Steely Dan returns to touring, featuring impressive musicianship and fan-favorite songs in their two hour set.
Steely Dan, formed by a 43-year musical partnership between Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, returned to touring, making a stop in St. Louis at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. Although Becker and Fagen form the core duo of the band, the 2015 touring ensemble consisted of eleven other members, all of whom are accomplished and extraordinary musicians in their own right. Each of them was featured during the band’s two hour set, giving each individual a chance in the spotlight.
Although Becker has long been revered as a consummate guitarist, the band’s second guitarist, Jon Herington, left the crowd in awe as he and Becker traded licks on a sped-up “Bodhisattva” and played the majority of solos on the other tracks.
Becker and Fagen took their own turns as the center of attention–Becker acting as the show’s emcee and playing more leads than he has in the past, while Fagen gave off a Ray Charles-type vibe, wearing sunglasses and swaying behind his keyboard. The band swept through nineteen songs, which included many former hits and fan favorites, along with a few deeper cuts and a few cover tunes.
Although they relied heavily upon older material–the band has not had a new release since 2003’s Everything Must Go–it did not diminish the subtle complexities underlying even the catchiest of their hit songs and the impeccable performance of the band, both as individuals and as an ensemble.
Steely Dan Set List:
Teenie’s Blues (Oliver Nelson cover) (band instrumental without Becker/Fagen)
Time Out of Mind
Show Biz Kids
Razor Boy (Sung by The Danettes)
Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More
I Want To (Do Everything for You) (Joe Tex cover)
My Old School
Reelin’ in the Years
The Untouchables (Nelson Riddle cover) (band instrumental without Becker/Fagen)
Elvis Costello & The Imposters opened the show, playing an hour’s worth of crowd-pleasing material, focusing strongly on past popular hits. St. Louis has not had the privilege of an Elvis Costello tour in fifteen years, until 2015 brought him into town twice. Fans were ecstatic, many singing along to the majority of his set.
Backed by his longtime band, The Imposters, Costello and the band rocketed through a deep catalog of Costello’s solo material as well as material by his other backing band, The Attractions. The Imposters were economical, both in their musicianship and movements, but did loosen up a little during “One Bell Ringing,” giving the audience a taste of their deep talent.
Elvis Costello Set List:
I Hope You’re Happy Now (Elvis Costello & The Attractions cover)
High Fidelity (Elvis Costello & The Attractions cover)
Watching the Detectives (Elvis Costello & The Attractions cover)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello & The Attractions cover)
(I Don’t Want to Go To) Chelsea (Elvis Costello song)
Flutter & Wow
One Bell Ringing (Elvis Costello song)
Jimmie Standing in the Rain (Elvis Costello song)
Veronica (Elvis Costello song)
Everyday I Write the Book (Elvis Costello & The Attractions cover)
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes (Elvis Costello song)
Pump It Up (Elvis Costello song)
Alison (Elvis Costello song)
(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Brinsley Schwarz cover)