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Spins: Daryl Hall and John Oates • Live at the Troubadour

| January 9, 2022 | 0 Comments

Daryl Hall and John Oates

Live at the Troubadour LP

(BMG)

 

This 3xLP set marks the vinyl debut of the top-selling pop duo’s 2008 performance at Los Angeles’ famed nightclub. In the pair’s first performance at The Troubadour in 35 years, Daryl Hall and John Oates take a special trip back to 1973 by performing four folk and Philly soul songs from sophomore effort Abandoned Luncheonette.

Signature duet “She’s Gone” is performed with aching emotion and soulful harmony. Oates’ “Had I Known You Better Then” is presented for the first time since the year of its release, and the band encores with a stirring performance of the album’s rarely-played title cut – a moving portrait of fleeting time and faded youth. The hit-packed 19-song set features acoustic guitar-focused full-band arrangements of 19 favorites ranging from 1975 breakthrough single “Sara Smile” to “Getaway Car” from 2003’s Do It for Love (still the duo’s most recent studio album of original material). Surprise selections include 1977 compilation album single “It’s Uncanny” and Hall’s “Cab Driver” from 1996 solo album Can’t Stop Dreaming. Hall’s supple blue-eyed soul vocals coo, purr, soar and swoon throughout the set. “I write songs about where I’m not,” admits Hall regarding the homesick longing of fare like “Cab Driver” and “One on One.” Oates’ earthy harmonies and reliable rhythm guitar add grit and character, joined by longtime sideman T-Bone Wolk. Veteran bandmember Charlie DeChant plays familiar saxophone lines to elevate “Maneater” and “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” adding fluttering R&B flute to the latter. Zev Katz’ bass glides beneath Hall’s pulsing electric piano during “One on One,” while DeChant’s sax takes flight. “Everything Your Heart Desires,” “Say It Isn’t So,” “Rich Girl,” “Kiss On My List,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Private Eyes” and more are also performed by the sharp band, with particularly thrilling reinventions in the acoustic format for songs including “Family Man.”

Listing the songs alone conjures melodies familiar to any fan of ‘70s and ‘80s pop radio. Close your eyes and put yourself in the room 14 years ago. Listeners can sing along with the band just like the fans at the intimate Hollywood showcase venue do during “Out of Touch.” (hallandoates.com)

– Jeff Elbel

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Category: Spins, Weekly

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