Trying to explain a mission through the vines to get backstage, our coincidental following of what we thought was Hall & Oates’ van almost out to West Auckland, accidentally taking Icehouse lead singer Iva Davies chair so he and has wife had to share and John Oates pointing out that if you are signing your autograph to a T-shirt you don’t need to press it on something, you just stretch it…..well it’s all a bit complicated. The short version is me and a couple of friends had an amazing time at the Hall & Oates / Icehouse concert and had a celebratory post-concert drink at the Langham hotel where low and behold we met a gracious John Oates. There was also a chair incident with the opening act which we may or may have not made up for but that’s OK. As for the van, as Hall & Oates once sang, some things are better left unsaid.
To the concert itself, the two highlights for me were undoubtedly She’s Gone and an extended I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). She’s Gone is almost 40 years old but epitomises what timeless pop / R&B is about and is arguably Hall & Oates’ finest lyrical achievement. John Oates once told me in an interview (which I can scarcely believe is nine years ago) that the biggest compliment anyone ever paid them was that they thought they were black and a live workout of I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) reminds you of how soulful these white boys are. The intro alone has to go down as one of the most memorable (and sampled) of all time.
A deviation too far from the perfect melody of Rich Girl meant that song wasn’t the live peak I’d hoped for, but otherwise to see two of my musical heroes in the flesh after nearly 15 years of being a fan was magic. And being that we weren’t lucky enough to meet Daryl Hall, I’ve gone for the John Oates song I wish they would do live instead of 1980’s How Does It Feel To Be Back. Cold, Dark And Yesterday has a popping bass-line combined with a keyboard hook, an eerie melody and Oates’ most commercial-sounding vocal; it’s a surprise this was never released as a single. From 1984’s Big Bam Boom, here is the final Roxborogh Report Hall & Oates Song of the Day: