Hall and Oates at the Fair: ‘As good as it gets!’

by MK Scott

A day at the Washington State Fair (in Puyallup) on an overcast Saturday (September 14) was filled with livestock, agriculture, craft and hobby exhibits – all essential to any visit to the fair. The addition of BBQ from the Pete’s BBQ truck was a nice plus. One other draw is the outdoor concerts of music groups that are the soundtrack to my teens.

I first heard of Hall and Oates with their 1981 Top 40 hit, ‘Private Eyes’ and my interest just increased thereafter, from John Oates classic dark curly hair with mustache to Daryl Hall’s all-American good looks. Looking back at their videos, they ranged from the group performing with occasionally funny expressions coming from John while trying to get into the view of the camera, to really funny and innovative videos with ‘Family Man’ and ‘Out of Touch’.

With no opening act, a montage appeared on screen with a history of all of their Top 40 hits. Suddenly Oates, 71, appeared with his guitar and Hall, 72 positioned himself at the keyboard and started off with ‘Maneater’, then ‘Out of Touch’, ‘Adult Education’ and ‘Method of Modern Love’.

Hall looked like he was having a blast as well as the audience while he continued playing their hits – and there were many: ‘Say It Isn’t So’, ‘She’s Gone’, ‘Sara Smile’ and ‘One on One’.

Even Oates took a lead part by starting the classic Righteous Brothers cover, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.

A light shower came and went but nothing could dampen the excitement of ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’.

After a brief absence from the stage the band came out to perform ‘Rich Girl’ and ‘Kiss on My List’.

By the time ‘Private Eyes’ started, the audience was all prepared for the rhythm of its classic ‘Private eyes’ (clap, clap) ‘are watching you’ (clap, clap).

‘You Make My Dreams’ was a great way to end the show.

I am quick to point out that the group’s sax player, Charles DeChant, made quite the impression by getting close to the audience from the edge of the stage despite the light shower.

Noteworthy was the omission of ‘Family Man’, the one song I mentioned that had a great video in 1982, and an incredible guitar solo by occasional collaborator, GW Smith. But then again, without Smith, it would probably have ‘dampened’ the evening.

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