FUNKY '80s' DUO MAKE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE WITH A LONG-AWA ITED IRISH DEBUT...
HALL & OATES
"I actually can't believe that Hall & Oates have never played in Dublin before. Outrageous!" Too right, Daryl - you and John sure did take your time.
The Philadelphia duo probably could have hit the O2 for their Irish debut. As it stands, the Olympia isn't big enough for 40-odd years of catching up.
Then again, if you're going to have a set of cameras following your every move for a forthcoming DVD release, it might as well be in a sold-out theatre. Looks better for the viewers at home. Who, by the way, will be pleased to see the lads' touring drummer, Brian Dunne, kitted out in an Ireland soccer jersey. Good man, Brian.
Hall & Oates get a hard time for being, well, Hall & Oates. Cheesy purveyors of everything that made the '80s so damn funny, there's a side to these blokes that consists entirely of wind chimes, clenched fists and big-old slushy vocal outbursts.
"You're out of touch, I'm out of time!" "You make my dreams come true!" "Your kiss is on my list!" Smooth work. No sarcasm intended. In fact, the music is fabulous - all soft-rock grooves, funky guitar shuffles and blue-eyed soul workouts.
Actually, it's really just pop music. Smart, well-crafted, effortlessly- executed pop music. And the boys still look marvellous. We wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that there might have been a few nips, tucks and pulls along the way, but remember, they're both in their late 60s. Amazing, right?
Daryl dresses like one of the Eagles. Leather jacket, wavy barnet, aviator sunglasses - the guy has still got it. Meanwhile, John Oates bears all the resemblance of a ripped PE teacher, out for some fun on his summer holliers. Impressive head of locks on that bloke, too.
Make no mistake - it's Daryl's show, and his vocal is in beautiful nick. But John's sumptuous guitar work and harmonising provides a strong and necessary back-up.
They're making up for lost time, and it's a joyous offering, complete with a Willie Nelson look-alike on saxophone (the great Charles DeChant), a terrific rhythm section and blissful bouts of chorus sharing (Maneater, Out of Touch and a solid cover of Mike Oldfield's Family Man). Floor-fillers and toe-tappers, the lot of them.
"Wow. A long time coming!" declares Daryl. He means the response, which borders on deafening. Did I mention the dude's T-shirt? Yep, even on tour, the chap finds time to promote his popular web show, Daryl's House. Meanwhile, the other one urges us to buy the new John Oates solo record. Settle down, fellas, we're already here. All that matters is that you come back some day. Cracking show. HHHHI