Review by Justin Burkhardt
Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famers Daryl Hall and John Oates stopped by Bethlehem on Thursday night, performing to a sold out crowd at the Sands Event Center. While the musical duo from Philadelphia haven’t put out a full album of new material since 2003, they still put on an amazing show relying on their classics from the 70’s and 80’s. Some of the songs they even included extended versions or slight tweaking to the songs which them sound a bit fresher.
Hall and Oates, who were backed by a very talented 6-piece band started off with their hit “Maneater,” which also featured a saxophone solo by Charlie DeChant who was the biggest highlight of the night outside of the duo. DeChant, who also played some keyboard & flute as well, had a few awesome solos during the night, the best being during an extended jam-session version of “I Can’t Go For That.” Another highlight of the night beyond hearing the hits like “Sara Smile” and “She’s Gone”(which brought a nice chunk of the mostly-older crowd rushing to the stage) was hearing songs from deeper in their catalogue and ones they don’t perform as often including “Did It In a Minute” and “Back Together Again.”
The first encore included the hits “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams Come True” (which was even more enjoyable as an extended version.) The duo came back out for a second encore with Daryl Hall mentioning the crowd was “fantastic” and he was “wowed.” The pair then plugged their solo stuff including Hall’s excellent “Live from Daryl’s House” T.V. show (which as a new season airing on Palladia soon) and John’s live DVD. The band then finished the night with the hits “Kiss on My List” & “Private Eyes.” I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of “2nd encores” because it sometimes feels like the band was going to come out and perform more regardless of cheers, but these hall-of-famers deserved all the cheers they got.
Hall & Oates are still very strong vocally and musically for their age, and with their talented band and minor tweaks to some older songs, they are absolutely still a must-see act. The band continues to show why they are the only homegrown Philadelphia band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I have no major complaints about the concert, but if I HAD to say something negative it would be I wish the show was a bit longer. Hall & Oates will be returning to the Valley to perform at the PPL Center a mere two and a half months from now on May 6th. While I have reservations about any musical act performing here so soon again, the Hall and Oates show is definitely worth going to (whether you saw them at the Sands or not.) I’m also glad for PPL that they’ve added an opening act to make the concert feel longer. Hall & Oates are still worth the money, so go check them out on their return trip here!