June 19, 2009

Concert: Steely Dan

I wish I could be like Steely Dan and make people pitch in for my house payment. This is what their "Rent Party 2009" tour is supposed to be about: for all of us closet fans of their several decades of music genius to show our appreciation by coming out to help them pay the rent.

Tickets to the June 15 show at the Bob Carr Performance Arts Centre downtown were pre-sold in April 23rd. Good thing we decided to get our tickets then--the house was packed.

After eight weeks of waiting, the day finally came. Our Balcony Right seats were pretty decent (for the money, they should be!). It also helped that we brought our birdwatching Bushnells.

I couldn't keep myself from comparing the people at the Steely Dan concert with the crowd at the Fleetwood Mac show. Of course, the artists are from totally different genre, but M and I belong to both crowds, so it was interesting to note the difference in the mob mentality. Unlike the free-for-all rock-and-roll attitude of the Fleetwood Mac-ers, the Steely Dan-ers were more refined (restrained?). There was this gaze of, I don't know, intelligence (question mark), in their eyes.

The Steely Dan fans (some with their I-was-at-the-Steely-Dan-2005-tour t-shirts) looked sharp, somewhat stiff and, uhm, smug (I guess you would if you knew that very few people get you for naming your Rottweillers Aja and Gaucho). Many of them, er, us, looked like we've been on to Steely Dan since the 70s. But hey, Donald Fagen came out on stage looking like one of us--mellow in our wisdom and experience, but still energized!

For a guy who's already crossed into the 6th decade of his life, Fagen performed as strong and forceful as ever. Walter Becker and the rest of the band (I mean, orchestra) were virtuoso-faithful to the tunes we grew up with. I believe they lined up songs that particularly showcased the talents and skills of the individual musicians and singers on stage.

We were at the edge of our seats waiting for the next song. What will it be? I bet I can name the song in four notes. People at the back kept screaming Black Cow! The Fez! Dr. Wu! Sadly, we got none of those, not even Deacon Blues. But we did get some of our other favorites like Aja, Green Earrings, Bodhisattva, Kid Charlemagne, Bad Sneakers, Peg, Third World Man, Home at Last, Caves of Altamira, and Josie. The demure head-bobbing crowd eventually let it all hang out with My Old School.

The show ended after only one encore. We wanted more, but, well, it was late, and way past our bedtime. So, we just listened to Steely Dan when we got home, trying to figure out the message in Sign in Stranger.

Here's some Steely Dan trivia worth knowing:
Haitian Divorce is obtainable within 24 hours.
Black Cow is a float.
The Fez is not a condom.

P.S.: M told a coworker that we saw Steely Dan in concert. She said, "Who's he?"

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