Hall & Oates Talk Live Music’s Return: ‘Excitement Is Too Easy A Word’

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Daryl Hall & John Oates are betting that a show full of hits may be the perfect musical comfort food to help fans acclimate to big-venue concerts once more.

The duo — which last performed on Feb. 28, 2020 at New York’s Madison Square Garden — has plans for a 25-date summer tour, opening Aug. 7 in Mansfield, Mass., and including regular HoagieNation festival two nights later in Philadelphia, where Hall and Oates partnered during 1970. Squeeze will be opening through Oct. 1, with KT Tunstall on board for most of the shows.

“Excitement is too easy a word,” Hall told Billboard about the prospect of getting back on the road. “I’m many things. I’m excited about it. I’m apprehensive. I’m nervous. I’m confident. I’m paranoid. I’m everything at once — and when I hit the stage I think it’ll probably be as if I never left.”

Hall predicts fans will feel the same way in short order. “I actually would use the word rejoicing, like ‘We’re here! We’re back in this again! We can do this!’ I think it’ll be that kind of positive feeling and ecstatic feeling. I think once it starts happening, it’s gonna be great.

“My music tends to make people feel good — even the depressing songs make you feel good,” Hall adds with a laugh. “And the familiarity is a strong point. It adds to the commonality of it and the goodwill and the good feelings.”

Hall, for one, will be shaking off some cobwebs from the shutdown — or, as he terms it, “hibernation.” “Some artists did a lot of writing, a lot of recording — I didn’t do any of that,” he says. “I can’t say ideas didn’t come to me. Of course they did. But I felt like I just needed to shut down and wait for the other side to become apparent, because I thought anything I’d write or do during (the pandemic) would be irrelevant. But now I’m ready to go again.”

Oates, meanwhile, kept himself busy with a variety of projects — including the virtual Song Fest 7908 to benefit Feeding America (which Hall contributed a performance for), contributing songs to a friend’s upcoming feature film and working up material for a possible follow-up to his 2018 solo album Arkansas. “This has been a busy year for me,” he says. “I ended up collaborating with a few different people. It was a good time to work on some different music and try things.”

But a casualty of the layoff may be plans for a new Hall & Oates album — their first since 2006’s Home For Christmas and first of all-original material since Do It For Love in 2003. The pair began talking about the project during early 2020 but are explicitly “not sure” about it now. “Things have changed,” Hall says. “I’m really not sure what’s going to happen. I don’t know if I’m gonna do a solo record next, or do a (Hall & Oates) record. I don’t actually know, so I’m just gonna shelve that thought and really lock into these shows.”

Oates adds that, “Daryl was talking about recording; He found a producer in Holland, a young guy, he really liked. And then COVID hit and it was over. The whole thing just came to a grinding halt. We will resume at some point with some sort of recording project, but how it manifests itself and who we work with and how we work… who knows. We’ll just have to regroup and see how that’s gonna work.”

Daryl Hall & John Oates upcoming tour dates are as follows:
* w/ Squeeze
^ w/ KT Tunstall

August 5 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA *^

August 7 – HoagieNation – TD Pavilion at the Mann
– Philadelphia, PA *

August 9 – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion – Gilford,
NH *^

August 11 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre
– Wantagh, NY *^

August 13 – PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ *^

August 15 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga
Springs, NY *^

August 19 – Ruoff Music Center – Noblesville, IN
*^

August 21 – DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston,
MI *^

August 23 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati,
OH *^

August 26 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Tinley
Park, IL *^

August 28 – American Family Insurance Amphitheater
– Milwaukee, WI *^

August 30 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN *^

September 1 – Ball Arena – Denver, CO *^

September 18 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia,
MD *^

September 20 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater
– Tampa, FL *^

September 22 – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
– Hollywood, FL *

September 24 – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre – Alpharetta,
GA *^

September 26 – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
– Woodlands, TX *^

September 28 – Dickies Arena – Fort Worth, TX *^

October 1 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA *^

November 6 – Fantasy Springs Resort Casino – Indio,
CA

November 9 – Maui Arts & Cultural Center – Kahului,
HI

November 13 – Neal S. Blaisdell Center – Honolulu,
HI

December 3 – Foxwoods – Mashantucket, CT

December 4 – Foxwoods – Mashantucket, CT

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