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Review: Daryl Hall and John Oates perform hits at Madison Square Garden (Includes first-hand account)

The iconic rock duo got the crowd on their feet with “Maneater,” as red lights dimmed from the stage. “What’s up, New York City?” Hall asked. “It’s good to be back here. I feel at home. I will sleep in my own bed tonight. Thank you for coming out.”

Daryl Hall and John Oates took their fans on a trip back to 1984 to their Big Bam Boom album with “Out of Touch,” where everybody was singing along with them. Hall shared that they would be performing songs from various eras, and rightfully so.

Equally noteworthy was their rendition of “Say It Isn’t So” from their Rock ‘n Soul Part 1 CD.

“How are you guys doing out there?” John Oates asked, prior to noting that they are halfway through with their tour, and there is “nothing like a New York audience.”

When they covered “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” they paid homage to veteran songwriters Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil, and delivered a solid yet captivating rendition, thus making it their own.

“Everybody feel good?” Hall asked, and the answer was a resounding “yes.” He compared the Madison Square Garden vibe to “a club.”

“She’s Gone” had a funky groove to it, and Hall went on to perform a few songs on piano, including their smash hit “Sara Smile,” which earned a tremendous response due to its nostalgia, and Hall showcased his wide range as a recording artist on this smash single.

“Is It a Star” featured John Oates on lead vocals, and a starry background on the giant, innovative televised screen. Oates proved that his prowess on electric guitar is unparalleled.

They picked up the pace with the mid-tempo, yet lengthy tune “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” which was a masterpiece in itself, spanning over 12 minutes. The song ended in a neat instrumental jam.

Daryl Hall and John Oates brought back Train front-man Pat Monahan on stage who joined them for several songs including their single “Philly Forget Me Not,” as well as “Wait For Me” and the Train popular hit “Calling All Angels.” After the infectious “Kiss on My List,” they closed with “Private Eyes,” and returned to the hallowed Madison Square Garden stage for “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams.”

The Verdict

Overall, Daryl Hall and John Oates gave New York’s Madison Square Garden a night of night to remember. The duo proves that their music is as relevant as ever, and they only get better with age and experience. Their music was highly eclectic, and it encompassed elements of pop, rock, jazz, funk, adult contemporary and even disco. It is no wonder that they are one of the most successful musical duos in the history of music. Their live set at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” earned five out of five stars.

To learn more about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Daryl Hall and John Oates, visit their website.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 16,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a five-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past two years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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