The legendary band, Steely Dan took a major hit last month, when just days before the start of their 2017 fall tour, original guitarist Walter Becker passed away from an undisclosed illness. Instead of cancelling the tour, the other half of Steely Dan, Donald Fagan made a decision to trek on as a tribute to his late fallen partner. Early reviews of the shows have been stunning as Steely Dan brought their "An Evening With Steely Dan" tour to the Toyota Oakdale Theater on Sunday night.
The two-hour performance started with the band kicking in to jazzy instrumental, "Fan It, Janet" as Donald Fagan and The Danettes strutted onto the stage. Fagan took to the microphone with his melodica to perform a song from his solo album "Green Flower Street," before settling into his keyboard that was perched center stage. The night was a string of Steely Dan hits, with a few obscure tracks to appease the diehard fans. Guitarist John Herington made his presence known during the jamming, electrifying guitar solos of "Hey Nineteen" and "New Frontier." Then, drummer Keith Carlock took over to close out "Aja" with a powerful drum solo.
Fagan mentioned that he felt "weird" being up on stage without his partner, before dedicating the band's version of "Book Of Liars" (from Walter Becker's solo album) to his memory. As the song played, family photos of Becker shown on a large projection screen behind the band. The energy quickly picked back up with "Black Friday" and the swift pace of "Bodhisattva," while the bluesy "I Want To (Do Everything For You)," sung by The Danettes, allowed each member of the band to be introduced.
Donald Fagan and Steely Dan headed toward the finish line with a string of their popular hits, "Peg," "My Old School" and "Kid Charlemagne." A standing ovation from the audience rang throughout the theater, before Steely Dan returned to the stage to close out the evening with probably their most well-known single, "Reelin' In The Years." As Fagan thanked his fans and exited the stage, the band broke into the theme from "The Untouchables." As the house light went up, there was no doubt that Steely Dan is still here to stay as long as Donald Fagan continues to be the driving force behind the band. Here's to many more years of Steely Dan's music ringing through the speakers in theaters across the country.
Setlist: Fan It Janet, Green Flower Street, Black Cow, Hey Nineteen, New Frontier, Aja, I Got The News, Time Out Of Mind, Book Of Liars, Black Friday, Dirty Work, Bodhisattva, I Want To (Do Everything For You), Don't Take Me Alive, Peg, My Old School, Kid Charlemagne
Encore: Reelin' In The Years, Theme From The Untouchables