Hall and Oates: Return to the Troubadour, May 23, 2008
Friday night and the Troub is packed. In a nutshell: Old. Parents with sitters for the night, some flying solo, some grossly inebriated, more than a few sober as can be. The $200 ticket price scared all those dreaded hipsters away, Yacht Rock allegiance be damned. Nothing but hardcore fans here. These people are brandishing H&O tribute license plates. Believe it! Anticipation boils feverish. Over near the bar, a smattering of younger folks commingle with what might in another setting be aunts and uncles at a drunken, Hall-and-Oates-appreciative family reunion. Vibe is boisterous. Tommy Bahama rules the wardrobe of the male contingency. The house DJ plays classic cuts from the duo’s past. The stage is all decked out for a change, nautical netting backdrop casually draped for an inexplicably appropriate vibe. (Yacht rock nod? Something Hall-and-Oatesy, something nautical going on here, very Marina 1978 any way you slice it…) A brief flash of darkened curly hair through a crack in the green room curtain causes a roar from the crowd. Showtime. The band takes to the stage.
Hall, stage right. Oates, sans mustache, stage left. (Oates, bless him, will never in this lifetime be written about without a nod to his former ’stache, one of the most famous mustaches in history. Find an article about Hall and Oates and you will invariably come across the line that says “…though he no longer sports the famous mustache…” – such is his fate.)
Given the price tag and the voluminous “Return to the Troubadour” hype surrounding these two dates, we know we’re getting a take-no-prisoners set from the get-go. They deliver accordingly, starting the proceedings with “Everything Your Heart Desires” and immediately following it with “When the Morning Comes” from 1973’s Abandoned Luncheonette. Am I the only person here chanting “Oates! Oates! Oates!” after every song? …Is that not what we do? Oates is mesmerising to watch, to be sure, but I want to hear his vocals much louder. Finally it becomes glaringly apparent to the room that Oates’ vocals are painfully low when he’s awarded lead vocal duty for the sixth number. “This is called, ’Hallelujah, Ben,’” I perceive him saying before they launch headfirst into “Had I Known You Then.” Wha? Sheezus turn his mic up, man! Hall’s drowning him out every time he comes in on backup. A minor quibble; the song finishes and we’re soon back on course with “She’s Gone,” also from Abandoned Luncheonette. License plate brandishers are all over this one.
“Getaway Car” features an extended jam ending, then we get “Cab Driver,” a solo cut by Daryl. At this point it’s pretty much time to stop pulling punches and crank out a shitload of classic songs that, to quote one concertgoer “fell from heaven.” He continued, dribbling jack and ginger on my sleeve: “It’s like, where did this song come from? It came straight down from the sky.”
Sky or no, the rest of our evening basically sounded like this: One on One > Sara Smile > Maneater > Out of Touch > Lots of Clapping > I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (with flute!) > Rich Girl > Kiss on my List > You Make My Dreams > Lots More Clapping > Flash of hair through the curtain again > Flurry of activity > Here comes T-Bone down the stairs again! > PRIVATE EYES – the entire bar filling in that one-clap, two-clap chorus with aplomb. We were advised by Daryl that the evening, which was being filmed, will eventually be broadcast over at Live From Daryl’s House. Well done, Hall. Well done, Oates, Well done, Troubadour.
HALL AND OATES
TROUBADOUR: 23 MAY 2008
Everything Your Heart Desires
When The Morning Comes
Say It Isn’t So
Had I Known You Better Then (Hallelujah Ben)
One On One
Out Of Touch
—- ENCORE —-
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (with flute)
Kiss On My List
You Make My Dreams
—- ENCORE 2 —-
I managed to score an actual setlist from the gig, but don’t believe the second encore listed below for as mentioned, it was all about the “Private Eyes” clap-along. Also, note to Ticketmaster: Find robot to proofread artist name spellings on tickets. Shouldn’t be too hard.
SPECIAL BONUS PHOTO
What does Oates use to ensure he gets the proper tone? The OateStompBox!
MORE HALL, MORE OATES
» M, E, T, H, O, D, O, F, L, O, V, E
» SXSW ‘08: Daryl Hall @ Austin Convention Center, March 12
» Ann Powers over at the LA Times wrote an excellent article recapping the duo the week of the show. Read it here.
Band images 1-4: Manny Hebron/Picksysticks
(Setlist keepsake collage and OateStompBox by yours truly)