DVD REVIEW: Daryl Hall and John Oates Live at the Troubadour

Daryl Hall and John Oates
Live at the Troubadour
(Shout Factory)

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The dynamic “Philly soul” duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates are coming at you on this two hour DVD Live at the Troubadour. Coming back to the famed CA club for the first time since they played there way-back-when as a support act, Hall and Oates front a 6-piece band (crowded on the small Troubadour stage for sure) and run through 19 songs.

Older Hall and Oates band mates, T-Bone Wolk and Charles DeChant are joined by Eliot Lewis, Michael Braun, Everett Bradley and Zev Katz. For all intents and purposes, this is an ‘unplugged set’ and the acoustic feel of the show doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of tunes like “She’s Gone” or “I Can’t Go For That” (in fact, “She’s Gone” sounds great here). If anything, given this ‘softer’ treatment you can really hear what went into these Hall and Oates tunes that might have passed you by on all those repeated MTV airings.

Highlights for me are John Oates taking lead vocal on the ballad “Had I Known You Better Then,” the afore mentioned “She’s Gone,” the big early hit “Rich Girl” (Hall switches from acoustic guitar to keys half way through the show and from about this song on he stands, sings, and plays keys) and the older tune “Abandoned Luncheonette.”

I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, the desire to play acoustic like this has come from Daryl Hall’s recent free monthly concerts on the web where he and T-Bone host various famous (and not so famous) musicians. These acoustic shows can be found Here.

Pick-up Live at the Troubadour, as it’s really a perfectly shot two hour show with pristine sound (for the first time I really can hear John Oates play lead on these tunes and it’s a revelation!). You get all those MTV hits, “Family Man” “Private Eyes” and “Maneater,” ‘oldies’ “Rich Girl” and “Sara Smile” and some little gems like “Cab Driver” and “Had I Known You Better Then.” For Hall and Oats fans, hell for any music fan, it doesn’t get much better then this.

Ralph Greco, Jr.

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