Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears, rocked the Rock

By Joann Barton
Special to The Observer

If you haven’t been over to the Prudential Center for an event, you don’t know what you are missing.  The amenities are abundant.  There are plenty of really nice bars inside that you would think would be for VIPs. Kiosks with all the trimmings are everywhere.  There is never a long line to keep you from events, especially at the ladies rooms, which is a rarity, right ladies?

For a large venue, the concerts are somewhat intimate.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house. The acoustics are perfect.  You don’t leave with your ears ringing or with a headache from loud blaring music.  

Wow, am I getting old or what?

With all that said, the Prudential Center’s summer lineup includes musical acts from the past and present.  

On June 17, Hall & Oates rocked the Rock with Tears For Fears. They may be from the 80s, but their music is still relevant. One can still find Hall & Oates and Tears For Fears on the radio locally, whether it’s CBS FM, 106.7 Lite FM, 95.5 WPLJ or 107.5 WBLS.

Tears For Fears opened the show. Not your average synth pop band, they were fabulous.  If you closed your eyes, you would think you were listening to the radio. Gone are the rat-tail hairstyles. In fact, Curt Smith had a clean-shaven head while Roland Orzabel still has his full head of curly hair.

Going into the concert, I thought I would only know two Tears For Fears songs, but that’s what is great about concerts.  You forget how many songs an artist actually has until you hear them all at once.  

Every song sounded exactly like the records from their hey day. They don’t come in with a sound that isn’t familiar. They sounded every bit as good today as they would have in 1985.

When they closed their set with Shout,” the crowd went wild.

In-between performances, I couldn’t believe how quickly the roadies broke down the stage in preparation for Hall & Oates. During the intermission, the large viewing screens showed excerpts from Live at Daryl’s House, seen on MTV Classic and VH1.  

This is a great show. If you haven’t seen it, it’s at a barn in upstate New York, converted into a music studio at Hall’s actual home — and he has famous and up-and-coming musicians over to jam.

Also, during intermission was a music video of Oates doing a duet with Courtney Love from Hole. Oates has a new album called Change of Seasons,” and a new book called Memoir.

No Daryl, just John without his mustache showing his talents.  I much prefer him with his mustache.

When Hall & Oates finally walked onto the stage, with their large catalogue of hits,  I knew I was in for a great time.  For starters, Maneater was their opener.  They bounced back and forth from Sarah, Smile,” to Out of Touch” to She’s Gone and then Family Man.  

They truly have too many songs to mention — many were hits.

The difference between Hall & Oates and Tears For Fears was their seasoned musicianship.

Where Tears For Fears played every song note for note and word for word, Hall & Oates improvised and embellished each song.  

Private Eyes” was definitely audience-driven and was extended from its 3 minutes to 5.  I’m sure they could have gone on all night.

They also played one of my favorites, their version of The Righteous Brothers You’veLost That Lovin Feeling.  I always liked how they rearranged it and made it upbeat.

This was definitely a great concert. It’s always great to go back in time and music canmake that easy.  A song can take you back to what you were doing at the exact moment you originally heard it.  

Check out Prudentialcenter.com or call 800-833-7698 for upcoming events, including James Taylor July 6, Queen with Adam Lambert July 26, Earth, Wind & Fire Aug. 4 and Shawn Mendes Aug. 17.

The Observer Staff