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Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000
From: Gregg House
Subject: Buy & Boogie Winner Sounds Off

I had the great pleasure of attending the July 14 concert at Merriweather-Post. Let me say from the start that the seats were great for me & my guest, my father. 2 generations surviving nature, making it to and from the gig. ( the from part nature almost won. )

I have been to 3 prior SD concerts & 1 NY Rock & Soul Revue. All of these shows were great & memorable in their own way but the 2vN show at Merriweather-Post was something special. I'm sure that the fact that I had great seats had something to do with it considering my previous seats left something to be desired. Twice before the seats were made of grass.

But I think my proximity to the action was only a small part of this magic night. To begin with the group D & W have put together for this tour is outstanding. Jon Herington whips on guitar, the horns are nice & tight , the rhythm section well oiled and the girls who are all extremely easy on the eyes can sing their asses off. (sorry for not being PC).

Now down to Donald & Walter. I thought Donald's voice was stronger & more true than I had heard in years. And it was cool to hear Walter sing a couple of old greats. His conversational guitar style is always nice to hear. He was on that night. Everything came together musically extremely well. The X factor was the crowd. These people came to have a great time and hear their favorite music. Steely Dan delivered in spades. The last half hour or so the crowd was on their feet and it was like a community sing. The atmosphere was unbelievable. At one point I could see Donald and Walter looking at each other as if to say " This is why we're doing this".

I will never forget this night and I appreciate the great tickets I won. Thank you to everyone involved and especially to Donald & Walter for coming back to the fans who have thrived on and appreciated this music for so long.

Always listening,

Gregg House

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000
From: Jim Talbott
Subject: Raleigh

That was the best concert I've ever been to.

So much to say but that one sentence is the bottom line. We got to meet so many great folks last night and enjoyed the best Steely Dan show I've ever seen. It was great to get to meet and chat with Pete & Shari, Amanda Parks & Matt, oleander, Zeke, jOkEr, worm tom, steviedan, Chris Osmond, the mysterious Jive Miguel who gave ole the BACK STAGE PASS, and the lovely Marion, who took our pictures for the "Buy & Boogie" contest and so much more. Each and everyone of these people were so nice and friendly and the love of the music was so strong that it really felt like a big family atmosphere. Thanks to ole for the coolest party favors (Shirl has FAGENGRUVEN on her computer monitor as I write this) and it was really nice to meet most of her family as well. Thanks to Pete & Shari, who sat beside us from before the first set to after intermission. Pete was really great, sharing a few stories of Dandom and as nice as guy as you'll ever meet anywhere. Amanda & Matt were very cool. I thought it was her the first time we spoke and asked if it was her the second time and she was happy to chat about the tour, her most excellent camera equipment and her dad, the DEAN of Steely Dan guitarists. I wish we had had more time to talk with everyone but we were all there for the music so when it began you know where all eyes and ears were. We had most excellent seats in the center section, row G, right between Donald and the oh so lovely choir of wonderful singers. I must take a second to say a very special thanks to Marion, production assistant extraordinaire! She came out and chatted with us before she took our pics and then again as she and Jon Herrington were talking. She came back out just before the start of the show and gave me something I will cherish as long as I live. A thousand thanks to you Marion, you're the greatest!

I didn't take notes this time like I did back in '96. I didn't even write down the setlist. I just wanted to be fully immersed in the audio/visual experience with no distractions. The band cooked and played the tunes I was hoping they would. I really wanted to hear Royal Scam, Don't Take Me Alive & Jack of Speed and they did all three! I know they've been rotating the setlist around a little but they got all the ones in I had to have. They did three songs off Two Against Nature but didn't play West of Hollywood. So many good songs, so little time! I thought the crowd could have been a little more into it the first set but by the start of the second set the audience was pretty much a deafening roar between songs. I don't think I sat down the whole second set. All this talk of to dance or not to dance. I really just thought I'd sit back and groove to the tunes but I couldn't help myself. We were all up on our feet, jamming, dancing, just doing whatever came naturally. Walter sounded great on guitar and vocals on Monkey & Daddy. Donald was in fine form, seeming to enjoy the night more as it progressed. Jon was on fire! I wasn't all that impressed when I saw him play on VH1 but I feel like he has really gotten comfortable with the songs and made them his own. He kept the spirit of the original solos intact but put his own stamp on each and it worked every time. No offense to Wayne Krantz but Jon just made the songs in a way that no one else I've seen can. The horns were hot but Cornelius was in a world all his own. He laid out some solos that were out of this world. I guess I've seen him play seven times now between the Dan and the Doobies but he was in the ZONE last night! Ricky and Tom laid out some awesome grooves and each shined in his own right. Killer solo by Ricky and great funked up bass from Tom. Ted played the most beautiful piano interlude that had me spellbound. His playing was great all night but that one thing was a thing of beauty. The girls really wailed and sounded great all through the night. They really got to shine on Dirty Work as they traded turns taking the lead for a couple of lines and then passing off to the next. Cynthia was on the end, nearest the crowd and she worked us like a borrowed mule!! She was personally responsible for keeping us on our feet and singing along through most of the show. Carolyn really suprised me when she did her solo in Dirty Work. How in the world can that deep down, soulful voice come from one so tiny? Great vocal girl! Vicki just blew me away in more ways than one. She sounded great and took the first lead on Dirty Work and was so into the music. She grooved the hardest for sure. That beautiful green dress contrasted by her lovely red hair just about knocked me out of my chair. I see why worm tom is so smitten with her now. She's beautiful. So from one side of the stage to the other, the band was so great and the music left me in high as a kite and giddy as a schoolboy. I hate to gush but gushing is deserved in this case.

And of course, my enduring gratitude and life long loyalty to Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. The music you two have provided us has been the soundtrack for the lives of many of us. From the time Can't Buy A Thrill was first released until today, your music has permeated my life in way that few things have. May you both live long and happy lives and continue to produce the music that helps make life bearable for the rest of us.

Jim Talbott
Midnite Cruiser

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