In the summer of 2017, Daryl Hall & John Oates had a groundbreaking tour with Tears For Fears. Their stop at the Amway Center was probably one of the best concerts I saw that summer and felt very fortunate to have reviewed it for DreadMusicReview. Could they ever top a tour like last years? The simple answer to that was “Yes.” In January 2018 Daryl Hall & John Oates announce they would be touring with Train over the summer. Two rock artists who both have done very well over their careers were going to be on the same tour. I knew then it was going to be a great show. And when I interviewed John Oates in February, he was very excited about the tour. When June 26th finally came around, the feeling in the arena was electrifying. You could sense the excitement and anticipation and all of the media members were just as excited too. It was going to be an amazing night.
Opening the show was Kandace Springs from Nashville, TN. The singer and pianist’s beautiful voice oozes with soul and jazz. Though, her 2014 self-titled debut EP had a contemporary, R&B, and hip-hop sound. The debut album was so impressive she performed on Late Show With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She worked her way back to her jazz roots in 2016 with the release of ‘Soul Eyes’. The album consisted of Kandace at the piano with a variety of musicians. On September 7th, Kandace is releasing her second full-length album titled ‘Indigo’ and is showing off some of her work on the tour.
Kandace walked out on stage wearing an Orlando Magic jersey, which the crowd appreciated. Sitting behind the keyboard, she serenaded the crowd with her soulful tones putting a hush over the crowd so they could hear every note. Once she finished a song, the crowd cheered and applauded in approval. Kandace is a very talented singer who I think will be very successful. Some of the songs she performed that night were “Thought It Would Be Easier”, “People Make The World Go Round”, and “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”.
Next up was Train the rock band from San Francisco, CA. They formed back in 1993 and released their first album, self-titled, in 1998. The band found instant success with their singles being played on many mainstream radio stations. “Meet Virginia” ended up in the Top 20 of the Hot 100 Billboard charts and the album ended up being certified Platinum. In 2001 the band’s second album, which is one of their most well known, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ was a major success. The single “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” was released prior to the album. It stayed on the Top 100 for over a year and the single ended up winning a Grammy for Best Rock Song. The album was their first to make it into the Top Ten and was also their first multi-Platinum album. They followed up in 2003 with ‘My Private Nation’ with “Calling All Angels” as the first single. The album was certified as Platinum. One of their most successful albums came in 2009 with ‘Save Me San Francisco’. The single “Hey, Soul Sister” is their highest charting album to date. Their most recent album was released in 2016 titled “A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat”. When the tour with Daryl Hall & John Oates was announced, they collaborated with Daryl Hall & John Oates to release the single “Philly Forget Me Not”. The band overall released 10 studio albums, sold over 10 million albums, and sold over 30 million singles worldwide. Train is Pat Monahan (vocals), Jerry Becker (keyboards, rhythm guitar), Luis Maldonado (lead guitar), Hector Maldonado (bass), Drew Shoals (drums), Nikita Houston (backing vocals), and Sakai Smith (backing vocals).
The arena went dark. Their logo appeared on the large projection screen behind them with the sounds of a locomotive was playing as shadows of the band made their way on stage. The crowd cheered and the lights came up as Train started off their set with “Parachute” from “Save Me San Francisco”. The band sounds just as amazing live as they do on their album. A brightly lit stage, Pat Monahan walking back and forth singing to the crowd, and the crowd was getting completely into the song. They followed up with “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” from their 2012 album ‘California 37’. They really grabbed the crowd with “If It’s Love” with the lyrics playing on the projection screen behind the band as Pat sang them. But, it was Pat taking cell phones from the fans and taking selfie pictures on stage and throwing them back to the fan what truly caught my attention. And he was doing this all while singing the song.
In 2016 Train released ‘Train Does Led Zeppelin II’ which was a cover album of ‘Led Zeppelin II’ in its entirety. And with all the tracks from that album, Train took a different direction that night performing “Black Dog”. To me, it’s one of the most difficult Led Zeppelin songs to perform, and Train did a phenomenal job performing the song. Though, Pat’s voice didn’t seem as strong with the remaining songs they played in their set, which included “Meet Virginia”, “Save Me San Francisco”, and “Hey, Soul Sister”. After their set, they walked off stage to the cheers of the crowd and then returned to perform some encores. First, they provided a beautiful tribute to the late Tom Petty by performing “Free Fallin'”. I’ve heard many artists cover this song, but this was one of the truest versions while still keeping Train’s sound. It was chilling and breathtaking to hear. Train capped off the night performing their most well-known song “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)”. Overall, a phenomenal performance from Train.
Finally, Daryl Hall and John Oates were going to take the stage. The two originally met in Philadelphia back in 1967 to collaborate on creating music together. But, it wouldn’t be until 1972 when they would release their first album. Though it wouldn’t be until 4 years later in 1976 that their first hit single on the Billboard charts with “Sara Smile” from their album ‘Daryl Hall & John Oates’. But, “Rich Girl” would end up being their first #1 song. During the 1970s they released 3 albums though competed with the very heavily driven disco music scene. Though in the early 1980s, the duo found much more radio play and commercial success with the release of their albums ‘Voices’, ‘Private Eyes’, ‘H2O’. The band continued to release albums and tour heavily through 1980s and into the 1990s producing multiple singles to reach the Top 100. The duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2014. Daryl Hall and John Oates career provided them with 18 albums with 7 certified Platinum and 6 certified Gold, six number 1 singles, and 34 singles on the US Billboard Top 100. This duo over 40 years sold over 40 million records and continue to tour year after year. And now they were taking the stage to perform once again for the Orlando crowd.
Daryl Hall and John Oates started off strong with “Maneater” from ‘H2O’. Their musical setup was perfect and their vocals were good. They followed up with “Out of Touch” from the 1984 album ‘Big Bam Boom’. This is one of my favorite songs and as I was singing along, I noticed that Daryl was mixing up the cadence of the lyrics, so I couldn’t quite sing along. He putting his own new spin on the song. They followed up with “Say It Isn’t So” from the 1983 album ‘Rock ‘n Soul Part 1′. The night was a compilation of some great singles including the cover of The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, “She’s Gone”, and “Sara Smile”. I always love hearing them perform “Sara Smile” as it’s such a powerful song with raw emotions.
Daryl and John stopped to talk to the crowd for a bit. They explained how they were going to play a song they really loved but wasn’t well received. That song was “Is It a Star” from the 1974 album ‘War Babies’. I truly love this song because it’s a beautiful medley and that John Oates sings it. They extended the song live to a near 7-minute performance of rhythm and blues. It was perfect. After performing “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”, Daryl brought Pat Monahan back on stage to perform some songs with them. The first one was a collaboration between Daryl Hall and John Oates and Train titled “Philly Forget Me Not” they released in March 2018. It’s a catchy tune paying homage to Philadephia. Next was “Wait For Me”, the Daryl Hall and John Oates song released in 1979 on the album ‘X-Static’. They finished together with “Calling All Angels” the Train song from ‘My Private Nation’. Pat’s voice definitely was back to the singer I expected to hear. After Pat left the stage they finished their set with “Kiss on My List” and “Private Eyes” (another of my favorite songs). They came back out to encore two additional songs, “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams”.
In a packed Amway Center, Kandace Springs, Train, and Daryl Hall and John Oates gave the crowd a stellar performance. Daryl Hall and John Oates show no signs of slowing down and continue to deliver memorable performances. I look forward to the announcement of their next tour to hopefully review them once again.