If there's anything more American than picnicking while watching Philly soul brothers Hall & Oates perform at the Hollywood Bowl's gigantic 4th of July fireworks extravaganza--with "opening act" the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing the "Star-Spangled Banner," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "America The Beautiful," and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"--well then, I might as well become a Communist. Because in my opinion, American living doesn't get any finer than this.
Hall & Oates, who've been making classic American music for four decades and are the most successful duo in pop history, have always been great American heroes in my book. But they've enjoyed a renaissance as of late, with the Gym Class Heroes naming one of their treks the "Daryl Hall For President Tour"; Daryl Hall getting artists like KT Tunstall, Chromeo, Diane Birch, and Fitz & The Tantrums to guest on his online music/talk show, "Live From Daryl's House"; their bouncy hit "You Make My Dreams Come True" getting prime placement in 500 Days Of Summer; and artists like the Bird & The Bee and Koot Hoomi & Robert Lurie paying homage to the duo on various tribute albums. H&O have penned many, many modern-day American anthems, so when they joined the Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins for a three-night stint at the Bowl during the long holiday weekend--climaxing quite literally with a fantastic fireworks display in the sky above the Hollywood Hills while 18,000 fans (including many armed forces veterans, who received a special salute from Wilkins) looked on--it was cause for celebration indeed.
And the whole spectacle couldn't have been any more patriotic if Daryl had strutted onstage with a slice of apple pie in one hand and a Statue Of Liberty torch in the other. But just as excitingly, when the all-American duo hit the Bowl stage on July 4th, they immediately broke into "Maneater." (Attention, heritage bands: This is how you do it! Start your show with a HIT!) John Oates's mustache, such a national treasure it ought to be in the Smithsonian, was nowhere in sight, sadly, not even on the Bowl's jumbotron...but Daryl's golden, lionlike mane, seemingly being blown back by an invisible wind machine (or by the force of the fireworks, maybe), was as perfect as ever. U-S-A! U-S-A!
And the hits kept on coming. "Out Of Touch," early Abandoned Luncheonette favorites "Las Vegas Turnaround" and "She's Gone," "Sara Smile," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"...and then, accompanied by the full Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, "Rich Girl" and "You Make My Dreams Come True." American dreams DO come true!
And they capped it all off with "Private Eyes," with the Bowl audience's double-syncopated handclaps accompanying them from start to finish.
God bless America. God bless the Hollywood Bowl. And God bless Hall & Oates.