Steely Dan in Fine Form at Nokia

By Mallary Jean Tenore
The Dallas Morning News

Grand Prairie, Tex. — The Nokia Theatre became a haven for cheering fans when Steely Dan took the stage Thursday night. Wearing black shades and a white jacket, legendary singer Donald Fagen and guitarist Walter Becker graced the stage following a short instrumental. The first song they performed, “The Royal Scam,” was greeted with resounding approval from the crowd.

In typical Steely Dan style, the perfectionist pair stayed on target throughout the song and into the night, accompanying each other in nearly flawless fashion. Mr. Fagen enlightened the audience with occasional shout-outs in between songs, helping to keep his fans engaged:

“How ya doing there, gang?” he asked the crowd. “It’s good to be back in Dallas.”

The mostly middle-aged fans waved their hands over their heads and cheered, seemingly reminiscing about the days when they began reeling in the years with Steely Dan back in the early 1970s.

The group’s songs, even after all these years, sounded airtight and crisp. With his captivating voice, Mr. Fagen led the group in performing such classics as “Hey Nineteen” and “Black Friday,” which helped set the mood for the night. The instrumentals and three backup vocals overpowered Mr. Fagen at times, making it difficult to discern the song lyrics.

But none of this seemed to faze the fans, or the musicians. Mr. Fagen and Mr. Becker may be getting older, but they’ve still got plenty of energy, and without question, their fans do, too.



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