Friday, August 5, 2016

Daryl's Halls Revisited: Live from the PNC Arts Center, a Ballroom Upstairs, and Those Sea-Blue Eyes

I originally posted this piece in January 2014. It's been updated to include material from this summer.

Mr. C and I discovered, this winter, the musical pleasure/treasure called Live from Daryl's House, which is, as readers will surely know, the best music jam on TV (we also tune in to Jools Holland, but it's not as reliable as Daryl). I've developed a deep appreciation not only for Daryl's musicianship, his soulful improvisations, and his bonhomie at dinner, but also for the members of his band.

As a birthday gift to each other, Mr. C and I bought tickets to hear Daryl Hall and John Oates play this summer at the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey. It's an indoor/outdoor venue, and these were the two opening acts--Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and the fierce Miss Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. I didn't look at our tickets closely, so we enjoyed Trombone Shorty and Sharon Jones from what we thought were our seats, right here:

Then we left to get a beverage, and when we returned to our seats, another couple was sitting in them. The woman looked at my tickets and kindly informed me that we were seated in Section 101, not 301. Who knew there were sections?!

Feeling unlike the competent summer theatre usherette I was during my teens at the Confederation Centre in Prince Edward Island, I (we) made my (our) way forward . . . and forward . . . and forward. So for the main event we were thisclose to the stage!

A particular delight for this DH/JO concert was that Daryl brought his house band from the show--and this is probably the first time I've felt like I "know" each member of a band; I'm sure I went completely fangirl when all the band guys came to the front of the stage after DH and JO departed, to take their own bows.

And long before I knew that I would be watching Daryl's House on TV and cheering live for his terrific house band, I was writing about his house in a different context, as below:

If I were in a punning mood, this post could be called "In Praise of Daryl's Halls," as it's inspired by the 2014 NYT piece on music stars who renovate their homes. (OK--I was feeling fairly puntastic in this update title.)

Daryl Hall is fixing up his 1787 home in CT, and my imagination took flight when I read that the bachelor sea captain who built it installed a ballroom on the top floor, in place of bedrooms.

Having a ballroom on the top floor brings new meaning to the idea of "dancing on the ceiling" and conjures up images of Austen-esque balls, with a handsome, young sea captain hoping to find his first (or only) mate.

If I were to go to a ball today, chez Hall, I might wear something primitively beautiful, to complement Mr. Hall's love of "the handmade world."

Perhaps something from Alabama Chanin might like a spin on the dance floor.

 I have a great-great uncle (maybe even greater) who was a ship's captain, based in Cardigan, PEI, which was a shipbuilding hub.  His captain's clock, his logs, and other artefacts, as well as his photo, are on display at the Cardigan Heritage Center.  I cannot locate my copy of his photo at the moment, but I see that my young son shares his great-great-great (possibly greater) uncle's sea-blue eyes, that hint of distant horizons. Here is one of his ships, the Caspian, built in 1890:

And here is his chronometer:

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