Steve Miller Performs At The Pacific Amphitheater

Music legend Steve Miller played the third to last show of this year's season at the Pacific Amphitheater at the O.C. Fair. Miller’s last L.A. area show was at the Greek Theater in 2019 with country great Marty Stuart and before that had two tours with  fellow music legend Peter Frampton. Most recently on select dates Miller has been playing with Jimmie Vaughan.  I’ve been seeing Miller over the past 15 years and it’s the type of show the fans know every song. The Steve Miller Band formed back in 1966 in San Francisco, CA and Boz Scaggs was an early member as well as bassist Ross Valory (1971) who would help form Journey just two years later. The band would release their first album in 1968 and Miller would release another 17 albums with different band members over the years with the last being Let Your Hair Down in 2011, but with someone with as many hits as Miller they can play a full show of those songs alone. All of the albums made the Billboard 200 with 10 making the top 50 and the highest ranking were The Joker and Book of Dreams which both hit number two and Fly Like An Eagle and Abracadabra hit number three. Miller also had three number one singles with “The Joker,” “Rock N’ Me,” “Abracadabra,” and a number two with “Fly Like An Eagle.” Miller’s first compilation album Anthology hit Gold and Greatest Hits 1974-1978 went 15x Platinum, an album I've heard many times. 

Miller still sounds great and his guitar playing is as great as ever. As I’d like to say he’s quite the guitar wizard. Miller played all the hits with his band of Kenny Lee Lewis (Bass), Ron Wikso (Drums), Joseph Wooten (Keyboards), and Jacob Peterson (Guitar). Before playing his own hits, Miller goes back to his Blues roots starting with Elmore James “Stranger Blues,” Miller kicked off his hits with “Fly Like An Eagle,” followed by “Jet Airliner” which I’ve always seen him close with.  For me personally the whole show was a sing-along with 14 major hits. Miller brought another Blues classic after “The Stake” with Rabon Tarrant’s “Blues With a Feeling,” made famous by Little Walter. The stage was very simple with a rug, a small riser for the drums and another for the keyboards and Miller's famous Pegasus logo as the backdrop.

Miller, known for an incredible guitar collection, shared a few stories about his instruments. The first story came after “Fly Like an Eagle” and was about Miller’s “Les Paul,” but also the iconic guitarist/designer the guitar bears the namesake from. Miller shared a story of seeing Les Paul in NY at Fat Tuesdays and playing that guitar in his honor. Miller went on to dedicate the next song “Jet Airliner” to Les, as well as a number of guitar legends that have passed like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

Before “Wild Mountain Honey,” Miller shared my personal favorite story about how he acquired his Electric Sitar guitar used on the song and live performances. Back in 1965 when Miller was part of the Goldberg-Miller Blues band with Barry Goldberg and went into the legendary Manny’s Music in NYC with $250 to buy a Gibson Les Paul, but that would not be enough for any nice guitar. Miller found a large barrel on the way out and in it was the Electric Sitar guitar for $125. Miller described the appearance from the croc skin paint to the lipstick tube pickups to the plexi-glass piece on it and the mirror on the back. Miller said he had been offered $60k for it then later $400k and jokingly asked the audience whether to sell or not. Miller finished the story with that guitar being displayed at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC next to Ravi Shankar’s sitar for a year. 

The set also included “Living In The U.S.A., in which Miller played harmonica on, “Swing Town,” and “Take the Money and Run.” “The Joker” was the encore. For “The Joker,” Miller brought out his sparkly blue Fender Stratocaster and shared how just before the Covid-19 Pandemic, him and Marty Stuart were going to tour again with 50 dates which were all canceled and when it was time to tour again Miller described it as playing basketball and throwing the ball into the stands rather than the person it was supposed to go to. It certainly didn’t feel like the band was off two years and Miller delivered a great performance as he always does. 

Miller’s last show on this run is October 3rd in Highland, CA at the Yaamava’ Resort and Casino. 

  1. Stranger Blues
    (Elmore James cover)
  2. Fly Like an Eagle
  3. Jet Airliner
    (Paul Pena cover)
  4. The Stake
  5. Blues With a Feeling
    (Rabon Tarrant cover)
  6. Abracadabra
  7. Dance, Dance, Dance
  8. Wild Mountain Honey
  9. Swingtown
  10. Jungle Love
  11. Serenade
  12. Space Cowboy
  13. Living in the U.S.A.
  14. Take The Money And Run
  15. Rock'n Me


  1. The Joker