Hall & Oates – 2/28/14
Grand Casino – Shawnee, OK
Words/Photos by Steven Anthony
For the last few years Hall & Oates have extensively toured throughout the United States, peppering dates in seemingly every corner of America. They generally make a few stops here in my home state of Oklahoma, and 2014 is no different with the band finding themselves closing out February in Shawnee at the new venue inside the Grand Casino.
For a little over 90 minutes, Daryl Hall and John Oates delivered hit after hit from their extensive back catalog, occasionally turning the songs into extended jam sessions. In general the music sounded precisely how you remember, but the band also wasn’t scared to change it up. Using Out of Touch, for example, Hall & Oates gave the song a harder rock edge while maintaining the song’s ridiculously catchy vocal melody.
Daryl Hall’s voice has held up amazingly well, and save for a few changes to deal with his deepening voice (especially noticeable on You Make My Dreams), he sounded almost studio perfect. John Oates took lead on a few tracks, including Alone Too Long and Las Vegas Turnaround, allowing him time to prove his voice has held up just as well as Hall’s.
The band essentially played every song a fan could hope to hear, including somewhat surprising (but very appreciated) appearances of Method of Modern Love and Adult Education, two of my favorite H&O tracks. The set was short – the main portion ending after only ten songs, leaving four songs for the encore – but it seemed about perfect for the casual casino crowd.
Judging by the crowd’s reaction, I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) and Rich Girls remain the band’s biggest fan favorites. I Can’t Go for That was extended into an insane nearly 15 minute long soul jam, allowing for a lengthy saxophone solo, some vocal improvisation by Daryl and a great solo by the band’s touring guitarist.
While the crowd was most assuredly there for Daryl & John, the two couldn’t have done it without their great backing band. Everyone was mic’d up to help with the great vocal harmony work that fills the band’s discography, and the guys were clearly well rehearsed even with the addition of a new touring guitarist. There was one false start during Las Vegas Turnaround, but Daryl and John laughed it off and said it could be the show’s Youtube moment.
While the show could have been longer and perhaps included more deep cuts for those who are more than casual fans of the band, it was musically sound and a great showcase by one of music’s top-selling duos. Just a few months shy of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall & Oates still deliver on the live front and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who’s ever sang along to Private Eyes or Sara Smile. You should have plenty of chances to catch the band as they seem to never stop touring, but don’t miss out when they come through your town.
Maneater, Out of Touch, Say It Isn’t So, Method of Modern Love, Adult Education, Alone Too Long, Las Vegas Turnaround, She’s Gone, Sara Smile, I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do), Rich Girl, You Make My Dreams Come True, Kiss on My List, Private Eyes
Check out the full slideshow below: