Daryl Hall and John Oates brought their much loved pop hits and a whole lot of soul to Bangor’s Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion Thursday, July 14, 2016. It is always interesting to see the pop icons of the music industry “doing their thing” and tonight’s show was no different, but yet, let’s just say it was a little different…
Starting the night was Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. This was Trombone Shorty’s (aka Troy Andrews) second performance in Bangor, he appeared with The Avett Brothers a few years ago, and fans will remember that show as one of the coldest, wettest Waterfront performances to date (and that’s saying something) but even then the crowd loved him. Trombone Shorty’s show just makes you feel good. Steeped in Nawlins, you don’t need to be familiar with the music to enjoy yourself – probably because this sound and energy is somewhere between the French Quarter, a disco, jazz, strong rock and roll guitar, and irresistible saxophone from BK Jackson – all the fixings for a delectable feast for the ears. A fantastic set to start the evening.
Staying with that bluesy, funky, soul feel was the irrepressible Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. This was a jam-packed stage of music and inspiration. Fans will know that Jones is battling cancer, but her performances make you believe in miracles. Joyous, sparkling, and inspirational, Jones’ voice and smile is a gift – what the world needs now. The set included an up tempo version of Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Let Them Knock,” and a thrilling “Get Up and Get Out” studded with a barefoot dance by Jones. Beautiful.
Then it was time for some “Blue-eyed Philly Soul,” a blast from the past, the 80s at least, with Daryl Hall and John Oates. If you are one of the many fans hooked on Live From Daryl’s House, the night’s performance was exactly what you were expecting – an organic mix of the classic pop hits peppered with a new interpretation, but if not, you may have found yourself wondering what happened to those MTV gems of yesteryear.
So let’s dish. I’ll just state the obvious issues: clearly there was an audio problem through much of the set, several of the songs seemed to drag in tempo (a lot), and Hall’s vocals aren’t as we remember them to be, but with that said – he sounds just like he does on LFDH so no one should have been too shocked. And finally, for whatever reason, we were short-changed two BIG hits that should have been the second encore.
All that aside, it was still a good show. Daryl Hall is as cool as he was when he and John Oates were cranking out hit after hit. The man is enjoyable, talented, and makes you want to watch him make music – what more can you ask for? John Oates, subdued as always, polished the vocals for the evening, particularly during “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile,” proving his voice is as silky as ever, and his guitar riffs make many of their songs.
The strongest performances of the Hall and Oates set came from the band. The ensemble was excellent and troopers to work through the sound issues facing them, but special attention must be given to a few of the members. Charles DeChant on saxophone is to be commended, carrying the show with a sound that was hot, strong, and loud. Excellent. Shane Theriot, on guitar, was as cool and fluid as he seems on LFDH. His guitar work was fantastic. And finally, Porter Carroll, percussionist, has a set of pipes! Featured during “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” Carroll was a welcome shot in the arm for fans at the show and the crowd loved him.
All in all, this was another great show and fans seemed happy – well, not about the loss of the second encore, but things happen. Hall and Oates brought the hits, Sharon Jones brought the joy, and Trombone Shorty brought the groove! Just another hot night here on the Bangor Waterfront.