Steely Dan Concert Experience Marred by Self-Centered , Spoiled Yuppies


I love Steely Dan. When I first heard their music on the radio in the early 1970s, it was like no other, They were the first jazz-fusion  group to make it big.  I could listen to Aja over and over.  Deacon Blues  is my favorite song.

A bunch of audiophiles told me they would never tour as they could not  recreate their sound live. It was studio music and machines.  Fagin & Becker with machines.

Not true.  I ‘ve heard them 3 times now. They  always have at least  4 horns, and a serious percussion section. Becker is an awesome guitarist. If you are a music lover…;particularly a jazz lover, there is nothing like live big band music.

So, when I realized they’d be  performing at Ravinia, I had to get a ticket.  I admit, I waited too long, agonizing  paying for $90 for a pavilion seat.  I reasoned that  the experience would be awesome,  Thing is, the  ticket resellers  buy up tickets, and only sell 2, never singles.  My roommate—the Japanese guy, told me it would be wasted on him, so  i drove up to Ravinia and bought a single ticket.  In fact, it was an extra, unreserved seat.  They put up about 100  folding chairs!!!

I was psyched. I even borrowed binoculars from a friend. I took the train up,  if you don’t know Ravinia, it is a beautiful park, with a concert pavilion, several small halls, and a restaurant.    You can take a train from downtown Chicago( which stops in my neighborhood), directly to the park.  I’d never seen it happen like this, but the  lawn was sold out!  People come and picnic there.

The concert was great.  Becker & Fagin are getting up there (70s?), and Don Fagin can no longer reach those high notes he wrote.  Also, they didn’t bring the chimes (that you hear on Aja, FM, etc), which was a slight disappointment.  From where I was, you could not see the entire stage, but you could see enough, and Ravinia has also installed large screen TVs.

This would have been  ideal were it not for the many rude rude rude people—of my generation—with ants in their pants, bladder issues, or ADHD, up & down for two hours.

In their brochure, Ravinia says that late-comers are seated at the discretion of staff.  I am  sure they would not have allowed this in a  classical concert.  It was shocking how many people came in late, during songs.  For the entire  2 +hours.

I have  heard Gary Burton, the vibraphonist stop his playing to  ask people why they were talking. Recently,  a concert reviewer for the Chicago Tribune addressed the fact that people were talking during concerts. How  self-centered can you be? This is my generation.  Maddening.

I am not sure what can be done about this.  People thinking the world revolves around them. Just think about this  when you  plan on paying to see performers you really love.

You might want to  bring this topic up among your friends. Do they see this?  In movies?  At any liver performance?  Are they the talkers? the  people who can’t sit still for 2 hours?  Why would they waste their own money?

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