We're quite sure the Founding Fathers didn’t have The Hollywood Bowl in mind as the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day, given that the Bowl wouldn’t open for another 145 years or so, but we bet they would heartily approve.
This year, the beautiful outdoor venue--even if you’ve never been there, you’d recognize the gorgeous, famous bandshell from pictures-- combined with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Philadelphia’s finest, Hall & Oates; and fireworks added up to the perfect July 4. The only thing missing was the Liberty Bell.
Hall & Oates are the most successful duo in pop history, according to Billboard. Over the last few years, their music has undergone a bit of a resurgence through a younger generation discovering it via canny placement such as “You Make My Dreams Come True” in a pivotal fantasy scene in 2009’s “(500) Days of Summer.”
Plus, as they proved last night —the third in a three-night stand at the Bowl—the songs seem timeless—little pop nuggets that float perfectly on air through the decades. Other than “Las Vegas Turnaround,” a tune from 1973’s “Abandoned Luncheonette” featuring John Oates on lead, every song played July 4 was instantly recognizable from the first few notes.
In his heyday, Daryl Hall possessed a supple, soulful voice that seemed capable of musical miracles. Four decades later, it’s still a powerful instrument, especially in its mid-range, but has lost some of its potency on the high end such as on “Sara Smile” and the soaring close of “She’s Gone.”
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However, the duo, backed by an extremely agile band, more than made up for any loss of vocal prowess by shape-shifting a few of the tunes. For example, “I Can’t Go For That” has been worked into an even funkier, soulful version than on record with Hall trading off the “no, no, nos” as a call and response with a background singer. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which started the evening with a set of classic patriotic fare before H&O’s short set, joined the band for robust versions of “Rich Girl,” which delightfully benefited from a full complement of strings and horns, and the exuberantly joyous “You Make My Dreams Come True.”
H&O fans have been up in arms that the duo has yet to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, even though they have been eligible since the late ‘90s. The July 4 show proved that it is an egregious omission, indeed.
If you haven't seen it, below is the adorable scene from "(500) Days of Summer." Who hasn't felt this way during that first blush of a new crush?