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Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren Are a Perfect Pairing in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

In Nashville, matching steak with whiskey is a favorite culinary past time - especially among this city's well to do and high rollers. The pairing of rock icons Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren was an equally flavorful combination complete with a meaty and spirit filled night of music courtesy of the two headliners accompanied by the Live From Daryl's House Band on Sunday, April 03, 2022 at the Ryman Auditorium in Music City.

The Ryman Auditorium became Daryl's House for one night in April.

Heck, many of those Nashville elites were in attendance seated in the pews of the Mother Church as this was one of the hottest tickets in town where entry into the hallowed hall was selling for close to the price of a car payment on the after markets.

And why not? The evening's draw featured a couple of veritable rock legends who have followed an eerily similar career path on their way to forming a solid bond and musical friendship in recent years as documented on Daryl's popular web series and television show known as Live From Daryl's House or LFDH for short.

Consider that both men emerged from the Philadelphia scene in the late 60's and early 70's carving out roles for themselves as progenitors of alluring blue eye soul. They went on to become darlings of both the AM and FM radio bands as they built brands that have seen them end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland with Daryl inducted in 2014 while Todd became a member in the most recent class of 2021.

Daryl Hall looked and sounded wonderful in Nashville.

Early on, the scenic environs of upstate New York became important to the pair as Todd settled in the Woodstock region and became a fixture at Bearsville studios where he recorded many albums for himself while producing over 70 for other artists including the blockbuster Bat Out of Hell debut for Meat Loaf in 1977.

Daryl Hall helped put the remote Catskill enclave of Amenia on the map when he filmed the first 65 episodes of LFDH from his sprawling farm estate. And both rockers became famous for the houses they built with Todd constructing his abode in an idyllic Hawaiian setting while Daryl built his new "House" - actually a performance space in Pawling, New York that now serves as the exclusive production studio for his popular show.

And so it was these two men who have taken disparate but not dissimilar paths over careers that span more than half a century found themselves on the revered Ryman stage on a double bill in 2022. Todd kicked things off with a solid three pack of "Real Man", "Love of the Common Man" and "We Gotta Get You a Woman" with only a microphone in hand as the one who many fans called "god" was in early crooner mode on this night that was really a friendly vocal showdown between himself and Hall.

Dave Stewart and the LFDH Band helped to make this a night to remember.

He did pick up a six-string during "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Buffalo Grass" and afterwards he observed that Nashville "really likes guitar". Sadly his beloved "Foamy" was reported as M.I.A. - so fans out there on the Interwebs - please keep an eye out for it. His newer "Pearly" got the workout that elicited a standing ovation.

After a short break it was Daryl's turn. Hall - best known for his work with the best-selling duo of all time Hall & Oates - is also a prolific solo artist in his own right. He spent the downtime during the pandemic compiling the best-of his own output into BeforeAfter - an impressive collection that features thirty tracks spanning all five of his solo albums, from 1980's Robert Fripp-produced Sacred Songs through 2011's Laughing Down Crying, co-produced with longtime Hall compatriot T-Bone Wolk. Additionally, the volume features six never-released performances from the path-breaking web and television series Live From Daryl's House, which Hall launched in 2007 with the then-novel idea of "playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet."

One of those performances includes the recently shared recording of the Eurythmics classic "Here Comes The Rain Again," performed with that song's co-writer Dave Stewart. The enigmatic artist who Hall introduced as a part-time Nashvillian (I mean, who doesn't live here?) was a special guest in Music City to play that song that was from our perspective in the audience one of the high-points of the evening. Taken as a whole, BeforeAfter draws unexpected and satisfying connections between the esoteric and accessible sides of Daryl Hall's creativity.

Todd sometimes called "god" was warmly welcomed at the Mother Church.

Also notable was during Hall's encore when he was joined by his touring mate Rundgren to sing several songs together. This slot revealed both men to be at the top of their game as they pushed each other to great heights. Still, the biggest ovations for Daryl came during his presentation of several Hall & Oates classics including the closing uplifting track "You Make My Dreams" that was a perfect way to conclude a historic dream pairing in Nashville.

This tour continues through May 22 and will find Hall and Rundgren gracing some of the most prestigious stages in the world including an upcoming stop at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Fans are highly encouraged to do what they can to catch this amazing concert. But, no worries if you can't. The show at the Ryman was recorded with multiple cameras for a future episode of LFDH - and that, too - will be something you won't want to miss.

TODD RUNDGREN SETLIST: Real Man | Love of the Common Man | We Gotta Get You a Woman | It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference | Buffalo Grass | I Saw the Light | Black Maria | Unloved Children | Hello It's Me | Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel | I'm So Proud (The Impressions) (>) Ooo Baby Baby (The Miracles) (>) La-La Means I Love You (The Delfonics) | I Want You (Marvin Gaye) | The Want of a Nail

DARYL HALL SETLIST: Dreamtime | It's Uncanny | Problem With You | I'm in a Philly Mood | Cab Driver | Everytime You Go Away | Sacred Songs | Babs and Babs | Here Comes the Rain Again (Eurythmics cover with Dave Stewart) | Sara Smile | I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) | Encore: | Wait for Me | (with Todd Rundgren) | Can We Still Be Friends (Todd Rundgren cover) (with Todd Rundgren) | Expressway to Your Heart (The Soul Survivors cover) (with Todd Rundgren) | You Make My Dreams

Todd Rundgren fronting Daryl Hall's band was a utopian bucket list moment for his fans.

Related Links: For more information on DARYL HALL & TODD RUNDGREN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Daryl Hall | Todd Rundgren | Ryman Auditorium


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