SXSW ’08: Daryl Hall @ Austin Convention Center, March 12
Pound for pound Daryl Hall truly is tough to beat in terms of sheer entertainment value. You know what you’re getting into, he comes out and delivers it in spades – with real soul, believe it!, I said it: soul; you may be here because you watched Yacht Rock and you think it’s all a big joke, or maybe you’re here because of that hokey “She’s Gone” video that’s crawling around again thanks to a recent Stereogum resurrection; most likely, you’re here because you grew up in the 1970s/early 80s, or your parents did. Whatever the reason, you’re here and you can’t help but take something out of this moment; you’ll come away truly impressed with a professional – one that knows when to laugh at himself, but also one that’s been making music probably longer than you’ve been walking the earth. Sure, maybe the new songs all sound vaguely like something you’ve heard before… “Hey! He’s playing ’Everything Your Heart Desires’… no …wait…nevermind, dunno what this is…” but you can’t fault the guy for having a signature sound f’Chrissakes. You can scream “Dreamtime!” all you want, but you know the chances of him singing it (or more accurately, remembering it) are right at 0%. Still you smile, he smiles, Sara smiles, he sings, the world is all right, briefly. My favorite Daryl Hall quips follow:
- “Let’s see. I got a house in upstate New York…I got a house in London…I got houses all over, man”
- “Listen here. When Oates first brought me this song it was…it was a reggae style, and I was like, ’We gotta put some POP into it. We gotta put some…some ’MMMP’ into it. Ya know!? (re: “Maneater”) …So here it is, the original version of ’Maneater’. Reggae style”
- “Thewomanizawildoooooooh” (all-time-fave scat line in “Maneater” is miraculously retained in “original” OatesRaggaEdition)
Unfortunatley had to leave during the encore while he was cranking out “Kiss on my List”, but I maintain he may have been one of the most entertaining acts I purposefully took the time to see this year. The trip was a success following that set.
Words by Ryan