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REVIEW: Daryl Hall serves up a dose of nostalgia during Manila concert

By Mike Diez Published Nov 28, 2023 7:54 pm Updated Dec 04, 2023 2:42 pm

It took a while to warm the audience up at Daryl Hall’s concert on Monday, Nov. 27, at the Mall of Asia Arena. You can’t blame the audience, though. A quick scan will tell you that the majority of us in attendance are of the same age and persuasion. Although some have brought their kids in attendance, the median age of the crowd would have to be around 50 years old.

You definitely cannot blame the artist. Daryl Hall is already 77, but he is still the consummate performer. Granted, he now sings his songs a few keys lower. However, it is quite common to do this in live concerts—especially when said performer is 77 years old and still touring around the world.

I can imagine most of the audience members felt like I did: First, we’re hit with a wave of nostalgia. Second, we start bumbling the lyrics as we barely recall them, and start dancing with our shoulders. By the time we realized our knees could still perform a bit of dancing, the show was almost over.

Daryl Hall sang Maneater, Dreamtime, and Foolish Pride, among other hits during his recently concluded Manila concert. 

Live from Daryl’s House

Daryl Hall had a resurgence in popularity when he launched his live performances on YouTube in 2007. He self-financed the first season of Live from Daryl’s House but soon got funding from sponsors after the show became a hit on the internet.

His first guest was his long-time recording partner John Oates. Hall would have guest artists from different genres. There would be a regular segment with fellow Philadelphian Todd Rundgren, and it soon became apparent that they should tour together.

And so Daryl Hall and the Daryl’s House Band concert in Manila became a rare treat for Filipinos to see Rundgren live. The show started just a little over its 7:30 p.m. schedule, and 75-year-old Rundgren came out looking like a rockstar.

Daryl Hall's PH concert was held on Nov. 27 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Sporting long black hair and dressed in a black vest and leotard, Rundgren performed some scorchers from his catalog, such as Black Maria, and classics such as Hello It’s Me, We Gotta Get You a Woman, and I Saw the Light.

After about an hour, Rundgren exited the stage and there was a brief intermission.

And the crowd goes wild, eventually

The band started making their way back to the stage, and when Daryl Hall showed up he was warmly greeted by the audience. He started his set with Maneater, a couple of beats slower than the original. He followed it up with a couple of his hits as a solo artist in the 1980s, Dreamtime and Foolish Pride.

He would dive right back into his catalog with Hall & Oates, performing Out of Touch and Say It Isn’t So. He then performed, Everytime You Go Away, a song he wrote and recorded as Hall & Oates in their album Voices, and would later become a massive hit with Paul Young. He followed it up with Sara Smiles.

When the intro chords came in on the song I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do), sections of the crowd started getting up to dance. But just as the party was warming up, Hall would say goodnight to the audience.

When he showed up again for an encore, he introduced Rundgren back to the stage. They would perform Wait for Me and Rundgren’s hit Can We Still Be Friends?.

The Pinoy crowd relives their youth at Daryl Hall's concert in Manila.

Hall would start warming up the audience once more, finally getting things going again with Kiss on My List and Private Eyes. Almost all in the VIP and Patron section are up on their feet dancing. Alas, Hall abruptly ended the party as he bid the audience his last farewell of the evening. The band also took a bow and got a well-deserved round of applause.

Gathering my thoughts on the performance, I was ready to opine that perhaps Hall was constrained from performing most of his hits because of his current battle with John Oates. Hall recently got a restraining order from his long-time recording partner, and everyone is speculating about the duo’s recent drama on their decades-long career.

We didn’t get to hear Rich Girl, One on One, So Close, and many more. But when I looked at the time, I realized that the show went on for a solid two hours. It would be unreasonable for anyone to expect a comprehensive, greatest-hits performance from a man who has written and recorded over a hundred songs in his career. A 77-year-old touring artist, at that.

I would hear others’ sentiments on the show as we all exited the MOA Arena. Some were wondering why Oates did not tour with Hall, and some were commenting on Rundgren as the front act.

Undeniably, though, all were striding happily along on their exit. Most are still humming the songs that were performed, others singing songs that weren’t included. Everyone is undoubtedly happy to relive their teenage and formative years, and find themselves saying what their elders used to say: “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.”