Doobie Bros. & Steely Dan

BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ

Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan
BB&T Pavilion
Camden, NJ,  July 11, 2018
Article By Dennis Morgillo 
Photos By Rebecca Wolf​

The Doobie Brothers AND Steely Dan!? That sounds too good to be true?! Well it’s about to happen. I am sitting there sweating on this hot July night in Camden NJ at the beautiful BB&T Pavilion waiting for the show to begin. 

The smell of weed is wafting through the crowd, as the Doobies take the stage. The crowd goes crazy as the Doobies launch into “Natural Thing”. I close my eyes and imagine it is 1974 and I am in a stadium somewhere. The sound is magnificent. 

I open my eyes and the band looks great, and they sound even better. The 3 guitars are sharp and crisp, the band is tight. The Sax incredible. The harmonies are amazing. 

“Rockin Down the Highway”, “South City Midnight Lady”, “Takin’ it to the Streets”, “Black Water”, “Long Train Runnin’”, and my favorite “Jesus is Just Allright”,  all FM radio classics of the 1970’s. The Doobie Brothers were everywhere during the 70’s. Great memories seeing them on “Don Kirshner”, “The Midnight Special”, and of course, who could forget their appearance on the TV show “What’s Happening”!? 

The harmonies and the crowd sing along on “Black Water” gave me chills. Then for the encore “China Grove” and “Listen to The Music”. Ok it’s time to go home now, what a great concert. Oh wait, that was just the opening band!? Steely Dan is coming on now!? Yes! I think I can hang out for a bit more. 

Steely Dan time! Donald Fagen is cool AF as he sits behind the keyboard, looking like the Jewish Ray Charles. 

Steely Dan is amazing. The stage is packed with some of the best musicians on the planet, playing some of the best songs ever written. I feel for master guitarist Jon Herington. Herington has to learn and play the exquisite guitar parts and leads to all of these Steely Dan masterpieces, originally performed by many of the world’s best session musicians. This is no minor task, but Herington performs it flawlessly, and makes it look easy. The Steely Dan band is: guitarist Jon Herington, drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington, keyboardist Jim Beard and a four-piece horn section along with three backup singers.

“Bodhisattva”, “Hey Nineteen”, “Black Friday”, “Aja”, “Black Cow”. Hit after hit, 70’s FM classics, cool smooth jazz, funky bass lines, I love it!  “Kid Charlemagne” is so good, I am almost weeping! “Dirty Work” has the female backup singers taking the lead. The song oozes soul. Soul, deep to the bone soul. I love the new take on the song. It is a beautiful rendition.  “Peg”, “Josie” and my favorite “My Old School”!  The encore is “Reelin’ in the Years”. One of the best songs ever recorded.

There is such incredible musicianship on this stage. There will never be another band like Steely Dan. Future generations will never experience a recorded piece of music that comes close to any of these masterpieces. The 1970’s was the renaissance of our generation. 

Well that was one hell of a night. Two great bands for one price! Amazing songwriting, musicianship, harmonies, soul, and good old fashion rock n roll. This is what it’s all about. Enjoy live music, there is nothing like it. Someday it might not be there!
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