Daryl Hall packed up his walls, lights and musical equipment and brought "Live From Daryl's House," his acclaimed webcast, to the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday night.
Hall -- the tall blond in Hall & Oates -- started the webcast (www.lfdh.com) in 2007 from his upstate New York estate, and the program has evolved into an entertaining entity that is part variety show, part guitar pull and part talk show.
At the Orpheum, it took Hall a good 45 minutes to get comfortable in his own house. Sure, he had his usual band mates. He even had a return guest from two months ago, 24-year-old Seattle soul man Allen Stone, but it didn't feel like the party had quite started.
Then Sharon Jones arrived. She's the one-woman cyclone who fronts Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a retro soul band from Brooklyn. She tore into her repertoire, finding a deep Southern soul groove on "100 Days, 100 Nights," demonstrating the rhythm to the band by shaking her hips. On "Tell Me," she got into a churchy call-and-response between her voice and Paul Pesco's guitar. With the funky "Hard Way," she showed why she's been called the female James Brown. Not only did she sing her funky butt off, but the way she shook the fringe on her pink sequined dress, Tina Turner's got nothing on her.
It was hard to tell who was more blown away -- the standing and screaming fans or Hall.
It may have been Daryl's house, but it was clearly Sharon's room.
"Soul is about not thinking about it and just doing it," Hall, 65, declared with an I-can-go-for-that grin across his face.
He wasn't just a bystander, playing rhythm guitar during Jones' triple play. No, after she'd done a verse and chorus, he'd usually take the second chorus and he definitely found his inner soul man.
Then Hall took over on Hall & Oates' "Do What You Want, Be What You Are," with Jones helping out on vocals. This slow-burn bluesy soul number built in intensity, peaking with a Jones scream and a saxophone wail.
After a filmed bit on how to make Philly cheesesteak (the webcast always has a cooking segment), the second half of the two-hour show featured all three singers onstage at once. Stone, who looked like a male Taylor Swift with long scraggly blond hair and oversize glasses, showed off his granola-soul vocal chops, especially on the bouncy "Say So."
Up to this point, the program seemed planned if underrehearsed, missing the spontaneity, looseness and surprises of the webcast. After all, Hall and his seven-man band had to do a little prep for this seven-city tour. Suddenly, Hall was going to call an audible. He and Jones just did a little improvised vocalizing and then finally he kicked into Hall & Oates' "Everytime You Go Away." Jones took the second verse and then Hall took it to church, testifying like Al Green -- if he'd grown up in Philly.
The song brought Jones, 55, to tears. She explained that she'd lost her mother to cancer in March and these words hit her in the heart. That's what soul music does. That's what happens when Daryl invites the right guests over to his house.
- Follow Bream on Twitter: @jonbream