Veteran music duo Daryl Hall and John Oates officially released its new live recording Live in Dublin this week. The recording features Hall & Oates’ July 15, 2014 performance at the Olympia Theater in Dublin, Ireland. The concert marked the first time ever the Hall and Oates had ever performed as a duo at the venue. That is itself truly an incredible statement considering the fact that the duo released its debut album some forty-three years ago in 1972 and has toured the world together multiple times over since then. So it goes without saying that being the pair’s first-ever performance together at the Olympia Theater is an important event for both men and for their fans around the world. The recording is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and 2-CD. The Blu-ray and DVD presentation of the concert are both great pieces for any Hall & Oates fans. The double-disc CD presentation deserves just as much mention. There is plenty to like about the 2-CD set beginning with the set list presented across the discs. The set list is presented in exactly the same order as it is on the DVD and Blu-ray platforms. As minute as this may seem to many, it is actually very important. The reason for that importance will be discussed shortly. Another positive element of the 2-CD set is its audio mix. Thanks to the efforts of those charged with handling the audio boards and the post production, the audio is just as impressive here as it is on the concert’s DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Last of note is the band’s stage presence throughout the concert. It’s difficult to translate stage presence in an audio-only presentation. So those that pick up the 2-CD concert recording of Live in Dublin are recommended to purchase either the DVD or Blu-ray so as to fully understand and appreciate the band’s stage presence throughout the show. Fans that purchase both will agree that in seeing the band, its stage presence plays just as much a role in the success and enjoyment of the concert as the set list itself. Each element on its own plays a pivotal role in the success and enjoyment of Live in Dublin’s 2-CD. All three together prove it to be one part of a whole that not only will fans thoroughly enjoy but that proves once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings.
Hall & Oates’ new live recording Live in Dublin marks the first time ever that Hall & Oates have ever performed live together in Dublin. And as audiences will discover in listening to the concert even in its 2-CD format, it is a concert that was well worth the wait. The primary way in which it proves it was worth that wait is through its set list. As noted in this critic’s review of the concert’s Blu-ray presentation, the show’s set list is not necessarily what one might call a career-defining set list. However, it does handle a good amount of Hall & Oates’ career. The show’s set list takes fans all the way back to the duo’s 1973 sophomore record Abandoned Luncheonette and all the way up to its 194 record Big Bam Boom. That presents a rather large swath of material from what is one of the music world’s most well-known and beloved acts. The broad spectrum of material presented by Hall & Oates in the CD portion of its new record is just part of what makes the set list just as important in its CD presentation as in its DVD or Blu-ray presentation. The set list presented in the concert’s 2-CD presentation includes each song included in the concert presented in the concert’s DVD and Blu-ray. Just as key is that the set list presented in the concert’s 2-CD format is in the exact same order as in the DVD and Blu-ray presentation. People take this element for granted far too often with live recordings. The reality is that in many cases, record labels will actually omit songs from a concert’s audio recording (CD) and keep them in the DVD and Blu-ray presentation. In other cases, the order of the set list is shifted around between the a/v portion and the audio-only portion. The reason for omitting songs in one format and not another is obvious. That is just a ploy by record labels to make more money as DVDs and Blu-rays typically run at a higher price than their audio-only counterparts. It this illegal? No. is it ethical? Hardly. Luckily for fans of Hall & Oates, Eagle Rock didn’t use such nefarious measures for this recording. On the side of labels shifting set list orders around, it’s anyone’s guess as to why labels would do this. There’s no reason to do it. And while it happens far less than the omitting of songs, it does still happen. It doesn’t happen here, though. It’s even more proof of why the CD side of Hall & Oates’ new concert recording is just as enjoyable as its a/v side. That Eagle Rock Entertainment would maintain such a high standard also shows once more why Eagle Rock remains the leader in live recordings.
The 2-CD side of Hall & Oates’ new live recording is a key element in its success. That is because it is presented in its entirety just as in the concert’s DVD and Blu-ray presentation. The fact that no song is omitted in the concert’s audio-only portion is just part of what makes the set list so important to the whole of this recording. That the concert is presented in exactly the same order in its 2-CD presentation as in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation shows even more the importance of the set list to the recording’s success. As important as the set list is to the whole of Live in Dublin in its 2-CD presentation, the concert’s audio mix is just as key to its success. And as with the audio mix in the concert’s a/v presentations, the audio mix was handled just as expertly here. Sometimes, things are lost in translation when a live show is transferred over to an audio-only presentation because of compression, etc. Luckily that didn’t happen here. The concert’s audio mix is expertly balanced throughout the show with each part perfectly balancing the other. Such quality audio is yet another standard maintained by Eagle Rock Entertainment for some time. It is yet another reason that Hall & Oates fans will enjoy this portion of the duo’s latest concert recording as much as its DVD and Blu-ray presentations. It is also another way in which Eagle Rock Entertainment continues to prove itself the leader in live recordings.
The set list that makes up Live In Dublin’s body and the concert’s audio mix are equally important elements of the whole of the recording. The set list will take long-time fans on a trip through most of Hall & Oates’ career. What’s more, those that might perhaps purchase the 2-CD presentation over the DVD and Blu-ray (although that is anything but recommended) will not feel shorted as the set list in the concert’s audio-only presentation is exactly the same as that of its a/v presentations. It is also presented in exactly the same order as those presentations. The audio mix of the 2-CD presentation makes that set list all the more enjoyable as every song included in the concert’s a/v presentations is also included here. The two elements together do plenty to make the 2-CD presentation of Live in Dublin fully enjoyable for Hall & Oates’ fans. As important as each element proves to be to the whole of Live in Dublin’s audio-only format, an understanding of the band’s stage presence makes the concert even more enjoyable and complete. The issue at hand with understanding the band’s stage presence is that it is difficult to fully comprehend or appreciate an act’s stage presence in an audio-only format. This is exactly why it is recommended that those that purchase the concert’s 2-CD set also purchase the DVD or Blu-ray. In watching the concert’s a/v side, audiences will see for themselves the band’s stage presence. The band in whole exudes such energy in its performance of ‘Family Man.’ While it holds the original song in the performance, the band has noticeably stepped up in this performance. And the funky vibes of ‘It’s Uncanny’ will take audiences back to another age as the band launches into this piece. The band’s live take of ‘It’s Uncanny’ is just as good as its original studio recording if not better than said composition. And the band’s performance of its biggest hit of all, ‘You Make My Dreams,’ is a solid performance in its own right. Interestingly enough, one would think the band’s performance of one of its biggest singles of all would be a big production. But the band opts instead for a performance that while not subdued per se is not the massive production that one would expect. Interestingly enough, because the band saves its energy for the last bars of the song, it makes this moment all the more special and memorable. Whether for that memorable moment or for the band’s performances of ‘Family Man,’ ‘It’s Uncanny’ or any of the moments not noted here, it can be said with ease that the stage presence of Daryl Hall, John Oates, and the duo’s fellow musicians throughout the concert presented here makes the set list and in turn the performance in whole all the more enjoyable for fans.
As one can hopefully see by now, the 2-CD presentation of Hall & Oates’ new live recording Live in Dublin offers just as much to appreciate as its a/v counterparts. Whether for the complete and completely in order set list to the expert audio mix to the band’s stage presence and more, Live in Dublin proves itself as welcome in any fan’s home music library as the concert’s a/v side. Though, it would be recommended that any real fans add both the a/v and audio-only recordings to their library. Both together will give fans the full concert experience here and will lead fans to agree once more that Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven itself the leader in live recordings. Live in Dublin’s 2-CD set is available in stores and online now along with the concert’s DVD and Blu-ray. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:
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