Reeling in the years they may be, but veterans Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are still capable of the most sublime music.
Two years after their last appearance in Birmingham, the revered duo returned with a marvellous 11-piece orchestra and wowed a packed audience with a two-hour show of sustained brilliance.
Way back when, in their 70s heyday which spawned seven timeless platinum albums, Steely Dan were very much a studio band and barely appeared on stage. But since reforming in the early-90s after a long hiatus, Fagan and Becker have toured extensively, much to the delight of their many loyal fans.
This was by far their best Birmingham show since their first in 1996, proving that they have finally nailed it live.
It was hot and humid outside and in, and the Dan served up a suitably sexy, sultry set, the pace never slowing as the ecstatic crowd was transported back to the glory days.
From the slowed-down, reworked opening number Reelin’ In The Years through to the storming closer Kid Charlemagne, Fagen was in fantastic vocal form and led the show superbly from the front.
Guitarist Becker plays very much a supporting role but he did take the mic once for Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More.
Steely Dan have gone the way of many and turned into a heritage act but at least that heritage is classy, sophisticated and intelligent.