Steely Dan breaks out the classics at the PNC Bank Arts Center

Donald Fagen and his top-notch band of musicians delivered a set packed with hits and fan favorites on June 30.

Steely Dan brought his unique blend of jazz-rock to the tri-state area last week. Led by the incredibly hip Donald Fagen, the band performed a two-hour set featuring hits and fan favorites at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on June 30.

Guitarist Dave Stryker and his trio opened the evening, performing jazz renditions of popular tunes including Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman,” which plays regularly on local jazz radio station WBGO. Often leaving room for improvisation, it was clear that these cats could play.

Steely Dan, minus Fagen, took the stage at dusk, performing a number before entering to thunderous applause. Fagen, a native of New Jersey, was called “the pride of Passaic” by guitarist Jon Herington during an introduction later that night. Fagen’s spirits were as high as the audience and the energy in the amphitheater was upbeat.

Donald Fagen performs at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ with Steely Dan on June 30. The band performed a mix of hits and fan favorites. Photo of Johnny Knollwood

The set included a mix of radio hits like “Black Friday” and “My Old School“, as well as more complex compositions like “Aja” and “Home at Last”. Note the absence of long-time collaborator and co-founder Walter Becker, who passed away in 2017. Nonetheless, the band did justice to the band’s repertoire, staying true to the songs, but each musician also bringing their own improvisational voice to the songs. iconic tunes.

The set ended with a rendition of “Peg”, before Fagen and the band returned to the stage.

“I would like to thank my partner, Walter Becker, for writing all these songs with me,” Fagen told the nearly full PNC audience before launching into “Reelin’ In The Years,” an early Steely Dan track. in 1972. , “I can’t buy a thrill.”

Fagen was then performed offstage, never to be seen again…until the next performance of course.

Steely Dan is on the road and will be back in New York August 10-13. Tickets are available at ticket master.

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