Continuing a triumphal return to the concert stage, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker bring their 2014 edition of Steely Dan back to the Basie for a two-night stand on September 3 and 4. (Photo by Danny Clinch)
At a top-ticket price of 200 bucks — and that’s without even a meet-and-greet — it’s a premium attraction for even so stately a stage as the Count Basie Theatre. But then, time was you couldn’t buy the thrill of a live show by Steely Dan at any price, since the jazz-rock combine of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker removed themselves from the road at the height of their hitmaking run — a trick usually reserved for, say, The Beatles and no one else.
Having pretty much sat out the 1980s in their entirety, the Fagen-Becker team made a surprising reunion 20 years ago — and an equally surprising about-face, when they became known more for their hard-touring live act than for their ultra-precise studio recordings (including 2000’s Grammy album of the year Two Against Nature). When Steely Dan takes the Basie boards with their accomplished crew of jazz-seasoned players, it will be a two-night midweek stopover on the banks of the Navesink, September 3 and 4.
It’s a much-anticipated stand in the band’s Jamalot Ever After Tour (a successor jaunt to 2013’s Mood Swings: 8 Miles to Pancake Day tour) — and, with no new Steely Dan studio product since 2003, fans can expect a selection of monster AM-FM hits (“Hey Nineteen,” “Peg,” “Josie,” “My Old School” and “Deacon Blues”) and extended workouts. Take it here for tickets ($90 – $200) to the Wednesday or Thursday shows, both of which feature jazz guitarist Bobby Broom and his Organi-Sation as opening act.