Daryl Hall & John Oates – Live In Dublin, Blu-ray (2015)

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Live In Dublin, Blu-ray (2015)

Performers: Daryl Hall, John Oates, Shane Theriot, Brian Dunne, Porter Carroll Jr., Charlie DeChant; Eliot Lewis – keyboards; Klyde Jones – bass
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment EVB33503 [3/31/15]
Director: Joss Crowley
Audio: English DTS-MD Master Audio 5.1, PCM Stereo 2.0
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9, 1080p HD
TrackList: Maneater; Out Of Touch; Say It Isn’t So; Family Man; It’s Uncanny; Back Together Again; Las Vegas Turnaround; She’s Gone; Sara Smile; Do What You Want, Be What You Are; I Can’t Go For That; Rich Girl; You Make My Dreams; Kiss On My List; Private Eyes
Extras: Interviews With Daryl Hall and John Oates
Length: 111 minutes
Rating:   Audio: ****    Video: ****    Overall: ****

Hall & Oates are best known as pioneers of Rock And Soul. Combining the hooks of rhythm and blues with rock, the Philadelphia-inspired duo started recording in the seventies with Atlantic Records. Whole Oats and Abandoned Luncheonette were regional successes, but garnered mediocre sales. In 1976, a re-released single of “She’s Gone” got them on the musical radar. After switching to RCA Records, War Babies produced the single, “Sara Smile”. But it was their string of 80s hits that launched them to stardom. Embracing their r & b roots, they expanded their sound to include some of the electronic pulse that defined the modern era. Songs like “Private Eyes”, “Maneater”, “You Make My Dreams”, Say It Isn’t So” and “Family Man” consistently charted. Despite solo recording, Hall & Oates have reunited many times and still tour. In 2014, they were elected to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has released a concert Blu-ray, Daryl Hall & John OatesLive In Dublin. Performing at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin for the first time (as a duo), Hall & Oates want to “make up for lost time”. That is exactly what they do. Fronting a seasoned, well-rehearsed band, they soar through a catalogue of songs that is still impressive. As the familiar opening hook to “Maneater” initiates the set, there is a relaxed “performance vibe” that takes shape. Hall is a talented singer and long time saxophonist Charlie “Mr. Casual” DeChant offers one of his many, accomplished solos. He is the senior band member and has a nice moment with John Oates at the end of the song. This amiable dynamic continues as the group knocks out hit after hit (and not in a medley).  During “Family Man”, there is a bit of light staging and some wah-wah guitar from Oates. Musical director/lead guitarist Shane Theriot adds a great solo.  Hall’s voice gets stronger with each number. The band heats up their r & b licks on “It’s Uncanny” and “Back Together Again”. Oates takes the lead vocal on an early single, “Las Vegas Turnaround”.

But it is Hall’s vocal skills that elevate the music. Sporting a black leather jacket and Live At Daryl’s House T-shirt, he is dynamic. The next group of quintessential Hall & Oates numbers is outstanding. In particular, they display the soulful range of Hall’s voice. “She’s Gone” (the one that started it all) is the best representation of the duo’s chemistry. The dual unison and alternating vocals are impeccable. DeChant adds soprano saxophone to the mix. There is a mellow flow to the essential ballad, “Sara Smile”, with vocal echo and some band hooks. The concert “centerpiece” (or one of them) is “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” is pure soul balladry. Rich backup vocals and tenor/guitar trade offs augment the emotion of the lead vocals. Hall and percussionist Porter Carroll Jr. exchange vocal riffs on “I Can’t Go For That”. DeChant contributes both flute and tenor on the extended set-closing song that captures the essence of the Philadelphia sound.. Calling this concert “greatest hits” is an understatement. The first encore features “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams” (which has a nimble repeat coda). A second encore of “Kiss On My List” and “Private Eyes” closes the show.

Hall & OatesLive In Dublin will thrill their fans. However, the quality of the band and music accessibility should make others rock and soul fans. The Blu-ray 5.1 mix is excellent and the 1080p HD video images are sharp without lighting saturation.

–Robbie Gerson

 

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