Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”
On this date in history, 8/19/2021, Hall & Oates brought their arsenal of hits to an enthusiastic crowd at Deer Creek (Ruoff Music Center) in Noblesville, IN. I just looked up their tour itinerary and discovered that the show my girlfriend and I attended was just the seventh of their current run after the extended COVID-19 shutdown of live entertainment. This, and the basic reality that these guys are in their mid-seventies now, sort of guaranteed that we didn’t get Hall & Oates at the height of their powers. Honestly, that didn’t matter that much, anyway. For one, Hall & Oates have a great band backing them, and most of that band have been in place for a long stretch of road. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the hits I alluded to in the opening sentence are an absolutely stellar collection of pop gold, all sautéed in that delicious Philly Soul that these guys have perfected in their 50 + years career. They hit the stage with Maneater, and followed with Out Of Touch, Method Of Modern Love, Say It Isn’t So, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (possibly my favorite of the whole show!), She’s Gone, a long soulfully sweet Sara Smile, and wrapping up with I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). But wait! There’s more! Hall & Oates returned for a four song encore consisting of Rich Girl, Kiss On My List, Private Eyes, and You Make My Dreams. Darryl Hall has lost some of his range, but he is still a formidable vocalist and he found alternative ways to bypass some of the high notes of days gone by. The band seemed a trifle off kilter and rusty at times, but they got the job done, and the healthy sized crowd lapped it up like candy; dancing and singing along to nearly every syllable. It is a palpable feeling that music fans are starving for the live experience, and Hall & Oates were triumphant in emotional content even if their show wasn’t full strength. English pop rock veterans Squeeze played an enjoyable warm up set that was suitably complimentary to the headliners stylistically, and they were rightfully well received. I have to thank my girlfriend for coaxing me out of my comfort zone. I’m certain I wouldn’t have been in attendance without her, and I found myself semi-amazed at just how many great songs Hall & Oates have amassed in their time together. I walked in with an open mind, but I walked out a fan! Live music sure makes life more interesting.