Toronto connections to Daryl Hall & John Oates run deep

The 80s band brings their timeless classics back to the city after being Out Of Touch for way too long

DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES with MAYER HAWTHORNE at the Molson Amphitheatre (909 Lake Shore West), Thursday (June 23), 7:30 pm, all ages. $25-$149.50.

Daryl Hall and John Oates have been a touring machine for most of their 46 years together. But when the best-selling duo of all time play the Molson Amphitheatre on June 23, it’ll be their first concert in Toronto since 2006, when they played what was then the Hummingbird Centre. 

They’ve regularly gigged in southern Ontario over the last decade, mostly hitting the casinos but not the GTA. For someone who played Maple Leaf Gardens three times in just over a year in the early 80s, Oates sounds a little guilty about the long time away from Toronto. 

“Yes, we haven’t played there a lot lately,” he admits. “This will give us a chance to come back to downtown Toronto, which will be great. I’ve always enjoyed coming up there to play and to meet all of the Torontonians, so to speak.”

After all, they’ve got strong ties to the city. Take a look. 

Hall and Oates started from the top.

Hall and Oates first performed in Toronto in 1974, when they supported the Bee Gees for two nights at the iconic Massey Hall. “I remember going to Massey Hall and having this incredible response,” says Oates. “That’s always stood out as one of the great venues we’ve played. That was the place to play, not only because it was cool and unique but because it sounded so good.”

Oates produced the Parachute Club.

During a much-needed break after touring Big Bam Boom, Oates was hired by Toronto dance act the Parachute Club to help produce what would be their final album. “They were very innovative, very cool. And Lorraine Segato was an amazing singer and very charismatic,” Oates recalls. “For me it was more of a chance to try something new. I’d been wrapped up in Hall and Oates, and to work with those guys was great. I got to spend a lot of time in Toronto and hang out, so that was fun, too. They broke up right after that album, so I hope it wasn’t me! I think it was just one of those things where they’d run their course.”

In Toronto, Hall and Oates are still everywhere.

Take your pick of radio stations (and grocery stores) that play Hall and Oates on an hourly basis: CHFI, BOOM, CHUM. They can’t get enough of Kiss On My List. Even local television is hip to their tunes. Private Eyes, the new Jason Priestley buddy cop series, not only takes its name from the duo’s 1981 hit, but its theme song is a cover of the hit by Toronto’s Dear Rouge. 

Oates knows the songs are timeless. “I’d like to think it’s because our music has stood the test of time and somehow resonates with people regardless of their age or the era. Those hits still sound as good today as they did in the past. We’ve been very fortunate to have a bunch of songs like that.”

Get more Toronto concert listings here. | @yasdnilmac

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