Daryl Hall & John Oates haven’t performed live since February 2020 — the longest break they’ve ever taken in their careers — so they’re more than ready to hit the stage tonight as they kick off their new tour in Mansfield, Massachusetts, with opening act Squeeze.
There’s only one problem: How will the duo fit all their hits into a two-hour show? As John Oates admits, “We can’t!”
“We have the greatest problem in the world that we have so many hits,” Oates tells ABC Audio. “And we have, I think, a professional responsibility to play the hits that people expect to hear.”
As he explains, “You have to remember that every show we do, there may be a hardcore group of fans who have followed us over the years in that audience. But there may also be people who have never seen us and people who might be experiencing our music for the first time. So we can’t ignore either of those groups.”
Luckily, playing those songs — from “Sara Smile” and “Maneater” to “You Make My Dreams” and “Rich Girl” — isn’t a burden for Daryl and John. “We like the songs that we’ve written, we’re proud of them and it’s still fun to play them,” says John. “And we reinvent them on stage with the live arrangements and keep them fresh.”
So which of the duo’s countless hits do they look forward to performing the most?
“The first song!” laughs John. “That way, I’ll know immediately where we’re at: It’s either going downhill from there or uphill from there or staying the same!”
The tour’s second show, this Saturday, is the duo’s own HoagieNation music and food festival in their Philadelphia hometown. In addition to Daryl, John and Squeeze, it’ll feature Kool & The Gang, The Wailers, comedian Craig Robinson and more.
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