Daryl Hall & John Oates have long been a favorite of mine. On Sunday, they made my dream of seeing them live come true.
The Hall of Famers performed a retrospective of hits spanning some 40 years for a nearly full Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
My anticipation for the show began the moment the duo announced they were splitting the bill for a summer tour with Train.
What made the night even more special was I got to share it with my friend Kristie, who I’ve known for as long as Hall and Oates have been together. We grew up loving these guys and appreciating their brand of music, so it was perfect. She caught them in Cleveland in May, but it has been 15 years since she and I have attended a show together.
Train opened the show with a spirited set that began with “Parachute,” “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” and “If It’s Love.” Pat Monahan is a personable man and a phenomenal vocalist. He’s as energetic live as the band’s songs are on the radio, and it was cool to witness his talent firsthand.
Train performed the latest single, “Call Me Sir.” It’s sure to become a lasting hit, judging by the crowd’s reaction. It’s full of Monahan’s cleverly, quirky lyrics we’ve come to love.
“Meet Virginia,” “Save Me San Francisco” and “Drive By” kept the audience powered up, while “When I Look To The Sky” and “Marry Me” showcased the band’s tender side.
For me, it was “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Play That Song” and “Drops Of Jupitor” that resonated most. It has been a sad year and I was there to have a good time. Thank you, Train!
When Hall & Oates walked onto the stage, it was a lifelong dream coming to fruition. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve played their albums over the years.
The familiar riffs of “Maneater” started and it was almost as if the hair on my forearms had ignited. I was getting rejuvenated, something I desperately have needed.
Then came my all-time three most favorite Hall & Oates songs in a row: “Out Of Touch,” “Say It Isn’t So” and their cover of the Righteous Brothers classic “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’”
I’ve seen a lot of concerts and sometimes artists skim over parts of their career, but not these guys. I loved that they paid homage to all eras , including where it all began with the album “Abandoned Luncheonette.” The multi-generational crowd loved hearing “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile” from the early days.
It was obvious Daryl’s vocals aren’t what they once were, but he is 70. His musicianship speaks for itself.
Monahan reappeared to perform “Philly Forget Me Not,” the song specifically crafted by Hall, Oates and Train for this tour. He also lent vocals to Hall & Oates’ “Wait For Me” before ascending into his band’s “Calling All Angels.” That’s a concert moment I’ll always hold close. Monahan and Hall were singing, “I want a reason for the way things have to be/I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me/And I-I-I-I’m calling all you angels.”
Other highlights included a lengthy jazzy version of “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Kiss On My List, and “Private Eyes,” before a killer encore performance of “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams.”
— David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.