Written by Scott Johnson
Photos by Tom Collins
If you’re a foodie, and you enjoy music festivals, then Hoagie Nation was an event not to be missed! Headlining this incredible spectacle was Philadelphia’s own Hall & Oates. The greatest music selling duo of all time hosted the very first of what is hoped to be more Hoagie Nation Festivals to come. While Daryl Hall and John Oates would close out the night to thousands of adoring fans, they were preceded by a spectacular lineup consisting of Tears for Fears, G. Love & Special Sauce, and many more. Despite the fact festivities commenced on the unofficial start of summer, being Memorial Day weekend, it was clear the public decided to postpone travels to the shore until they had their fill of Hoagies and Hall&Oates.
Upon immediate arrival at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, in Philadelphia, PA, the Rock Titan team of Scotty J and Tom Collins made a “B line” to the food tents. Looking over the menu, it was pretty clear what everyone would be digesting late into the evening. “You Make My Dreams” (Italian Hoagie), “I Can Go For That” (Rustic Italian), “Sara Smile” (Sante Fe Turkey Hoagie), “Maneater” (Roast Beef Hoagie), and “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” (Veggie Cheese Hoagie). How could anyone possibly wash all of that marvelous food down? There’s nothing like a Cold Beverage to take care of that task. Ironically, at that very moment, it was G. Love & Special Sauce jamming out on the North Stage to what is arguably their most famous song “Cold Beverage”.
As the day progressed, there was a noticeable shift of traffic to the South Stage of Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. One of the most popular and successful bands of the 1980’s, Tears for Fears, was ready to thrill thousands of fans fully prepared to shout, shout, and let it all out! Reaching multi-platinum status in both the UK and US during the 80’s, fans would have no choice but to get a bit nostalgic over the LIVE performance of chart topping Number 1 hits like “Shout” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”. Decades may have passed since their prime, but it was evident that Tears for Fears was well preserved. A sea of smart phones recording and snapping photos would assure this performance was captured thousands of times over. Would it be nice if the crowd was more focused on just enjoying a great concert? Sure. But, given Tears for Fears significant place in music history, it’s not difficult to understand the desire to create one’s own souvenirs.
Taking absolutely no chances of being in a premier position for the Hall&Oates performance, the Rock Titan team made their way to the North Stage as Tears for Fears was wrapping up their set. Kudos to Collins as media coverage would have been nearly impossible if not for his prophetic 6th sense. As you will see in the accommodating photos, we got a prime time front and center spot to witness the greatest music selling duo of all time make dreams come true. Tens of thousands comprising Hoagie Nation would soon converge on the North Stage. When you’ve got to introduce such legendary musicians, you’ve got to have some rather legendary M.C.’s. Who better to tag for this responsibility than Philadelphia founding father Benjamin Franklin and Baseball Hall of Fame Philadelphia Phillies 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt? The crowd was indeed pumped full of excitement (and hoagies), and rightfully so. Daryl Hall, John Oates, and their extremely talented entourage rattled off hit after hit. “Maneater”, “Out of Touch”, “Say it isn’t so”, and the list goes on. You know all their hits, and Hall&Oates performed them in a most timeless fashion. Daryl’s vocal range was beyond impressive for a man of 70! The man simply defies time. Equally impressive was Hall’s counterpart John Oates. Recently coming off his book tour for “Change of Seasons”, which was featured by Rock Titan, John showed off some vocals and guitar licks of his own. The set would last well into the evening not leaving a single participant of Hoagie Nation unsatisfied.
If there’s a template for an amazing music festival, then Hoagie Nation was certainly it! Combine trademark food, a historic city, legendary musicians, a holiday weekend, and you’ve got an undeniable recipe for success. Hall&Oates rocked their home town, and the nation they hail from turned out to return the love. For music fans and festival goers young and old, there is hope that this event will become a new annual tradition for many years ahead.