The Unexpected Present


First Night Out Seeing Steely Dan

Yuri at MPAC

Second chance. We get a second chance at living our lives together in the way we did before Yuri’s unforeseen, unanticipated, unimaginable, out-of-the-blue affliction turned disability overcoming the infirmity from the past six months. Getting back to the music that is as important to us as the healing. Arts are healing; therefore, we are making November into month-long festivities marking our return to the world as we know it with a serendipitous first outing – Steely Dan’s The Absolutely Normal Tour 2021, as an essential part of our anniversary celebration.


It’s been ten years since the Shuffle Diplomacy Tour 2011 in the Berkshires. It was an adventure getting there, seeing a great show with Walter Becker. He died September 3, 2017, and while Donald Fagen thought about shutting down the shop, he made a promise to “keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.” That’s a promise Donald Fagen keeps in remembrance of his long-time musical partner, collaborator, and friend Walter Becker. The first show of a four-night performance at MPAC, Royal Scam certainly delivered on every aspect– sight and sound, the players, their moments, and of course, the inimitable, elegant and unprecedented, Donald Fagen. Such a class act!


While many people have referred to Steely Dan as a studio band that did not tour (I heard this over the years and to this day) Yuri and I were always on the same page when it came to listening to the many albums and often the different “Best Of “combinations. That’s where the love of jazz comes into play and I thoroughly enjoy Yuri’s critiques of the impeccable Steely Dan sound. It didn’t matter that Becker and Fagen mostly worked in the studio with session musicians. There’s more control over what they wanted to create. Every beginning has something that makes the song unique, every ending contributed to the rest of the rich tones always revealing an exceptional degree of innate musicality.


That’s what we felt at the show. We had GREAT seats – center orchestra, row B, seats 116 and 115. Right there in front of us as if we were right there on stage with the band. Hearing the players, backup singers, and Fagen unique voice’s combined with the acoustically perfect speaker loudness make our spirits soar and we’re still talking about the show. So much that we turned out a podcast. Listen in and let us know your thoughts.

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