Date: August 17, 2013
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: America’s Cup Pavilion
Artist: Steely Dan
Opening Act(s): Deep Blue Organ Trio
I am not a huge Steely Dan fan but I am somewhat familiar with their music and know that they are legends that had to be crossed off my “must see live” list. The most memorable song for me is “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. This was the song that was playing in the movie “Say Anything” as Diane Court’s dad was driving to the retirement home to tell Diane she had won the fellowship to study in England. His singing along is what had made it stick in my mind all these years.
Donald Fagen’s voice cracked a bit in the beginning but warmed up after a couple of songs. When Walter Becker first addressed the crowd he mentioned that they were cold on stage. America’s Cup Pavilion is a fairly cold venue. If you are in the bleachers you can feel that breeze come off the water. Standing up and moving around will help warm you up. The stage has side panels but you can see them move in the wind so I can see how the artists could feel the chill just like the audience. That may have been a factor in the need for Donald’s voice to warm up.
The show started a bit slow for me, as the songs at the beginning of their set weren’t ones that I am that familiar with. Once they started playing songs that were more recognizable – “Josie”, “Peg” and “Reelin’ in the Years” I felt that the show picked up. The audience started dancing and was more engaged. Sadly they didn’t perform “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”.
Deep Blue Organ Trio, a jazz trio opened up the show. The drummer, Greg Rockingham, introduced everyone and announced it was their birthday to get people to applaud. They were definitely talented, but too mellow for my taste.