LIVE: Steve Miller Band / Jimmie Vaughan @ SPAC, 07/24/2022

The Steve Miller Band chilled at SPAC after a heatwave held the capital region captive for the past week, playing old hits and some Texas roadhouse blues with Jimmie Vaughan. After a hot set, nature sent us the rains and a welcome reprieve of some breezy cool air.

Photo by Nick Dicocco

The Steve Miller Band was considered classic rock when I was growing up, so I was surprised to see so many young people grooving out to the music.  The California band first joined in 1966, but their hits are timeless both in lyric and melody. With lyrics from “Fly Like an Eagle” articulating my life mission (“Feed the babies / who don’t have enough to eat”), I realized I might’ve been more influenced by some of this music than memory served. Most Steve Miller songs remind me of college parties and dancing with my girlfriends, but listening to the lyrics I realized they still vibe with me today.

Miller played with Jimmie Vaughan, his opener, on a number of blues tunes as well, including “Blues with a Feeling” and “I’m Torn Down.” But he gave fans all the old favorites as well, like “Abracadabra,” “Jetliner,” and my personal favorite, “Dance Dance Dance” – to which he complied immediately.

Photo by Nick Dicocco

Miller’s voice still has the sweet timbre he had earlier in his career, and his stories found their mark as well. He described the humidity as “swimming in gravy,” and stuck his tongue out like he wanted to eat the air. He also told us about his parents’ friend Les Paul, the famous guitar maker, who mentored him but never gave him a guitar. “You have to go earn it,” Paul told Miller.

And Miller clearly has earned his guitar. With legendary riffs and melodies, Miller’s classic rock brought me right back to college, dance dance dancing the whole night long. “Rock’n Me Baby” showed off that talent, as did “Jetliner’s” familiar tune. 

With his encore of “The Joker,” Miller left fans sated. It was a satisfying end to a long, hot spell of music this weekend for us at Nippertown. When the storms blew in shortly after, I smiled thinking about his last words from “The Joker” and realized Miller’s got integrity. He sure can show us a good time.

Photo Gallery by Nick Dicocco

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