ATLANTA – Again with the thunderstorms! Although Chastain officially bans golf umbrellas, they sprouted like mushrooms across the seating area in the final hour before newest Hall of Fame inductees Hall & Oates took the stage on Sunday, June 15. The venue sold out of ponchos and had nothing but one tablecloth left. I knew it wouldn’t be long before somebody was going to buy that thing and punch their head through it.
The rain ebbed and flowed as the hapless, yet cheerful Mutlu spooled out his songs for the crowd, undaunted. A first-generation American of Turkish descent and a fellow Philly boy, he’s opened for Joe Jackson, Adele and Katy Perry. Daryl Hall and Amos Lee are longtime fans and are featured on his 2008 debut album, and he appears often on the same stage with them.
His latest EP, “Dreambook” is available on iTunes, and is worth a listen for his mashup of traditional Turkish tunes and old school R&B. Tongue-in-cheek “Caramel,” remindful of an Andy Samberg ballad, brought giggles and appreciative applause. It was clear that Atlanta is stuck on Mutlu like Turkish Taffy.
The star duo came out as night was falling and tossed us back to our salad days with “Maneater.” Afterward, Hall said he thinks they’ve played Chastain Park 30 times, and it’s rained every time.
“We’ve had rain, tornadoes, thunderstorms. I don’t know what it is. But, hey, you guys keep showing up, and we really appreciate it,” he said.
The weather finally got over itself, and by the third song, the brollies were closing, one by one. Hall reminisced that Atlanta was one of the first places they played, and remembered that “She’s Gone” was the first song they played here – at Richard’s.
It was another Boogie Night with one hit after another that got the crowd on their feet. The Kings of Blue-Eyed Soul made many Saras in the audience smile, and trust me, plenty of non-Saras were grinning, too.
Jack-of-all-instruments, Eliot Lewis, was on the keys, but is an accomplished solo act and tours on his own account. Hall has high praise for his multitudinous musicalities, and he is an indispensable component of his wonderful monthly webcast, “Live from Daryl’s House.” He even produces music and serves as court photographer chronicling the H&O tours.
The current episode is shot in a friend’s beautiful Charleston home and features hometown guy Darius Rucker, who still has an incredible voice. I miss Hootie & the Blowfish, and it was great to hear him sing some of his old tunes. Check out the panoply of performers Hall has assembled for your viewing and listening pleasure.
John Oates sang the leads in “Alone Too Long,” “Las Vegas Turnaround” and “Good Road to Follow” off his fourth and latest solo album. It’s apparent that the friends of half a century’s standing have not needed to stay joined at the hip, yet are happy to recouple and tour to please the fans.
Porter Carroll lent muscular infrastructure, banging on his conga drums behind “I Can’t Go for That.” And everyone could definitely go for that. Yep, can do! His tingling triangle work added sparkly top notes.
Charles DeChant has maximum sax appeal and hammed it up for a little extra appreciation from the crowd after some particularly taxing parts. He looks a lot like Willie Nelson – unbraided.
Guitarist Shane Theriot, Klyde Jones on bass and Brian Dunne on drums round out the six-piece band, and fleshed out the eight-man harmony on “She’s Gone.” Jones and Dunne are also part of a three-piece side project headed up by Lewis.
They wrapped up their shiny pop parcel with “You Make My Dreams Come True.” And so they did. I’d be willing to wager that at least half the audience had that earworm buzzing for days.