The iconic rock duo began their 2016 tour with outstanding opening acts Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Trombone Shorty, and Orleans Avenue.
13-May-2016: 12,000 fans came out for the opening night of the 2016 Daryl Hall and John Oates Tour. It was May 13 at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas. There were a few bugs to work out during the show. Was it due to this being the first night of the tour or because it was Friday the 13th? Either way, the fans didn’t care one bit.
The ones who beat the rush-hour traffic saw an inspiring performance by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Sharon’s bluesy voice set the tone for the evening as she belted out blues and jazz to the still-arriving crowd. Seeing her perform while undergoing radiation during her ongoing three-year battle with cancer gave everyone in attendance an emotional lift.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue took over the stage and immediately raised the excitement. Shorty is an outstanding musician and has surrounded himself with equally talented artists. He has modernized jazz making it an exciting new sound and plans to headline shows soon.
The date-night crowd came to see the highest-selling duo of all-time. The lights went out, and a countdown played on the overhead screen as shadowy figures filled the stage.
With no introduction, lights flooded the stage, and Daryl Hall and John Oates with their six-piece backup band opened the night with their 1984 hit, “Out Of Touch.”
Hall effortlessly sang “Maneater,” accompanied by “Mr. Casual” Charlie Dechant on saxophone. It received a well-deserved round of applause, as did “Did It In A Minute,” a song they haven’t performed live in many years.
Drummer Brian Dunne was like a symphony conductor as he kept the band in perfect time through chord changes and complicated movements. Women swooned for Daryl’s smooth voice during “Say It Ain’t So.”
The band had fun as Klyde Jones on bass guitar joined the two stars for a three-pronged front on guitars.
Hall’s soulful voice was the highlight on “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” They added a little funk toward the end of the beautiful song, with a spot-on solo by Oates, punctuated by the crowd’s singing.
The loving feelings continued with “Las Vegas Turnaround.” Charlie wailed on the sax to the smooth jazz song. Next came the R&B infused “She’s Gone,” with a great harmony that touched the many couples in the audience. The dancers stopped long enough to let the musicians know how much they loved it.
The audience reached a new decibel level at the first few notes of “Sara Smile.” The fact that it’s a true story added an extra layer of soul to Daryl’s voice, turning this into a fan favorite.
A sax and guitar duel highlighted the drumbeat-led,”Do What You Want, Be Who You Are.” The last song of the set, “I Can’t Go For That,” turned into a crowd sing-along when Daryl wasn’t pouring out his soul while singing.
It was a terrific set-ending jam session, complete with sax, flute, keyboards, guitars, and drum solos. The crowd was louder than the performers and danced like it was their Senior Prom.
Demands for an encore were met quickly with an uptempo version of “Rich Girl.” The singers and the dancers in the audience relived every high school date during those few minutes. It got even wilder for “You Make My Dreams.” The passion of the Hall of Fame duo is evident; the love what they do and their fans know it. The extended jam had lasted several minutes before they left the stage again.
They still had some greatest hits to play, and the audience would have revolted if the band hadn’t stuck around. The band had fun playing an extended version of “Kiss Is On My List.”
They chose the 1981 No. 1 hit, “Private Eyes,” for their final song which went over well with the fans. The build up to this fan favorite track pushed the crowd into a frenzy. Everyone on stage played solos, the crowd sang, and every person in the venue had a blast.
Years of touring and playing together have taught the friends and band-mates how to put together a terrific concert. They interacted well with the crowd and pulled them into the overall experience. They supplied tremendous excitement and fed off the energy.
John Hall and Daryl Oates are on tour through September. Check their website for upcoming tour dates.
Joe Guzman of National Rock Review was on hand to record the event.