BY YVONNE ZUSEL
In life, things may change, but there are three things you can almost certainly count on these days: Daryl Hall will sport flowing, run-your-fingers-through-them locks, which he will toss a few times during a live set, John Oates will sport a mustache that just won't quit, and the pop/R&B duo will sound as deliciously smooth as they did when they first broke out in the late-1970s.
The pair -- who have six number one hits and a 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under their belts -- hit all three marks during their Friday night show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta. It's a testament to their enduring popularity that it was a sold-out show, even though they played the same spot barely a year ago and haven't released a new album in nearly a decade.
For a couple of guys who probably have incredible stories from over the years to share, they weren't the chattiest, barely pausing for hoots and applause from the audience before moving on to the next song. But really, the stories are probably best saved for Hall's popular series "Live From Daryl's House" or their myriad interviews -- had they stopped too long to reminisce, they would've had to leave someone's favorite song off the setlist (as it was, one woman leaving the show at the end of the night grumbled that she would "just have to get over" the fact that the duo didn't play her favorite song).
But anyone who might have had minor quibbles over song selection was drowned out by the rest of the crowd, who sang (and danced) along on nearly every almost instantly recognizable tune, from the first strains of "Maneater," featuring a soulful solo from longtime saxophonist Charlie DeChant to Oates' lovely lead vocals on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin."
After more than 40 years of playing together, the pair sound tighter than ever, with Hall's vocals in particular sounding clear and strong on a jammy, jazzy version of "Sara Smile," and the pretty pop of "Did It In a Minute."
They also delivered some surprises with older, lesser-known hits including "Las Vegas Turnaround" and the slinky "Back Together Again." But their top hits are where they really shined -- encore performances of "Rich Girl," "Kiss On My List" and "Private Eyes" were so much fun that the sprinkle of rain that came at the beginning of the show could have persisted and no one would have minded because they were too busy having a dance party.
Oates broke some news at the end of the show, announcing that Hall & Oates will be joining the 2015 Music Midtown lineup, barely two months from now. It's not much time between shows, but there's little doubt that there'll still be a large, devoted fan base who won't be able to wait to hear "Maneater" -- or whichever H&O hit is their favorite -- once again. And maybe they'll even share a story or two.
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