Gig review: HALL AND OATES – Hammersmith Apollo, 11 July 2014

At a sold out Apollo it was a chance to witness musical legends Daryl Hall and John Oates, the most successful duo in US chart history, even surpassing the Everly Brothers. They can still draw a crowd (all the UK dates were sold out) despite not releasing a new album in a few years and their last UK chart hit was many moons ago. It is a strong best of set with a few 70’s classics to keep the long standing fans happy.

Kicking off with ‘Maneater’, that got the crowd to its feet and dancing away, bar a few grumps who were determined to sit through the gig as they had paid for a seat :) Next up ‘Out Of Touch’, one of those tunes an AOR/melodic rock fans like me loves and the musicianship would give Toto a run for their money.

In particular long term sax player Charles De Chant, whose playing was simply sensational and he had an extended jam on ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’. Percussionist Porter Caroll also added some silky smooth soulful backing vocals and guitarist Shane Theriott showed his skills on ‘Back Together Again’, a 70’s cut that wouldn’t sound out of place being done by Bob Seger.

‘She’s Gone’ literally brought the concert to a standstill, even though it was midway through their set. The audience reaction was like that after a final encore and not surprising given the vocal tour de force given by Daryl Hall. For someone in their late sixties he can still belt out the high notes and the band harmonies were simply divine.

Let’s not forget John Oates who showed he was no vocal slouch taking the lead on ‘Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)’ and adding his guitar playing throughout. He had a good on-stage patter with Daryl Hall too, doubtless honed to a fine art through the years.

An extended jam session on ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’ closed the main set. One slight grumble that the sound did drop in quality at times, especially the sax.

Two lots of encores including ‘Rich Girl’ and ‘Private Eyes’ highlighting the amount of hits this duo have notched up.

I would doubt anyone left the gig not feeling happy at having witnessed a great gig. Hall and Oates are, like Stevie Wonder last month, musical legends that can still perform as well as in their heyday and have lost none of their vocal power.

Review by Jason Ritchie

Maneater/Out Of Touch/Say It Isn’t So/It’s Uncanny/Back Together Again/Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)/She’s Gone/Sara Smile/Do What You Want, Be What You Are/I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
Encores: Rich Girl/You Make My Dreams/Kiss on My List/Private Eyes

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