Daryl Hall & John Oates Join Tears For Fears For A Legendary Performance
Daryl Hall and John Oates, joined by Tears for Fears, brought their summer tour to Nashville this past week. They played at Bridgestone Arena, after the historic win by the Predators. The arena was plastered with Predators banners in wait for the coming Stanley Cup Finals. Tonight, we weren’t here for hockey, we were here for live music.
The lobby was littered with people of all demographics. Young, old, parents with children, couples, and friend groups alike had made it out for the legendary performance. It has been years since Tears for Fears last played Nashville, and a while since Daryl Hall & John Oates have played somewhere here other than Daryl’s living room in Live From Daryl’s House, which is an internet webcast where they play music from the comfort of his home in the Gulch. The crowd was somewhat drunk and mostly ready for the night to come.
Allen Stone opened the performance with a five-song acoustic set. I would have made it, except that he took the stage much earlier than he was scheduled to. Last time I saw Allen Stone was in Columbus, OH where a local band and Jon Bellion opened for him. He had put on a phenomenal acoustic set then, and I doubt he played any differently. Sadly, I missed it and I’m beating myself up for not being the fifteen minutes early type.
Tears for Fears came to rock the stage. As people purchasing last minute tickets filtered in around me the crowd sang along to almost every single song. The arena was in a constant echo. It was surreal and I can’t imagine what it must be like to stand on a stage in front of thousands of people and hear your songs sung back to you. They played so many classics I couldn’t keep up such as “Mad World” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” They played a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” and the entire arena was singing their hearts out. People had their fists raised in the air truly feeling the song. Then towards the end, I’m not sure I have ever heard Bridgestone this eerily silent, Roland Orzabal with a backup choir of almost 20,000 people silently brought the song to close. It was such an intense thing to witness, and I don’t think I could forget it even if I wanted to. Tears for Fears went on to do an encore of “Shout” and everyone was up dancing and singing, then their set came to a close to make way for Hall & Oates.
We had a nice break in between acts. A good time for beer lines and bathroom runs. Some people brought out their contraband liquor sacks out of their pants and passed around what looked like a pee pouch to all of their crew. I will say that I can’t blame them. With the liquor prices steadily rising in Nashville’s event spaces, it’s honestly a better option. I paid $11 for a 24-ounce beer. Let that soak in. I must have had a momentary lapse of judgment to buy a beer with over a 300% markup. Especially after I had to pay $30 for parking.
Finally, it was time. Daryl Hall, John Oates, and the rest of the band graced the stage, opening their show with a cover of “Family Man.” They let us right into the classic “Maneater” without missing a beat as an ominous wind blew Daryl Hall’s hair. In recent times, a lot of musicians want to be referred to as artists. To me, there is a difference in an “artist” and a “musician,” and Daryl Hall & John Oates are raw musicians. They jammed and played each song truly from the heart. Seeing a true musician play something that resonates with them is a priceless experience to me. Their band is a group of like-minded individuals. Together they created their own sort of romantic throwback filled with joy and most of all music. Their saxophone player played several solos and duets throughout songs, and we all felt something. People screamed their feelings from their soul and really danced like there was no tomorrow. For a few songs, John Oates took to a grand piano to the right of the stage. Over the crowd's heads, there were rows of globe lights that changed color with the music, and somehow it brought us all a little closer and made it feel more personal. They closed out the show with “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
The crowd cheered and pleaded for an encore, as the lights stayed low. They came back out for a four-song performance including “Rich Girl” and “Private Eyes.” Somehow everyone danced, sang and cheered more than they had the entire show. Rows of people were dancing with other rows of people and it was like some type of revival or reunion was happening that I gladly took part in. “You Make My Dreams” began to play and it was like a flash mob was happening. Half the crowd was doing backup vocals while the rest sang lead. Once it was truly over the band took a classy bow, and left the stage leaving us in a haze. I walked back to my car from Bridgestone Arena feeling fulfilled. Nothing could bring me down, not even the traffic. Listening to Hall & Oates classic songs on the drive home couldn’t even do it justice so instead, I turned off the radio and drove in silence.
You can and should catch Daryl Hall & John Oates with Tears for Fears on their summer tour. Check cities and purchase tickets here.
Photos by Garry Walden for Bullet Music.