Oh-ohh, here they come...Hall & Oates, the hugely influential pop-rock/soul duo whose irrepressibly infectious melodies catapulted them to superstardom and more than 60 million albums sold over the past four decades, will fill the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre Sunday, May 30 with smooth harmonies and sweet memories. After meeting at Temple University in the '60s, Daryl Hall and John Oates soaked up the Philly soul sound to create timeless hits including "Sara Smile," "She's Gone," "Rich Girl," "Kiss on My List," "Maneater," "Private Eyes," "Out of Touch," "I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)" and "One on One."
Although most of these classics are heard mostly on oldies or "lite FM" radio, Hall has stayed in touch with the times with his online show "Live From Daryl’s House," a free monthly webcast he started in 2008 with an eclectic mix of performers including Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, K.T. Tunstall, Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy and Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump, Plain White T's and techno-rockers Chromeo.
But the guys are touring in support of their recent box set, the four-CD retrospective "Do What You Want, Be What You Are," which should satisfy every Hall & Oates fan's desire, at least musically.
Daryl Hall talked to Miami.com about the tour, how his voice is holding up at age 63, and favorite moments from his online show.
What can we expect from the concert?
What you can expect is, we've had a box set out now for, oh, five months. And what we're doing is playing the usual cast of characters, but we're also adding things from the box set that sort of reflect that side of our career. There are some songs that people might not be as familiar with as the others, but we're trying to familiarize them. And we're very pleased with the way the box set came out and we want to reflect that.
So we'll hear most of the hits that everyone knows?
Oh yeah, that goes without saying. But in addition to that, we try and mix it up, with things that we just like playing, and songs that we think are important to hear.
What are your favorite songs to perform live, and which ones get the biggest response from the crowd?
Our fans are the kind of people who respond to everything. There really isn't any degree difference in response. The way I build a show, the show itself builds in intensity, so the response builds in intensity. But the way that people react to each individual song is sort of the same, no matter what song we play.
Your songs have never been throat-killing screechers like stuff by AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, but they're dynamic in range and certainly not easy to sing. How's your voice feeling?
It's fine - same as it ever was.
You're performing at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre. Is it more difficult to sing outside, with the acoustics and possible weather and all that?
You never know. When you're working outside - especially in Florida in June - who knows what's gonna happen? Let's just hope it's a sunny day, or mild evening. Yes, the weather does affect things to some degree, not so much me as the equipment and the way the monitors work and the sound works in general on the stage. But we're professionals - we deal with whatever we're given.
How did growing up in Philly influence you musically?
It did everything to me. Philadelphia was and still remains a very important regional area for music. It has a very distinct sound, and people respond to a certain kind of music in a certain way that comes from Philadelphia. And it has to do with its geographical location, its history, a million things. But it's certainly the core of what it is that I do. I've been influenced by a lot of different kinds of music over the years - I've lived in the world - and I'm influenced by everything. But at the core of it all is Philly soul.
What inspired you to start "Live at Daryl's House"?
It was really the fact that I could do it, that the Internet exists now and allows it to be more than an information and gossip medium - it's an actual entertainment medium. And people are getting used to going to it for passive entertainment, to watch something, to be an audience. So I tried to do a show that was very much an Internet show, i.e., there is no audience and there is no performance. There is no act going on. It's musicians interacting with each other, having a good time, being very much themselves, eating food, being really attentive to each other, and the audience is sort of the fly on the wall. As if they were a band member or actually part of the whole thing.
What are some of your favorite moments from that show?
There are so many, so many. When I coaxed Smokey Robinson out to sing "Ooh Baby Baby" and "I've Been Good To You"; me playing with Ray Manzarek of The Doors; me working with a group called Company of Thieves, with this amazing energy of this 21-year-old girl singing. We've done 30 shows, and I've had 30 amazing experiences.
Who are some current singers you really admire?
I had a girl named Diane Birch on my show, and I think she's a really great talent, a really great singer, and a great songwriter and musician in general. I dig her. But it's hard to single people out. People that are real and sing from an honest place - to me, your vocal is a direct reflection of what you're thinking about and feeling.