If you believe Walter Becker, half of the jazz rock duo Steely Dan, the last time his band played Oklahoma City it was 1973.
Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown OKC, they made sure the audience felt the wait has been worth it as they played songs from their extensive catalog.
Opening with “Countdown to Ecstasy,” Becker and Donald Fagen brought a large but tight backup band with backup singers and a horn section.
Segueing into “Black Cow,” the band had several women in the audience out of their chairs dancing into the aisles. They continued as the band played the lovely, “Aja.”
Steely Dan's song “Hey Nineteen,” with its verse about tequila and other vices, gave Becker a chance to chat with the mostly baby boomer crowd.
After mentioning the last time the band played in the city, he told a story about a man who, after seeing the show went home and found the two main objects in the song. His wife had to tell him the name of the tequila, courtesy of the Danette backup singers.
Fagen took the mic after Becker, and after a straightforward hello and suggesting that the folks in the audience “sit back, relax, have a good time,” he thanked everyone for coming.
Then he started playing “Black Friday,” adding on a very syncopated “Show Biz Kids.”
“Time Out of Mind,” “The Royal Scam,” a Becker-heavy “Dirty Work” and “Bodhisattva” and “Deacon Blue” wrapped up a particular juicy set.
A cover of Joe Tex’s “I Want to Do Everything to You,” gave everyone in the band a chance to show off a bit, including the talented lead guitarist Jon Herington.
The show might have been winding down but the audience started getting more and more excited as the band played, “Josie,” “Peg,” My Old School, and a smoking “Reeling In the Years.”
The band returned to the stage to play “Kid Charlemagne” and then played Becker and Fagan off the stage with the theme from “The Untouchables.”
It may have taken Steely Dan more than 40 years to return to Oklahoma City but it’s a sure bet they’ll be welcomed back anytime they’d like to make a return appearance.
Steely Dan wheels into OKC
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
Crowd: Half arena set up, mostly full.
Early highlights: After making the crowd wait for nearly 45 minutes, Steely Dan brought its bright jazz soul-drenched sound out to play. The band started with “Countdown to Ecstasy” then moved into “Black Cow.” The baby-boomer audience enjoyed the show, a few dancing in the aisles as the tunes ranged on.
Reviewer’s take: According to the band, this is the first show Steely Dan has done in Oklahoma City since 1973, and they made sure everyone there would remember it. Their mix of old and new music kept the crowd happy, while the performance was simply amazing.
Full review: Read the full review at NewsOK.com/entertainment
Your take: Submit your take at NewsOK.com/entertainment.