Steely Dan

Steely Dan at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA

Steely Dan will forever be one of the greatest duos in music. Before songwriting partners Walter Becker (guitar) and Donald Fagen (keyboards/vocals) parted ways in 1981, they released seven albums, each one a masterpiece with top studio musicians. For 12 years, there was no Steely Dan but the duo still worked together. In 1993, Becker and Fagen became Steely Dan again and released two more solo albums and toured the world playing their countless hits. On Sept. 3, 2017, Becker sadly passed away. In April that year, Becker gave one of his last performances at the Santa Barbara Bowl. On Sept. 24, Steely Dan—now comprised of Fagen and the same touring band—returned to the Santa Barbara Bowl for their Sweet tour.

For this tour, there is no photography or video or even cell phone use permitted during the show. This allows the fans to enjoy and be present with Steely Dan's timeless music with no distractions. The band came out and opened with "Teenie's Blues" featuring each member and was followed by Fagen and the backing vocalists walking out and kicking off the show with "Sign In Stranger." Steely Dan played hit after hit with "Black Friday," "Hey Nineteen," and "Aja." With the loss of Becker, it wasn't just his guitar playing missing but also his humor on stage, especially during "Hey Nineteen." It was also my first time seeing Steely Dan since Aretha Franklin passed.

Fagen introduced a local musician to come join for "Home at Last" and it was none other than David Crosby who came out to sing backing vocals. Crosby also joined in on "Reelin' In the Years." After Fagen walked off, the band ended with "A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry." As far as live bands go, Steely Dan has one of the best around that recreates the magic of all their classics.

Fagen tried to recreate Becker's onstage persona at times and at the end of the show said, "I'd like to thank my partner Walter Becker who couldn't be here tonight."

The final Steely Dan show of the year is Dec. 30 in Austin, Texas. Steely Dan also returns to the Beacon in NYC for five shows next month featuring a different album each night and a greatest hits night.

Setlist

  1. Teenie’s Blues-Oliver Nelson (Band Only)

  2. Sign in Stranger

  3. Black Friday

  4. Hey Nineteen

  5. Aja

  6. Time Out of Mind

  7. Bad Sneakers

  8. Kid Charlemagne

  9. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

  10. The Goodbye Look- Fagen

  11. Dirty Work

  12. Home at Last w/ David Crosby

  13. Green Earrings

  14. Keep That Same Old Feeling- The Crusaders

  15. Peg

  16. Bodhisattva

  17. My Old School

Encore

  1. Reelin’ in the Years w/ David Crosby

  2. A Man Ain’t Supposed to Cry- Joe Williams (Band Only)