As they approach their 50th year as a performing duo, Daryl Hall and John Oates are showing no signs of slowing down. While chart success may have come and gone for the pair over the years depending on where they’ve stood with the musical trends of the day, their hits – 34 total in the US Billboard Hot 100, including six number ones – have stood the test of time and remain some of the most instantly recognizable songs out there. Last year, the duo embarked on a co-headlining tour with Tears for Fears, and this year they returned, sharing the stage with San Francisco rock band Train.
With such a strong and well-loved discography, it must be nearly impossible to pick a setlist that keeps everyone happy, both highlighting the hits and providing some deeper cuts for the dedicated fans. But that’s what the group did with their fifteen-song set which focused nearly exclusively on their first two decades of output. They began the set in the early 80s, the period in which they reached the height of their popularity, opening with “Maneater” (1982) followed by “Out of Touch” (1984), “Say It Isn’t So” (1983), and their cover of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1980). Then it was back to the 70s for “She’s Gone” (1973), “Sara Smile” (1976), and “Is It a Star” (1974).
After a brief return to the 80s with “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” (1981), the duo brought out Pat Monahan from the band Train, who guested with them on the next three songs. The first of these was the only new song of the night, “Philly Forget Me Not,” which the duo wrote in tribute to their home city of Philadelphia (with which they still strongly identify, despite both living in other states now). This was followed by “Wait for Me,” from their 1979 album X-Static, and a cover of a song from Monahan’s band Train, “Calling All Angels” (from Train’s 2003 album My Private Nation).
The duo closed out the main set with “Kiss on My List” and “Private Eyes” (both from 1981) and then returned for an encore of “Rich Girl” (1977) and “You Make My Dreams” (also from 1981).
Before them, Train played an energetic set featuring many of their hits including “Meet Virginia,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” and “Drops of Jupiter,” along with fan favorites such as “Save Me, San Francisco,” “If It’s Love,” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.” Mixed in with those were two covers – a rocking, near sound-alike cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” (which seemed odd amongst the more pop AOR tracks, but makes more sense when you know that the band began life as a Led Zeppelin cover group), and a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” Train’s eighth album, a girl a bottle a boat, was released last year.
Opening the evening was Nashville, TN singer and pianist Kandace Springs, who released her latest EP Black Orchid in April, and has a new album (her second) due out later this year. Springs will be returning to the DC area to play a headlining show at The Hamilton on October 30th.