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whatthefluther's avatar

Steely Dan Live...your opinion?

Asked by whatthefluther (13812points) June 6th, 2009

I know people tend to fall into two very different camps in their opinion of Steely Dan…you either love them or hate them with little middle ground.
If you love them, like me, you know that Walter Becker and Donald Fagan are studio geniuses and perfectionists. Interestingly, the biggest knock against these two guys is that their sound is overly polished and produced.

As much as I like these guys, I have never seen them live before, due for the most part, to the fact they have never been a true band. Since their beginning these two guys have survived and prospered in the industry exclusively using studio musicians for their recordings and presumably for their live shows.

Fagan once remarked that he had a hell of a time getting Becker to agree to actually add a third regular member to the band, Jeff Porcaro, drummer extraordinaire who was their studio drummer as he was for dozens of other artists. Jeff, a high school classmate of mine, turned down the offer opting instead to form the band Toto with his brother and several friends.

I’ve been to hundreds and hundreds of concerts, but have never seen Steely Dan. They are currently on tour and I am considering trying to catch one of their shows. If you have seen them live, I would appreciate your opinion of their performance. Please include when (year) you saw them.

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15 Answers

tabbycat's avatar

This should be interesting. I have never seen them live, either, but I’ve been a huge fan since the 1970s. I’m basically just bookmarking this.

hearkat's avatar

I saw them live about 8 or 9 years ago, and it was a very enjoyable show. Go.

whatthefluther's avatar

@tabbycat….I am not even certain which instruments these guys play. I have a very cloudy memory of a video or two and I’d guess Fagan, guitar and Becker keyboards, but I could be way off.

hearkat's avatar

Fagan is keyboards… Becker ummmm… guitar? (damned grey matter ain’t what it used to be!)

whatthefluther's avatar

@hearkat…Thanks for your input. Boy, was I wrong on the instruments. Now that you mention it, I believe I recall a video of a Fagan solo song and he was playing piano. Thanks again…wtf

jerrytown's avatar

I have a bootleg of a Steely Dan show from last summer, its a great show. Dennis Chambers(super funky) is on drums. Cant wait to see them, you should defenitly go!!! have fun.

filmfann's avatar

I haven’t seen them, but I have heard lots of live stuff from them, and it’s great. Go.

loser's avatar

Sounds fun to me!!!

hearkat's avatar

To me it’s a no-brainer… Fagan in particular is known as a perfectionist; therefore, the show must be good.

whatthefluther's avatar

Many thanks to everyone for the positive reviews. Steely Dan has had so many hits and are so very serious about their music…you guys are right, they would have to be great in concert. And apparently they are still very popular…they will be doing three shows in both Boston (Boston Rag) and New York City and four shows in both Chicago and Los Angeles. I guess it is about time I saw them live! Thanks again…wtf

cak's avatar

I’ve never seen them live; however, if given the chance, I’d go in a heartbeat.

marinelife's avatar

I am pleased to hear the positive reviews. Also that someone besides me loves Steely Dan, who have been trashed a lot.

That said, back when I saw them in the 70s, I was wildly disappointed in the live show, which could not match their studio magic.

I would sure try again after seeing these reviews.

sandystrachan's avatar

Steely Dan i LOVE and would love to see live one day :)

hearkat's avatar

@sandystrachan: They are on tour now – they just played Atlantic City last weekend. I’m sure you can Google to find out if they’ll be playing anywhere near you.

Adagio's avatar

My first encounter with steely Dan was in 1973 and the album Pretzel Logic. For me, the music will be ever associated with a 13 year old’s experimentation of a lot of different substances. Good times.

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