Another Happy Father’s Day weekend (feat. Hall & Oates)

It’s been some time since I’d been in front of a keyboard πŸ˜› it’s so nice out, I’d hate to waste the day away in front of a screen.
But I gotta get this post done before too much of the awesomeness goes out of my head.

A couple years ago (I forget the date), my dad took my sister and I to NYC to see “Mamma Mia!”- which was an amazing time of a musical and we had a great dinner afterwards.
One of the best days I’d ever had.
And it was an even greater Father’s Day weekend.

This weekend, so far, has turned out amazing.
My sister and I got my dad a card and the movie “The Big Short.” He saw it twice in-flight and enjoyed it a lot. So we’ll be seeing it next weekend.

Now to the concert…
I just went to cross it off my bucket list and change my “Prince” bullet point to The Revolution…
They plan to tour, but most likely they won’t come close to here for a while.
Prince was only in the tri-state area ONCE as long as I’d loved him and his music. It was in 2010 and yes, I still kinda regret not pushing to go to Madison Square Garden or Metlife stadium to see him.
But the way he scheduled his appearances and his shows, my family wouldn’t have enjoyed him the way I would have. This concert had 1-2 moments that were proof of that.

I have kinda wanted to see Hall & Oates for a while, but it wasn’t an absolute must for me. My last concert was Morris Day & The Time back in 2012 (AMAZING, by the way) and although Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 had toured nearby, I didn’t make the extra push to go and I regret not doing so. Maroon 5 were with Kelly Clarkson (who we love in our house) and Taylor I’d passed on twice and I loved both the corresponding albums.

The ultimate push for Hall & Oates had to do with Prince. Someone on Twitter wrote after Prince died that if there’s someone you want to see in concert, do not pass up the opportunity in case you don’t get another chance.
Maybe I wouldn’t have regretted missing on these guys if I didn’t go… but it was still a fun experience. And who knows? We may go back to Bethel Woods again, granted there’s another artist we want to see that comes up our way.

Daryl Hall turns 70 in October and John Oates is 68 (as of April 7th this year).
So many great artists are going away from this planet. I figured I didn’t want to miss this opportunity- just in cae it’s the last.
Both are really talented in their own right, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the combined package of the two that brings people in.

My history with them goes back to 2009-2010. When I really started paying attention to songs on the radio and looking up lyrics and such, they were one of those bands where I started “collecting” songs I really liked by them. Around the same time, I saw “She’s out of my league” and one of the characters is in a Hall & Oates tribute band.

“Kiss on my list” is my first and all-time favorite song by them. And now I can say I was lucky enough to see it in person.

Bethel Woods is roughly 90 minutes away from us. All back roads to get there. And admittedly, it is a little scary driving it in the nighttime.
But the atmosphere of the venue was great. People were tailgating beforehand. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We had really good seats front and center, but they also had big screens so people in the far back could still see what was happening.

This current generation (teens and early 20’s) is so caught up with their iPhones and using them to videotape concerts they go to… I have my iPhone, but I did not want to be one of those people. I only took pictures of the stage and set-up before the acts came on. And I alternated between the screens and the people on stage because I could still see them well.

Before anything started, the screens advertised upcoming shows.
Lots of big names.
But I also noticed Sawyer Fredericks (feat. Mia Z) coming in July 23th. He won “The Voice” in Season 8. Great talented kid. And Mia Z finished in the Top 12 that year- another talent. Nice to see them playing here at the same venue as a lot of big rock stars.

Bethel Woods get a lot of commercials aired locally. There’s one where a guy talks about a band playing a song “that’s barely a B-side, but it’s the soundtrack to my life.”
Glad that I can now vouch for the place and say just how great it is. Not just the staff and atmosphere but the sound as well. With the screens and such, there really isn’t a bad seat. And the prices are pretty decent.

The opening act, Mayer Hawthorne, was really good as well. I didn’t do any research beforehand, so I had no expectations to start. He had a great multi-racial band, white guitarist and keyboard player, black back-up singer (she was amazing!), bass player and drummer (great talent as well- but the set-up made it so the bass drum vibrated too much during their set- that took a little getting used to).
He was from Detroit, kinda wearing a Morris Day glint-gold jacket with matching shoes (not Stacy Adams). Played good guitar and even drums during one song.
I’ll have to do more research. Overall, the music was fun and really enjoyable and well-done. But with the vibration of the drums, it was hard to make out lyrics.

I suggested the show a month ago (the day after our local radio station mentioned it in a commercial of their own) and it was in the back of my mind the whole.
I speed-run through one of my video games and I was actually doing bad at it a few days ago because I had Hall & Oates playing and my excitement about the concert was actually distracting πŸ˜› I’d played the game hundreds of times and I did things I have no excuse for πŸ˜›

The adrenaline rush officially hit me when Hall & Oates started into their first song and I recognized it as “Maneater.”
But the band came on the stage. I recognized the drummer from the “Live from Daryl’s house” footage they were playing beforehand (now I guess I really SHOULD watch some of that show, lol). Keyboardist, guitar player, saxophone player.
Then Oates came on with his guitar (I freaked out!) followed by Hall (everyone else freaked the hell out!).

They played 14 songs. I knew all but ONE of them. That’s pretty darn amazing. Great feeling.
The one I didn’t know- I don’t even know the same of it.
They dedicated it to “the gamblers out there”… so I don’t know if it’s their song or a cover.
Previous to that, they did their famous “You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ ” cover.

When I first went through their greatest hits album that I own, there were a handful of songs I didn’t really like or care for.
Method of Modern Love, One on One, Family Man (which I recently found was a cover- so that explains) were the fair share of that.
Did it in a minute and Adult Education I came around with later on.
“Lovin’ feelin'” I knew best from Top Gun, but for years, I hated their version because the chorus sounded off key. It didn’t follow the same notes I knew so well.

But wow… what a difference 30 years makes. Hall & Oates might not have the same strength in their voices anymore, but that almost worked to their advantage. Because Oates killed this- he was amazing. My mom was talking about it afterwards saying how he did such a good job with it.

Before I got anywhere further, here’s the track-list

1. Maneater
2. Out of Touch
3. Did it in a minute
4. Say it isn’t so
5. You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin
6. ???
7. She’s gone
8. Sara Smile
9. Wait for me
10. I can’t go for that (No can do)
(encore)
11. Rich Girl
12. You Make My Dreams
(encore)
13. Kiss on my list
14. Private Eyes

I wrote this on my phone so I wouldn’t forget, but I still have it all from memory.

They had a saxophone player they nicknamed “Mr. Casual” that was REALLY good. One of the stars of the band.
His first shining moment was the first song- he and Oates had a cool back and forth with sax and guitar. And afterwards they did a fist pump… the icing on top of a cool moment.
He came in a number of times with different instruments. I didn’t quite care for his xylophone sounding keyboards on “Out of touch” and maybe his sax solo on “I can’t go for that” went WAY too long. But every other moment was great. I liked when he played the blocks on “Say it isn’t so”- it brought the whole song together.

They also had a guitarist named Shane who did all their killer guitar solos that maybe the guys can’t do anymore. He killed it.

At first the two guys were both on guitars and they took turns having shining moments.
Then later Hall went over to keyboards where he really shined.

Songs like “Maneater” and “I can’t go for that”- they really benefitted from the live atmosphere. They came to live. With the latter, it came after a bunch of slow songs and the moment I recognized it, my entire body woke up and the adrenaline kept me going… until the solos ran too long even for my tastes.
I get the feeling a 20-minute long “Purple Rain” guitar solo from Prince would have had a similar effect. I have my amount of patience and when someone’s mega-talented, I can get swept away… but I was actually tuning out and anxiously awaiting one of my favorite songs to come on.

And for the record, all of them were played. [“It’s a laugh” might have been the one exception, but I also didn’t expect it or “Wait for me” to appear… when the latter came on, I had an OMG moment followed by gasping and silence… and as it went on, I was getting closer to maybe crying. The song is so emotional on record, but for it to be live and getting swept up on it, I came close].

“Out of Touch” was exciting to hear πŸ˜€ started to believe maybe I would hear all my favorites.

“Did in a minute”- they said they’d brought back into the set recently and were having a good time of it. I heard some people while walking out that didn’t recognize it. I only knew it cuz it’s on my greatest hits album.
I can definitely appreciate when a band I like brings back a song they hadn’t done in a while- it shows how deep a catalogue they have and also how much they love their job.

“Say it isn’t so” I didn’t expect and it was great to hear live. One of my summertime favorites.

there was a funny moment where the guys were joking around, saying let’s go back cuz nobody wants to go forever, proposing the idea of playing a song they hadn’t written yet (maybe next tour) and they went way back in time to the hits that took them out of Philadelphia

The biggest reception so far came from “She’s gone” and “Sara Smile”- mainly from the orchestra section of the amphitheater, likely filled with die-hard fans. They cheered when they recognized them, they sang along (the entire section broke out into “it’s you and me forever”), and the first standing ovations of the night came from those songs.

I had a feeling there’d be encores- but all the while, I hoped and prayed “kiss on my list” would play.
Soon enough, I got my wish.

Although “Rich Girl” (which I recently found out was written about Sara’s ex-boyfriend… ‘rich boy’ didn’t work in melody quite as well) and “You make my dreams” were fun moments for the crowd.

Lots of people left after that, but I held hope just a bit longer.
And with the camera crew [they were set-up 15 feet in front of us] being focused on the stage even with the band gone, it was hard to believe it was all over until the very end.
In addition to focusing on the two guys, they also went to other musicians throughout the show. Showing how the guys were jamming with their fellow musicians.
and one screen had them doing video effects with the video feed kinda like in old school music videos… that was a nice touch.

Thinking ahead of the show, I had a feeling that if they did “kiss on my list” that “private eyes” would immediately follow because they were based off the same riff.

Then as they came out that last time, we knew it’d be the last cuz they were plugging both “Live from Daryl’s House” and Oates’s new book “Seasons of Change” which he teased might have some secrets [might be enough incentive for me to get the book when it comes out on paperback)….

Daryl playing keys on “Kiss” and Shane doing the guitar solo in the second half… phew… cloud 9.
And “Private eyes”… at that point, whoever [still easily 100’s of people] was left at the amphitheater… we were gone with euphoria.
And our voices and ears were gone.
Whatever was wrong with the drums in Mayer Hawthorne’s set, they fixed it. But at times, the guitar and sax got loud. But that’s to be expected. The temporary deafness was worth it.

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