Steely Dan sells out The Paramount Huntington, NY 9-13-14

Rock And Roll Hall of Famers, American Jazz Rock band Steely Dan has provoked a strong devotion from followers for over four decades now.  Achieving peak popularity during the 1970’s with one platinum selling record after another, the band saw a resurrection back in 1993 after a twelve year absence when founding members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker reunited.  Consistently touring across the world, while still garnishing adoring fanfare, Steely Dan return to the road in 2014 with their 56-date  ‘Jamalot Ever After’ tour, which kicked off back in July and winded down towards the end of September.  Returning to Long Island, NY for the first time in a while, the band made a special two-night stop at acclaimed venue The Paramount in Huntington on September 13th and 14th.  Completely selling out the opening night on Saturday, everyone arrived early filling the classy music hall with warmth and excitement.

Treating the room to a opening set was the Bobby Broom Trio.  Originally from NYC, Broom is an educator, as well as an accomplished Jazz guitarist, who has actively been creating music for over thirty years.  Combining Jazz, Funk, Soul, Blues, and R & B, he and his band took the stage brightening each moment with colorful music.  Playing tracks off his newest solo album My Shining Hour, Broom, pianist Ben Paterson, and drummer Makaya McCraven proved to be entertaining as well as immensely talented.  The jazzy vibes with a modern twist were the perfect introduction to the evening, as Broom even put his own touch on classics like Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Eric Clapton’s “Layla.”  Fans of Jazz and just pure music should check out Boom.

With the mood set, the lights down, and the energy flowing through the air, Steely Dan’s band of talented musicians came out after a brief intermission. It featured a powerful horns section of Michael Leonhart on trumpet, Jim Pugh on trombone, Roger Rosenberg on baritone saxophone and Walt Weiskopf on saxophone, along with crisp drumming of  Keith Carlock; they kick-started the set with Ray Bryant’s “Cubano Chant.”  As the song concluded, Becker and Fagen walked out to a huge ovation quickly breaking into “Black Cow” from their popular 1977 album Aja.   On their feet, even in the seated section, fans danced and grooved to each tune, being rewarded with all of Steely Dan’s memorable songs including “Hey Nineteen,” “Black Friday,” “Rikki Don’t Lose My Number,” as well as “Showbiz Kids.”  With little chatter and only luminous musical bliss streaming off the stage, while Becker’s guitar and Fagen’s keys/vocals led the band, Jon Herington blistered with jazzy guitar work , the horn section packing a punch, and sassy back-up vocalist La Tanya Hall, Carolyn Leonhart, and Cindy Mizelle finished the assemble off nicely.  Going into the relaxing tune “Time Out of Mind,” Fagen continued to sing strongly as he lost himself in the music while conveying emotional expressions on his face with each resonate note.  That, followed by an irresistible bass line performed by Freddie Washington on “FM (No Static At All),” which solidified the atmosphere, was unbelievably cool as everyone was immersed in the performance.

As the evening wore on, the energy level was still peaking as they played songs like “Bodhisattva,” “Josie,” and “Peg.”  The audience shouted and howled while the music played on, and Steely Dan kept the tempo smooth.  Their ability to perform these songs so flawlessly with such texture was remarkable and everyone appreciated each passing moment.  The set concluded with all attendees clapping along to “My Old School” and rocking track “Reelin’ In The Years.”  Aroused to the loudest cheers of the night, the reception from Long Islanders soon saw an encore of “Kid Charlemagne” and the majestic instrumental “The Untouchables.”

This was a show for music lovers at heart who just wanted to kick back enjoy some tunes and reminisce on their favorite pieces from years gone by.  Steely Dan did not let down, and even after a long three month stretch of touring, proved not to be one bit road weary.  The energy level was top-notch and the song selection could not be beat.  It is no wonder this band has sustained and grown such a strong fanbase over the years, only justifying that everyone should see Steely Dan at least once in their lifetime.

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