Thursday, March 02, 2006


I hadn’t seen a show since the Rolling Stones, they with the high ticket prices and faux enthusiasm, so I decided to end the drought by catching Tributosaurus, Chicago’s finest tribute band. Well, technically at least. Tributosaurus chooses a different band each month, and on the first Wednesday plays a set that perfectly replicates some of the chosen act’s oeuvre. They’ve been everyone from the Smiths to the Who, Peter Gabriel to Stevie Wonder, expanding to as many or shrinking to as few musicians as needed to get the songs right.

Last night was the second installment of Steely Dan, which has become a late winter tradition for Tributosaurus, since there’s not much else going on and because becoming Steely Dan takes a heck of a lot of work. Steely Dan, fans may recall, were studio rats. From around 1974 to 1994 or so they refused to tour, sticking inside to perfect their twisted jazz-pop confections.

Maybe “confection” is too light a word. Steely Dan’s songs are some of the most imposing ever written, especially for drummers and guitarists. At the show Tributosaurus had expanded to include several back-up singers, a horn section and a few guests. Heck, on “Peg” there were four singers replicating Michael McDonald’s background vocals. But the drums and guitars – wow.

So my friend and I found a place at the front of the packed club (early show) with a good view of the star players. We weren’t disappointed, and the highlights were many. My faves were “The Fez” (the Dan’s oddball stab at disco), “Night by Night” (from “Pretzel Logic,” but played with a massive, epic double guitar solo were the studio version fades out), “Deacon Blues” (where the band actually incorporated an FM fade), “Charlie Freak” (such a strange song) and “My Old School” (the perfect closer that found the band perfectly in sync). In all, a blast. And for just $15.


Post a Comment

<< Home