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Live From Daryl’s House . . . live!

| April 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

What originally started as an under-the-radar webcast in 2007, has since evolved into an MTV Award-winning syndicated TV show and subsequent seven-city tour. Enter “Live From Daryl’s House,” the seemingly out-of-the-blue reinvention by Daryl Hall from strictly singer for blue-eyed soul mainstays Hall & Oates to a multi-media guru with hipster-friendly leanings. Need proof? Thus far the program’s boasted everyone from legends like Smokey Robinson, Todd Rundgren, Booker T & The M.G.’s, and Nick Lowe to Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Fitz & The Tantrums, Neon Trees, and Mayer Hawthorne.

That multi-generational appeal continued on the road during a collaborative evening between the headliner, Sharon Jones (of The Dap-Kings fame), newcomer Allen Stone, and a video-screen cooking lesson from cheesesteak chef Tony Luke. Granted that last virtual guest would’ve faired much better had the audience been in Hall’s actual house, but considering the Chicago stop was switched from the sizeable Auditorium Theatre to the smaller Vic, the night managed to evoke intimacy nonetheless.
 
Those who showed up to only hear the Hall & Oates hits didn’t get very many (another chance comes during the duo’s Ravinia September 1st stop), but the show certainly lived up to its “Nu-Soul Revue” subtitle. Considering Hall is one of the best blue-eyed soul singers in the game, crossed with Jones’ smoldering R&B abilities, and Stone’s pitch-perfect retro revivalism, there was plenty to put concertgoers in a Philly-meets-Motor City state of mind.
 
Cuts from Hall’s new solo outing, Laughing Down Crying (Verve Forecast), fit snuggly into the format, including the horn-heavy “Save Me” and the jazzy “Eyes For You (Ain’t No Doubt About It).” From Jones’ songbook, “100 Days, 100 Nights” simmered sensually and “I Learned The Hard Way” exploded with classic blues riffs, while Stone shined across the self-penned smoker “Celebrate Tonight” and the Motown-like “Say So.”
 
As for those beloved H&O flashbacks, Hall showcased his singer/songwriter side on “Everytime You Go Away” and turned the dated studio productions of “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” and “You Make My Dreams” into vivacious R&B arrangements. It’s a shame more people weren’t on hand to see it all transpire, which, besides being a rare chance to see the veteran in a club setting, also boasted a sumptuous creative detour that lent stock to his often underrated abilities.

— Andy Argyrakis

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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