2 Giants, 1 Stage: Daryl Hall & Todd Rundgren At The Wiltern
LOS ANGELES, CA- The big question that kept pecking at my brain on the slide back home was, “How do I encapsulate a 2.5 hour show of 2 living, breathing music legends in a 600 word review?
Two absolute GIANTS of music history! Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren are both in the Rock ‘n Hall of Fame. Both are born and bred Philly kids. Both were in concert at The Wiltern Theater sharing one stage. Both played a role in my corrupt teenage years.
I had a 13-mile drive to cross through the mine field that is my hazardous memory. When I was 16 years old, I stayed up all night and just kept dialing that rotary phone to win tickets to the filming of the Midnight Special with Todd Rundgren, which was filmed in Burbank, California. At about 6:00am… and completely bleary eyed… I WON the tickets!
Daryl Hall who is half of the legendary duo Hall & Oates have sold more albums than any other duo in music history. Daryl’s music also conjures up funny, crazy, and melancholy vignettes in the silver screen of my mind.
First up was Todd. Gone are the days of butterflied eyebrows and shoulders. As soon as he stepped onto the stage wearing his purple shark skinned suit, he received a standing ovation. The sold-out venue, filled with listeners of all ages, couldn’t wait to show their love and appreciation.
Todd’s one-hour set overflowed with musical history. Songs such as “Real Man”, “I Saw the Light” and “Black Maria” reverberated through The Wiltern’s walls. But then towards the end of his set, he turned on the charm and went into crooner mode with his “Hello It’s Me”, and covers of Smokey Robinson’s “Ooo Baby, Baby” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”. I was hoping Todd would perform his 2020 collaboration with Weezer’s River Cuomo, the single “Down With The Ship”, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m telling you that with every song he performed there was a standing ovation by different sections of the audience…every single song. The love and buoyant ambiance that built up throughout Todd’s set carried into Daryl Hall’s intro. It was kind of going from kissing the person you finally wanted to kiss, to kissing your crush.
Daryl’s been more “top of mind” currently. Since 2007, Hall has hosted the online show/webcast Live from Daryl’s House, which features live music acts in a podcast/videocast from his home in New York. The webcast has featured appearances by CeeLo Green, The O’Jays, Smokey Robinson, Rob Thomas, Cheap Trick, and many, many others.
The last time I saw Daryl Hall in concert was in Houston, with his music cohort of over 50 years, John Oates. They played with people’s emotions and memories by playing hit, after hit, after hit.
Tonight, would be a little different. One had to be a true Daryl Hall fan to recognize some of the solo work he did in the 70’s with Robert Fripp of King Crimson. Hall would play the title song from the Sacred Songs album. Throughout the show, Daryl also handled a delicate situation of audio feedback which inadvertently became part of the narrative. He would continuously joke with his audience by occasionally dropping a “What the Fuck?” directed at the sound man off stage. The audience laughed several times.
I’m relieved the glitch was resolved, because it would have ruined songs like “I’m in a Philly Mood” or when Daryl covered “Here Comes the Rain” a Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) song. But for those that were longing to hear some of his old hits they were not disappointed. I’m not going to reveal which songs, because I don’t want to spoil the evening for you if you are planning on catch any one of his remaining tour dates that continues through August 11th, 2022.
ENCORE, ENCORE would be chanted at the end of Daryl’s set. That brought out Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall together for a couple of songs. I was very surprised the stage could support the weight of those TWO GIANTS of music. But luckily the Wiltern’s stage has seen other giant footsteps.Follow Daryl Hall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow Todd Rundgren on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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