Hall and Oates: Friends first, partners second

Patrick Dunn
Special to The Detroit News

Daryl Hall and John Oates have had one of the most successful partnerships in popular music, but Hall says these days he and Oates are more "individualistic" than ever.

"I don't think either one of us has a particular desire to sit in a room and try writing a song with the other guy," Hall says. "We didn't even do that that much through our whole career, but we did share album space and stage time, so in that respect we are very much together. We're together for the sake of that, really, and because we like doing it."

The blue-eyed soul men are celebrating their live show in a unique way with the new concert film "Daryl Hall and John Oates: Recorded Live From Dublin," which will screen in select movie theaters one night only this Thursday. The concert depicted in the film, shot at Dublin's Olympia Theater last July, marked Hall and Oates' first time ever playing in Ireland. Hall had previously played solo in Dublin, a show that he describes as "outrageous."

"There was something about the crowd, the room, that was at that time very magical to me and very special," he says. "When I found out that we were playing there and that Hall and Oates had never played in Ireland, ever — which is kind of strange but true — I suggested that we record and do something with it."

Both sing the praises of the band that joined them for the concert (which includes Charlie DeChant, their saxophonist since 1975), as well as the enthusiastic crowd that turned out.

"I'm so glad we committed to filming this particular show," Oates says. "When you put your eggs in one basket you say, 'Okay, this is the night we're going to film this concert. Let's hope it's a good one.' And here again all the stars aligned for that."

The set list in the film, as in most of the duo's live shows, is heavy on hits. Oates says the duo enjoys sneaking in deeper cuts as well, but he believes he and Hall have a "professional responsibility" to play the songs that brought them fame.

"We're proud of them," he says. "They've stood the test of time. That's why they are the songs they are. So in that regard we have a really good problem: We have a lot of hits."

And while they may not pen any new ones together any time soon, Hall assures that the bond between the two will continue bringing them back together again in concert.

"John and I started as friends back when we were teenagers," Hall says. "I think that that friendship, because it was that before it was a musical or creative or business partnership, has sustained us. We're friends first, partners second."

Patrick Dunn is an Ann Arbor-based freelance writer.

Daryl Hall and John Oates: Recorded Live From Dublin

7 p.m. Thursday

AMC Forum 30

44681 Mound Rd., Sterling Heights

(586) 254-1381

AMC Livonia 20

19500 Haggerty Rd., Livonia

(734) 542-3191

Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX

4100 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti

(734) 973-8424

United Artists Commerce Township Stadium 14

3033 Springvale Dr., Walled Lake

(248) 960-7459

Tickets $12-$15