Chicago Theatre Review
Reeling In the Years at Ravinia
Steely Dan – Ravinia
Steely Dan began their long career in 1972 with Walter Becker and Donald Fagen at the helm. They saw their most success in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In 1981 they broke up, but reunited in1993 and have been touring since. Their music is a mixture of funk, R&B and pop. The large band they assembled with an array of instruments, including a fabulous horn section, gives the band that jazz influenced sound. There is no mistaking Donald Fagen’s voice as that of Steely Dan. Watching him perform it is clear how connected he is to the music.
Becker says the Band’s mission is to “bring back the music that makes people feel good.” While the audience was represented largely by baby boomers I am sure the younger fans also got the message.
We were treated to many of their classic songs including “Hey Nineteen”, “My Old School”, “Aja”, “Kid Charlemenge”, and “Reeling In the Years”. One song that was strangely omitted was “Ricki Don’t Lost that Number”. And while they did come out for one encore I would have liked a few more.
It’s funny how music is so powerful and can take you back to a time and place you forgot about. From the moment they began playing to the last note I felt as if I was transported back to high school and my whole future was ahead of me. While these songs may be old, Steely Dan’s sound keeps them as timeless and hip as they were some 30+ years ago.
What better way to spend a perfect summer evening then hanging out with old friends and listening to some great music from a band that has definitely withstood the test of time.
Reviewed by Gayle Kirshenbaum