So earlier tonight the wife and I—along with a friend—attended the Daryl Hall and John Oates concert at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre here in Southern California.
It was, I believe, the seventh time I’ve seen H&O—my all time, all time, all time favorite band. To say I love Hall and Oates is no exaggeration. I love Hall and Oates to the point where, when CDs mattered, I owned about 50 of their various releases and bootlegs. Great voices, great musicianship, underrated material that holds up through the decades. Hall and Oates were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame last year, and it was long overdue. They’re musical pioneers and legends.
That being said …
Tonight’s concert sucked. First, it lasted for approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes—far too short for anyone, but faaaaaar too short for a band with a gazillion hits. Second, the set list was flat and lame. Here, take a look …
Of the first 10 songs, six were predictable (Maneater, Out of Touch, Say it isn’t So, She’s Gone, Sara Smile, I Can’t Go for That), two were thrilling (Did it in a Minute, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’) and two were obscure and excruciatingly meandering (Las Vegas Turnaround, Do What You Want, Be What You Are).
Third, the show could have been in Cleveland. Or Tulsa. Or Miami, San Diego, Atlanta, Nashville. There was no effort to interact with the crowd or one another. It was song—boom. Next song—boom. Next song—boom. It felt like they were playing for a paycheck. Which is no crime—they are playing for paychecks. But they could have pretended to be playing for us; to be interested and present. I know the 854,322nd singing of Maneater can’t be thrilling.
But, well, it wasn’t.