09 26 15 hall and oates -54Written by Dave Clements

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Hall and Oates came to town on Saturday night to play for loyal fans (and I’m guessing some husbands who were coerced into coming) at the wonderful Woodlands Pavilion. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air. These two guys have spent many years, actually over four decades, making an impact (and making a living!) putting out records and playing to live audiences around the world.
If you ever listened to the radio in the 70’s and 80’s, you’ve heard Maneater, She’s Gone, Sara Smile, Rich Girl, Kiss On My List, and Private Eyes (and more!) all of which were played on this night. And for the most part this sold out crowd (reserved seats only, lawn wasn’t open) seemed to enjoy hearing and singing along to their favorites. For me, that just wasn’t the case and it’s possible that was just me.

In fact, I feel the best part of the show was the opening act. A gentleman names Mutlu, from Philly (just like Hall & Oates) took the stage and easily engaged the audience. He sat on his stool, played his acoustic guitar, and song after song put out a really cool vibe. He was very talented, had a unique sound, great stage presence…just gave the impression of being a genuinely nice guy.

Hall and Oates followed. Daryl Hall seems to be the lead vocalist for the vast majority of songs, with John Oates chiming in from time to time. So, my first beef is that their set was all directed to stage right, where Hall was positioned. Then, from the moment Hall came out and waved to the audience I hardly saw a second, other than when he was required to be singing lyrics, when he wasn’t making gestures to his sound engineer just off stage. And these were not subtle or pleasant gestures, they were clearly in anger and disgust. It seemed that he was having monitor issues that were beyond horrible for him based on the expressions on his face and his highly verbal body language.

09 26 15 hall and oates -52Folks, I’m not talking about just during one song or even two, but well over half the set. This became so distracting to me I wanted to get up and leave. If I could have I would have held up a sign that said ‘Daryl, if you’re unhappy with your sound on stage, stop the show, go have a conversation with your sound engineer so he can clearly understand the issue/s’. Instead he chose to continue this hostile, animated song and dance, with no attempt to disguise it from the crowd. I don’t understand the choice to continue to rant rather than stopping to fix it. The audience, the fans, deserved his full attention and his best effort.

John Oates seemed able to essentially tune Hall out and really looked like he was having a good time. Would have been great to see that from Mr. Hall as well. And the heck of it is, it didn’t sound that bad to me, and the crowd was engaged … but obviously Daryl Hall was not getting his needs met.

We love our music in Houston, and look forward to a time when Hall and Oates will come back to our neck of the woods and treat us like the customer!
Until next time, remember there’s no time to kill.