Last night the Capital Centre's doorways filld with more than 21,000 toys that were part of the admission for WPGC's "Toys for Tots" concert. On the stage were three bands that have made it regularly onto WPGC's highly restricted play list. Hall & Oates demonstrated the strength possible within those restrictions. K.C. & The Sunshine Band hit both the highs and the lows of commercial radio; Foreigner only the lows.
Hall & Oates were strong because they surrounded Daryl Hall's smooth tentor and John Oates' husky baritone and falsetto with surprising guitar solos and rhythmic shifts. Opening last night, Hall & Oates roughed up their own blue-eyed soul hits with metallic guitars and manic shouting, but left the root melodies and dance beat intact.
Harry (K.C.) Casey's lyrics (endless chants like "I want to put on my, my, my, my boogie shoes") may mark an all-time low for rock 'n' roll. But last night his genuinely erotic singing and his 10-member Sunshine Band's tireless groove made for intoxicating dance music, especially for the live debut of their next single "Let's Go Rock 'n' Roll."
Foreigner was at the top of the bill but proved the lowest point of the show. Macho lyrics, stolen guitar phrases, sledgehammer delivery, crude chording, siren vocals, a metronome beat and muddy, loud sound quickly take all the fun out of rock 'n' roll. Not even strobe lights and dry-ice smoke could save Foreigner last night.