I can go for that!

27 Jun

“You know it’s an old crowd when someone has their oxygen tank with them.” — A verbatim quote from my mom, who served as my date to the Hall and Oates concert at Ravinia on Sunday night.

It wasn’t our first time at a concert together (I believe that prize goes to Elton John–I was 10 and to this day I still kick myself for complaining about not hearing Lion King songs, instead picking my nose as Elton poured his heart out into the mic and keys during during Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Hakuna f*ing Matata.).  Still, it was definitely a treat. Not to mention part of my slightly self-indulgent Mother’s Day present.

Anywho, despite the slightly older crowd, Daryl and John didn’t fail to deliver. In fact, I think the popping noises I heard during the show weren’t feedback from the monitors, but the sounds of creaky old hips coming back to life after years of inactivity. (No post-menopausal women were injured in the making of this concert).

True, H&O looked a little different than I remember from the super-80s headshot cover of The Very Best of… Daryl’s apparently obsessed with aviator shades, and his mane and beard make him look like Aslan the Lion; John’s opted out of his 70s porn stash in favor of a caterpillar-esque soul patch.  But they played every old crowd-pleaser, starting with Maneater and  Method of Modern Love, Say it Isn’t So and She’s Gone, working their way into the “Sara” songs, and finally segueing into a spectacular 10-minute version of I Can’t Go For That, probably my favorite H&O song of all time.

The backing band is made up of a drummer, bass player, guitarist, backing vox/aux percussionist, and a sax/flute player–all pretty solid. You can tell that these guys have been playing together for awhile.  Still, I have to say that the solos were lukewarm.  The guitarist seemed like he was afraid to step on Daryl’s toes, and every time the sax player crooned for longer than 16 bars, I found myself yawning–or pouring another glass of wine. However, it was completely different story when the long-haired dude picked up his flute–that guy could seriously blow! I’m always in the mood for some yahzz or rock flute a la Ron Burgundy or Ian Anderson. Probably the most inventive soloing came when Daryl and the backing vocalist had a little back-and-forth tizzy during I Can’t Go for That.

But let’s be real, we didn’t come for face-melting solos. We came to hear unapologetic 70s/80s pop at its finest, and that’s what we got.  While my mom and I headed for the Ravinia exit gates before the encore started to make sure we caught the train back downtown, we could still hear the music clearly from the Metra platform.  The finale consisted of Rich Girl and You Make My Dreams Come True, two more examples of H&0’s uncanny ability to produce songs that get incessantly stuck in your head for days and make you bust a serious move.

I couldn’t ask for anything more–I got the songs that I used to love when my mom blasted them in the house when I was just a wee lass, that I pretended to hate in high school because they were “corny” and “lame,” that I finally fell in love with again when I realized that music isn’t about being cool; it’s about reveling in something that makes you feel how you want: pensive, bitter, carefree, intense, or in this case, ecstatically nostalgic.

Daryl, John–thanks for a great night.  Now invite me on Live from Daryl’s House and let’s talk about your hairstyle choices.

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