At fifteen, I was just a shy teenage girl who had grown a novelty for songs of the ’70s and ’80s. I just started to play the guitar seriously and I was eager to learn songs that no one normally did–or songs anyone would expect a girl like me to love.
I learned from the “greats” of our time and then. The Beatles, John Mayer, Simon & Garfunkel, Tears For Fears, Heart… Mostly, these songs were of my own choosing. I found a novelty for past classics. There was an innate sense of musicianship, storytelling and passion that I seemed to resonate with. I connected with these songs moreso than others. Call it my old soul, but perhaps it was my way of standing out–in a subtle way–in a way that felt most natural to me.
For years, I’d ignored the stack of vinyl records collecting dust in a shelf in my living room. Over the years, stacks of books, boxes, pillows and comforters would swarm around it, hiding it from our vision. Years passed and those vinyls still lie untouched.
One fateful summer day, I decided to look into my dad’s record collection. Maybe it was my wanting to know a little more about the person he was–what kind of music he was interested in, what sounds soothed his soul, what kind of ear he had. I found records with names like The Commodores, Chicago, Barbara Streisand, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson… But one caught my eye and instantly made my eyes glisten and pore over having that record in my own two hands.
Yes, it was Hall & Oates. It was their infamous “Private Eyes” album–the dark, brooding, silhouetted faces of that famous rock ‘n’ soul duo pixellated with whites, pinks and yellows on a black background. I was so excited to find that my dad was a fan! My growing obsession for 80’s music/movies catapulted me into an 80’s time capsule for months. I found their red-and-white “Rock & Soul” record in there as well and was in Heaven! (To this day, those records are hung up on my wall at home.)
When all I wanted was to find a piece of him in me, I find myself growing an even fonder attachment to Mr. Daryl Hall and John Oates–not only for the smooth guitar playing or swoon-worthy vocals–but their music secured a soft spot in my heart.
Although attending this concert was kind of a last-minute decision after frenzying for tickets on StubHub and Vivid Seats just two days before the show, I snagged one last open seat on their Ticketmaster website. I researched the venue on information about good seats–in which customers say every seat has a decent view. I looked at parking, knowing I’d be going by myself, and successfully drove myself to Los Angeles from the OC and back, falling in love with the ambiance of the gorgeous Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in Griffith Park by the Griffith Observatory in Los Feliz.
I put on my “The Very Best of Hall & Oates” album and left Irvine at 5:30 after printing tickets and withdrawing some cash for food and merch. I grooved around in my car until I got to LA by 6:30, struggling to find the Greek Shuttle parking area until 7, and went on to roam around the Greek Theatre for about an hour before opening act Mutlu went on at 8. I was saddened by my struggle to find and meet Lalaine, who messaged me on Instagram her section and seat. I saw Mrs. Russo from “Wizards of Waverly Place,” who was with a group of friends. Some guy saw me wandering alone and went up to “courteously” ask for my number to “hang out,” in which I replied, “No thank you.” I bought a delicious Malibu Black Rum Mojito cocktail for $10, which I sipped on ever-so-happily. In the sea of the crowd in an almost sold-out performance, I recorded a few videos and snagged some shots from the show from my vantage point. Although having company would have been nice, I swooned with the bunches of older ladies and gents around me who were happy to hear songs they grew up on/remember/grooved to when they were kids.
Sometimes, when you’re in a space like that, you can’t quite process what exactly you are experiencing.
But, when I arrived home by midnight that Sunday night, listening back to my recordings made me swoon so hard.
When a musician is able to have that effect on you, you know you’ve found your sweet spot.
This was the most I have ever spent on any one concert and it was so worth it. I’m already wishing they would play “One On One” for me, one more time (even though they didn’t even play it).
This one was for you, daddy’o!
Listen to their live performance of “Sara Smile” below. Feel how electric the crowd is! How electrifying that energy is! How smooth and swoon-worthy those sounds are! And how Rachel Smiled so much to this! How I would die to see them again! Lalaine, I’m checking in on you the next time they’re in town! (The rest of my footage should be uploaded soon at http://youtube.com/rachelcansee.)