Concert Reviews

Over the Weekend: Hall & Oates at the Paramount Theatre

Hall & Oates
Sunday, August 30, 2009 
Paramount Theatre
Better Than: Seeing most other bands of this vintage

The Hall & Oates show this past Sunday at the Paramount Theatre attracted a well-heeled, recital-worthy crowd. Aside from a few rogue, enthusiastic fans who just couldn't resist dancing in their seats, the majority of the audience remained seated for three-quarters of the show. Although smiling and clearly enjoying themselves, the crowd remained relatively sedate until politely applauding at the end of each song. To be fair, perhaps they were just following the band's lead. As Daryl Hall and John Oates ran through lived-in versions of their most recognizable songs in front of a brick wall backdrop that recalled a SNL soundstage from the '70s, they themselves were perched on stools.

The outfit has aged notably well; the distinctive melodies -- despite being embellished by Hall as only songs that have been played innumerable times over the course of thirty years can be -- were every bit as memorable as ever, and the harmonies offered up by Oates were dependably smooth and effortless. Perhaps it's because he was hiding behind dark glasses for the entire set, which rendered any laugh lines undetectable, but Hall doesn't appear have aged much since the time when "Private Eyes" was considered a new single. For his part, a muscular Oates, sans his trademark mustache, which he shaved off years ago, and clad in a vintage Broncos T-shirt bearing the old capital D logo, boasted biceps that could give Trent Reznor a run for his money. Seriously. Dude is pretty yoked.

The outfit's set included most of the hits, with the exception of the band's take on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." The highlights, for me at least, were when the group played its '70s strongholds, "She's Gone," "Sara Smile" and "Rich Girl." The cuts that sent a jolt through the crowd, however, were the act's '80s standbys, "Maneater," which opened the show, "Out of Touch," "Say It Isn't So," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," which finally inspired folks to get on their feet, "Kiss On My List" and "Private Eyes," which closed the set and brought the down the house.

Although there were a few dead spots and disappointments in the set -- including when the band dusted off "How Does It Feel," featuring Oates on lead, as well as a few lesser-known tracks; and hearing the majority of the leads played on a acoustic guitar - all in all Hall & Oates played a succinct, enjoyable show.


Personal Bias: I'm a gigantic fan of Hall & Oates '70s output, and a casual fan of the band's '80s material. A friend at the show saw me and said, 'Ah, a closet Hall & Oates fan, eh?' Nope. Not this guy. I'm out, man. I love Hall & Oates. Unabashedly.
Random Detail: Most of the guys I ran into outside smoking said their girlfriends or wives dragged them to the show.
By the Way: There's an extra verse on "She's Gone," that's not included in the radio edit. I never heard it until I downloaded the song from iTunes.


Hall & Oates
Paramount Theatre

Family Man
Out of Touch
Say It Isn't So
Adult Education
How Does It Feel
When the Morning Comes
Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)
It's Uncanny
She's Gone
One On One
Sara Smile
I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
Rich Girl
Kiss On My List
Private Eyes


"Sara Smile"

"Rich Girl"

"She's Gone"

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera