If you think it's amazing that Daryl Hall and John Oates have stayed together now for almost a half-century, that they continue to tour into their 70s, and that they can continue to fill big arenas in big cities, just wait.
The venerable pop-rock-soul-R&B duo — which co-headlines Spectrum Center on Monday night with the younger men of Train — might continue touring for quite a few years. Maybe even a couple of decades. Although one of them is perhaps a bit more optimistic about that prospect than the other.
"I admire and hope to be one of those people," says Hall, 71, after a reporter mentions that Tony Bennett recently performed in Charlotte at age 91. "I think it's an amazing thing when people have the abilities — the mental ability, the physical ability — to go out there on the road at a certain time in your life, when you're in your 90s, or whatever. I think it keeps you young, man. It really does. Touring is the fountain of youth."
Meanwhile, Oates (who turned 70 earlier this spring) vacillates when presented with the idea of staying on the road for another 20 years.
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"I don't know. ... It becomes more of a question of physicality at that point; it really does. The thing about Tony Bennett, you have to remember, is that what he's always done and what he's doing now is — you know, if he can stand next to that piano and sing, he's OK. But if you gotta move around the stage, and you're playing guitar, and you got loud, big amps and stuff, it's a whole different thing there.
"Listen, I guarantee you, if Daryl Hall can sing, he will sing till the day he no longer walks the earth," Oates continues, "because that's who he is. He's an incredible singer, and he's a committed, lifelong musician. So I don't doubt that (he means what he says) at all. For me, though, personally, a day could come when I just don't want to travel. It's not the playing — it's not the two hours on stage that get you — it's all the other stuff. It's the flying, the busing, the traveling, the hotels, the eating in restaurants. That's what will get you. The two hours on stage is the reward for all that. You know, the old cliche: 'I play for free, but you gotta pay me to leave my house.' "
Funny thing is, Oates actually is on the road more than Hall is these days: He has an Americana side project with his Good Road Band, and their extensive 2018 tour included a stop at Charlotte’s intimate Neighborhood Theatre in February, with the bandleader primarily on an acoustic guitar.
But he still enjoys the big shows as much as the little ones.
"I’m very proud of the music I made with Daryl, that those songs have stood the test of time," Oates says. "They’ve provided me with a platform to do anything I want. I don’t take that for granted. I’m very conscious of that. The Hall & Oates band is an amazing band, and I love playing with great musicians. So I have the best of all worlds. Then I go on stage with my Good Road Band in these small venues and we have this unbelievable synergy. ... So it’s like I have two incredible bands. I’m a lucky guy. There’s hardly anybody that gets to do what I’m doing, and gets to be accepted in both worlds."
As for those songs with Hall that have stood the test of time, fans in Charlotte will hear a bevy of them on Monday night. Expect the setlist to include chart-toppers like "Rich Girl," "Kiss on My List," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "Maneater" and "Out of Touch."
"I have a good problem with having so many songs that people almost demand to hear, that I don't really have a lot of room to deviate from that," Hall says. "Occasionally, we try and throw something in that people aren't that familiar with — you know, some more deeper cut or something — but I gotta play 'Rich Girl,' and I gotta play 'Sara Smile.' I mean, that's just the reality. But we do evolve those songs, so it stays fresh to us."
Also freshening up the show will be Pat Monahan and Train, the rock band behind more-modern hits like "50 Ways to Say Goodbye," "Drive By" and "Marry Me." R&B singer-pianist Kandace Springs will open the show, then Train will do a full set, then Hall & Oates will cap the night.
By the way, if you're wondering how Hall & Oates and Train came to be a thing, blame Hall.
Back when he was launching and growing his online series "Live From Daryl's House" — which sees Hall perform with various artists from inside his New York home — he became a fan of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" and invited him to be a guest in 2011 for the first episode to air on broadcast television.
They hit it off immediately.
"Because we're both from Pennsylvania," Hall says, "so there's a certain attitude and understanding of people who come from that part of the world. And he's a soul singer. I mean, the context that he puts Train in isn't necessarily soul music — or what people think of as soul music — but he sings with a soulful (voice) and he is a soulful person."
"Ever since then," Hall continues, "we've kept in touch and tried to work together. I was gonna do a 'Live From Daryl's House' tour a couple years ago, and I was gonna do it with him, but our schedules didn't work, so we bagged that. And so when we needed somebody this year to go out on the road with us, literally the first person that we called was Train — Pat and Train — and they jumped on it.
"It's gonna be a really friendly situation, where we're gonna do some stuff together at the end of the show, and it's gonna be a really communal, happy ... what's the word? It's just gonna have a good vibe — that's the best way I can put it."
Hall & Oates and Train
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St.
Tickets: $30 and up.
Details: 800-745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com