09.04.2009 #3
3. Daryl Hall and John Oates at Nokia Theater Live, L.A.: It’s like Daryl himself explained after performing “Family Man,” chuckling to the Cougar-heavy crowd: “What was once irony is now reality.” Or, a group that used to be a guilty pleasure is finally getting its just due, proving the duo are much more than their record-shattering streak of hits in the early ’80s for RCA when they ruled the pop zeitgeist, and certainly made up the bulk of the set list for this return to L.A. after their recent Troubadour show. “Maneater,” which opened things, with Daryl and John strumming acoustic guitars on stools, before long-time sax player Charles DeChant spiked things with a solo, then joined by Oates on electric, was part of that, as was “Out of Touch,” “Adult Education,” “Say It Isn’t So,” “One on One,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes” and “You Make My Dreams,” currently the centerpiece dance sequence in the cult film smash, (500) Days of Summer. With a comprehensive four-CD, 80-track set on Sony Legacy coming Oct. 6, which covers their years on Atlantic and Arista, the duo dedicated the middle of the set to some of their deep tracks, and not just the big hits like “She’s Gone,” “Sara Smile” and “Rich Girl,” but a pair of Abandoned Luncheonette selections in “When the Morning Comes,” with a bleating synthesized horn and DeChant’s piercing soprano sax, and “Las Vegas Turnaround,” incorporating a sample from Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the Grass." The even-more obscure “It’s Uncanny,” a single from their 1977 best-of Atlantic compilation, No Goodbyes, truly captures the pair’s roots in Philly R&B. With a band that includes lifers like T-Bone Wolk wrenching electric sounds out of his acoustic guitar, Daryl and John seem energized by the renewed interest in a generation that grew up with their music and is without prejudice about their commercial success. Hopefully, this late-career surge will translate into a renewed consideration for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If fellow blue-eyes soulsters like Young Rascals and Blondie can be voted in, H&O more than deserve the honor, also.