Longtime fans got an impressive earful of jazz-rock faves from the Donald Fagen-led ensemble during Monday’s concert at Van Andel Arena. Review, photo gallery, set list.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERY, SET LIST
One thing’s for sure about this jazz-rock band with 45 years of timeless classics under its belt: Steely Dan stays incredibly faithful to its original recordings with a jaw-dropping 12-piece ensemble of stellar professionals.
The band’s set list for Monday’s tour stop at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena boasted some of the most notable compositions of Steely Dan’s glory years, spanning its robust catalog with numbers such as “Hey Nineteen,” “Peg,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Reelin’ in the Years,” and supplying a satisfying array of music from the albums “Aja,” “The Royal Scam,” “Gaucho” and more to electrify the evening.
Leading the way, naturally, was band co-founder Donald Fagen, who acknowledged the recent passing of his longtime musical partner, Walter Becker, with a performance of one of Becker’s solo tunes accompanied by a heartfelt picture montage of Walter with his family and friends.
And this really was a tribute and a celebration of Steely Dan’s legacy of classic rock and jazz a fusion, a stand-up-and-dance, show-stopping affair that stretched across two hours.
The arena of about 6,000 mostly baby boomer fans sang along to the eccentric, and sometimes comical, lyrics with Donald and “The Danettes,” a powerhouse trio of backup singers who commanded most of the melodically complicated harmonies without missing a note.
Meanwhile, the four-piece horn section (trombone, tenor sax, baritone sax, and trumpet) provided additional support for the tunes that the Van Andel crowd knew all too well. While much of the audience stayed seated initially, it took only part of the set to bring onlookers to their feet, grooving along to insatiable rhythms that have held up to the highest degree over the years.
One of the stars of the evening was John Herrington, longtime band guitarist who also honored Becker’s leads with prowess and ease on the six-string, paying homage to one of the greats. I was lucky enough to get to see Becker perform a few years back at a music convention. And while his presence was notably missed on stage Monday, the show must go on – and it certainly did in his honor.
If Monday proved anything, it’s that Steely Dan is a must-see band which shows no signs of retiring.
While the past two years have taken some of the greats from us and proven to be especially hard on the era of classic rock, Steely Dan’s performance served as reminder to all music fans and lovers: Get to the next show and cross that childhood favorite off your bucket list. After all, that chance may never come again.
PHOTO GALLERY: Steely Dan at Van Andel Arena
Photos by Anthony Norkus
SET LIST: Steely Dan at Van Andel Arena
1. Black Cow
3. Hey 19
4. New Frontier (Donald Fagen)
5. Green Earring
6. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
7. Time out of Mind
8. Book of Liars (Walter Becker)
9. Black Friday
10. Dirty Work
12. I Want To (Do Everything for You) – Joe Tex Cover
15. My Old School
16. Reeling in the Years
17. Kid Charlemagne
18. The Untouchables – Nelson Riddle Cover
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC