Hall & Oates - Allen Event Center - 9/10/12

Categories: Last Night

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Maegan Puetz
Hall & Oates
Allen Event Center
Monday, September 10

See also: The fans of Hall & Oates

A couple of years ago, I did an experiment in the offices of another paper I worked for. I took out the Hall & Oates box set, Do What You Want Be What You Are, and put on disc three, arguably the "best" of the four-disc set, containing "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Maneater" and "Private Eyes." As the songs played, I noted that many of my co-workers responded in the same way: Nodding heads, looks of recognition, the hand claps on "Private Eyes." I had turned my office into a spontaneous dance party, and proved my theory that people have this strange automated response when a Hall & Oates song comes on.

That was true at Allen Event Center last night, where Hall & Oates' sold-out show drew close to 4,000 people. H&O don't really have any new material, and I doubt people would want to hear it. They were there for the hits. Hall & Oates knew this.

So, they played them: "Maneater," "Rich Girl," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Sara Smile," "You Make My Dreams." Hall's voice is still pretty airtight, though further removed from the heavenly falsetto of his '70s R&B days. But that's where Hall & Oates came from: They were progressive R&B and soul before they were the pop-hit-making machines of the early '80s. And their contributions in that era provided the foundation for even bigger pop songs, like when Michael Jackson re-purposed the bassline from "I Can't Go For That" for "Billie Jean."

There wasn't much interplay between Hall and Oates onstage, which led me to ask some bigger existential questions: Do they still even like each other? Is this just a nostalgia tour? Do they have separate tour buses? Does only Hall get to wear sunglasses?

Their backing band, namely the sax player, filled the gaps in conversation for them. I lost track of how many extended sax solos there were, but one of the guys in the suite next to me nearly plunged over the balcony to his death, air-saxing. There was a lot of "wedding dancing" last night.

They closed their second encore with "Private Eyes" and we all filed back into Allen Event Center's well-scrubbed chain store cul-de-sac, satisfied that we'd heard the hits. I couldn't help but wonder if this show would have done as well if it were in Dallas, or if suburbia is now where Hall & Oates' legacy lives. Still, despite the fact that their catalog has become the soundtrack to karaoke rooms and wedding receptions, the pop craft of their songs, that instant recognition that lures people into an impromptu dance party in someone's office: that is why we were all there last night.

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7 comments
RtotheH
RtotheH

Some woman sitting next to me claimed to have paid $600 for her front-row seats and continually bitched at the local photographers and event staff before the show started because she didn't want them blocking her view for even one second of the show, much less the first three songs. The woman on the other side of my friend had the same bitch-fest. As soon as the lights went down, my friend and I stood up like normal people do at a show - and everyone around us shrieked at us to sit down because they couldn't see. People in the 'burbs rock it from a seated position, but driving to Frisco from Uptown, we didn't know that. So the crowd sat for most of the show. We did manage to stand for the last few songs and freaked the staff out by RUSHING THE STAGE ZOMG for Private Eyes. The whole thing was over at a decent hour since it was a school night and the only weird thing was I overheard some woman psyching herself up in the ladies' room mirror of the bar across the road for God knows what: "You're going to hate yourself in the morning, but all you need is lipgloss and mascara. There you go. Hall and Oates, you're not leaving without me!" True story. 

J_A_
J_A_

Because your kiss (your kiss) is on my list

danielslauren
danielslauren

I saw Monte Montgomery cover "Rich Girl" at Antone's in Austin about 10 years ago. it was freaking amazing. Just saying... 

dingansich
dingansich

So, uh, how was the actual show? The actual performance? You know, Hall's voice and whatnot? Furthermore, is the not so old Allen Events Center supposed to somehow make itself dirty or edgy? Would that enhance your sophisticated concert going experience. Add some "authenticity, " yes? I mean, a venue that hosts concerts, circuses, ice hockey games, etc., ought to be edgy, right? You bet your ass it should. As far as your question about suburbanites and Dallasites acceptance/attendance of Hall and Oates and their concert... Do you honestly think that the majority of Dallasites and suburbanites live in your myopic, either/or, world of "getting it" and "not getting it"? People aren't that easily classified. I mean, come on, I'm sure you're as liberal and free thinking as it gets; I'm sure you pride yourself on it; so think of music like gender and sexual preference.  It's all liquid, baby.  Hip, Hep. Right on, sisters and brothers and its.

steve.sandwich
steve.sandwich

Hall & Oates are awesome.   Like every single band that ever existed, the '80s were really weird.   But I love these guys.

bigjondaniel
bigjondaniel

Here, let me help you.

 

The suburbs suck, and SUV driving, dockers wearing, McMansion living, Faux News watching, closed minded ideologs who feel the need to call out anyone not fitting into their homogeneous, Dallas suburb freak show mold suck too!

 

Please feel free to stay in your soul sucking X-Urb. 

Jamal4
Jamal4

 @dingansich "Hall's voice is still pretty airtight, though further removed from the heavenly falsetto of his '70s R&B days."

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