttered pop landscape should be chalked up to the vivid contrast between the Hall and Oates personas.

In a genre filled with faceless bands, the duo stands out perpetually with John’s recognizable black facial hair and Daryl’s remarkable blond mane.

It’s the reason you don’t see a lot of people dressing up as the Doobie Brothers for Halloween. Sure they had hits, but the personas never quite stuck.

Who would have thought being hip at Halloween in the year 2013 would involve dressing up as Hall & Oates. When Hall hears the wildest screams for “Rich Girl” coming from twenty-somethings, it should be no surprise.

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