Photos and Review By: Ryan Swerdlin
Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and company graced the stage of Alpharetta’s Verizon Wireless Encore Park this past Saturday night on Steely Dan’s 2013 Mood Swings Tour. Very few shows this tour feature a full performance of the bands studio masterpiece “Aja” and Saturday evening was only the second full performance by the 2013 incarnation of Steely Dan. The players brought together for this tour were of course some of the best at their respective instruments, called themselves “The Bipolar Allstars” and, in true Steely Dan fashion…the music was just perfect.
The band played an instrumental to get the crowd warmed up before Fagen and Becker took the stage. Immediately the duo started into “Black Cow” the first track off of the album being featured. The bass lines were thick, with horn lines that sounded as if they were coming straight off of vinyl. There was a trio of backup singers, known as “The Borderline Brats” that swayed back and forth throughout the night, adding depth and movement to the entire performance. Notable moments were certainly the drum solo taken during the title track “Aja” as well as the guitar work during “I Got the News” which was perfectly executed. If you haven’t listened to “Aja” in a while…do me (and yourself) a favor and listen to it…like NOW.
The remainder of the show left any Steely Dan fan (that wasn’t already impressed) blown away with their ability to bring back old favorites through the years. A nice treat was “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” which has not been played since its debut on the Mood Swings 2013 Tour in Los Angeles. Walter Becker sang a great version of “Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More” which allowed the backup vocalists to really shine along with Becker. The evening was filled with great music, amazing weather, and a crowd that had the pleasure of hearing some really incredible music performed by some of the best musicians on the road today. Set list is listed below:
Blueport*, Black Cow, Aja, Deacon Blues, Peg, Home at Last, I Got the News, Josie, Your Gold Teeth, Rikki Don’t Lose that Number, Hey Nineteen, Show Biz Kids, Black Friday, Time Out of Mind, Godwhacker, Daddy Don’t Live in that New York City No More, Bodhisattva, Razor Boy**, I Want to (Do Everything for You), My Old School, Reelin’ in the Years
Encore: Kid Charlemagne, Untouchables Theme*
*- The Bipolar Allstars only
**- The Borderline Brats on lead vocals