Do not worry ; this is the final part of these series and I will stop mentioning this Oktober Fest after this final post. Third day in a row and what better way to end up this mini-festival than to see two of the best songwriters of all times?
But first things first. As part of this so-called London Bluefest festival (weird name indeed…), I was delighted to see the excellent Chris Isaak act as the opener before the main gig. Chris Isaak arrived on the music scene in the mid-80’s and although he did not change completely the face of music, he brought something very interesting mixing classic old American rock in the tradition of Roy Orbison while having his own fresh attitude. This is no coincidence that his music has been used a lot by David Lynch in his movies and “Wicked Games” remains one of the greatest songs ever. That night’s set was close to what one could expect and although Chris Isaak ages like everyone else, he keeps his good looks, friendly behaviour towards his musicians and audience… and an amazing taste in suits!
After this nice moment, I had great hopes for Daryl Hall & John Oates…but a bit worried as well. Although I have no trouble affirming that their music is amazing and being over this notion of guilty pleasures, I wanted to believe that their shows were as good. There are plenty of examples of formerly great artists (Dionne Warwick, Rod Stewart or Sly Stone for instance) whose gigs in recent years have been embarrassing and I wanted to believe it would not be the case that night.
Rest insured, it has not been so and on the contrary, it was one of the most buoyant shows I had ever seen. How could it be differently with so many amazing songs? John Oates remains to Daryl Hall a bit what Art Garfunkel was to Paul Simon, i.e. a great lieutenant but the leader remains for sure Daryl Hall. Although his haircut has been kept artificially blonde and in waves, his voice did not lose anything with years. For those totally unfamiliar with pop music, Hall & Oates have been considered one of the best blue-eyed soul performers of the genre, which means to make it short soul music written and played by white Californian guys. Their music was at their peak in the 70’s and 80’s but they remained active these latest years through collaborations and tours. I was particularly impressed by their musicianship and by the way these two guys were so talented as musicians.
Please click on the setlist to get a better picture and the quality of it and of how these songs are part of our lives. Apart maybe from Paul McCartney, I am not sure to have experienced a concert where I knew the words of all tracks. The fact also that a song like “I Can’t Go For That” has been sampled by the hip hop band De La Soul in 1989 in “Say No Go” or recently by the young English band The Xx with “On Hold“ says it all as far as their influence is concerned. Find a way to catch them live as soon as possible if you want to spend a very happy and joyful evening.