2002: This page contains all I know about Blue Oyster Cult for this year - and all I know is what you folks send me, so if you want to see more info on this page, there's an easy solution...
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, missing info, ticket stubs, posters etc etc - if so, let me .
There was no opening act. The concert was at the Grove Theatre, Anaheim, Ca., which is basically in the parking lot of Anaheim Stadium. That night I went with my brother, nephew, and a visitor to my company that week who was from....guess where?? Long Island, NY., and the home of BÖC.
Anyway I was immediately concerned when driving in to the venue because there were no more than 100 cars. I parked so close I could have thrown a baseball to the front gate. Upon entering, you immediately walk through an outdoor beer garden, where you can buy drinks and smoke cigarettes. There was no one in line to buy beer...unbelievable...and this was a BÖC concert? Also, more noticably there were no hot chicks anywhere! This looked like a King Crimson concert!
It became evident that BÖC concerts of today attract older farts like me, and rightly so because of the times I guess.
The place isn't that big... dinner table setting, and it was at 2/3 capacity. I quickly noticed the outdated keyboard set up of Alan Lanier, who shod early model Roland and Hammond keys. A marginal keyboardist at best, I really respect him for lugging an acoustic piano with him during the tours of the 70's and 80's. It was, however, very nice to see him out there still 'rockin.
Buck, and the other guitar players (excluding Danny Miranda) used matching Crate amplifiers, probably a freebie from Crate for endorsements in return. The amps sounded OK at best, but a single 1/2 stack Crate that's miked simply does not replace the physical munch of a Marshall stack, which would help restore the more ambient wall of sound they were famous for...and I say "were" famous for.
They opened with Stairway To The Stars, then immediately went in to Burnin' For You. Buck got a good tone out of his headless guitar (probably a Steinberger) but I sorely missed the Marshalls. The overall mix was OK...a little light on the keyboards. Their recent DVD release from a live show in Chicago also fields a weak keyboard signal.
Half way through the show they lost the signal to the sound system, stage left. Though they finished the song, they were forced to take a 30 minute break so the sound guys could fix it. Ahhhh...perfect time to go get another beer. But wait!! The bar was closed!! What?? You have to be kidding me!! Nope...it was closed pal. No more liquor sales, sorry. Remember, the Grove Theatre is on Disney property!
Anyway, I always thought Danny Miranda was less than marginal as a bass player and musician. He used an Ampeg SVT (and left it positioned in the road case which you shouldn't do to bass cabinets...laziness probably caused this) and what looked like a modified Jazz bass. That bass guitar would not be my choice for the sound to compliment the true BÖC sound. That's why the Alembic bass of Joe Bouchard filled in so much. Miranda's vocalizing absolutely sucked. He even sounded terrible on Godzilla. This is another thing overlooked by their music direction. The mixing that night should've backed his mike off a bit. Really I think BÖC can do a much better job in the bass guitar department.
The drums sounded great. The drum solo was great! Bobby Rodinelli didn't have the same persona Albert Bouchard did, but no one else does either.
Eric Bloom's singing was flawless... very clear... didn't miss a note!
Over all I rate the show (scale 1-10) about an 8.
Between The Lines was the opener for this show. I was their bassist. Cheers.
Hey, This was the second time that I was lucky enough to witness the B.O.C. at Toad's place.
I drove down from Montreal to be with my old High school buddies from the days when I lived in the Hartford area.
Seeing them all those years ago in arenas and stadiums could not compare to the experience of seeing my favorite band in a small club.
It was an awesome show. It was promoted by WPLR-fm.
Sorry - I didn't get a setlist - at the time, I was not aware of the ritual of writing them down. But there was no encore because the speaker or whatever system effed up after reaper finished.
That's it. I'm sorry man.
I was at this Show (in Berwick Pa). It was the first time I ever saw BOC. I DID write down the songs they played.
I do not have the exact order, but here are the songs they did that night: It was a good show!!
Chilli Cookoff - They were very good but only played a disappointing 35 minutes...
I went to this show with a curious mixture of excitement and apprehension. Excitement, because it was another BOC show! and we had first row seats at a great venue-apprehension, because I was taking my wife Carrie and two kids (Eli and Lilah), and the only previous time Carrie had been to a BOC show, she was sick (but went for my benefit), and the venue was standing only, no seating, way too smoke-filled and the sound was way too loud.
The only previous time Eli had been to a show (Brookhaven), the band late, it rained during the show and the sound system was incredibly loud (Eli has a hearing problem in one ear and is very sensitive to loud noises-he's OK with ear protection though-and usually likes to watch a concert from way back). And I had never taken my youngest, Lilah to a show.
But, I figured the excitement of being in the first row, combined with the early 8:00 show time, comfortable seats, no warm-up band, no smoking, indoor venue, reasonable sound system etc. would weigh in our favor. Turns out I was right-whew!
The band opened with "Burning For You," and although I usually like it when they open with "Stairway," saving "Burning" for later, this time it was cool because I was with a few "BOC virgins" in our group, and they really dug the fact that the band opened with something recognizable, a song they all loved. You could tell the band was energized right out of the gate, playing to a sold out appreciative hometown crowd.
I'm happy to say that the sound was vastly better then the last IMAC show (about two years ago). Even though we were right up close, where it's usually impossible to get an optimum mix (too much amp sound and not enough PA sound), the sound was unusually good for the location. Buck's guitar was loud and clear, the vocals were really good and intelligible, there just a bit too much of Allen and Eric's amps (we were in front of them) but not excessively so, and the balance got better as the night went on.
And my kids were thrilled at the way Eric, Danny, Allen and Buck all came right up to the edge of the stage and stood right in front of them at the beginning of the show! Well, so were the rest of us, and Carrie obviously thought it was a wonderful gesture from the look on her face.
On the way to the show, I had remarked to one of my friends, "You know, I'd really like to hear 'OD'd on Life" tonight. So, when they launched right into it as the second song, we flipped! This has always been and always will be one of my favorite BOC songs, and the band tore into it. A total rush, and the audience was singing along like crazy. Guess we can all relate!
"ETI".another song I never tire of, the sound started to lock in, and the band was now firmly on hyperdrive, with everyone playing superbly (not that they started off shaky!).
Then, "Pocket," which was a cool choice at that point because my kids love it, and I was hoping they'd play it. I got excited because I knew they were-man, if you would have told me 20 years ago that I'd get a thrill seeing my kids get a thrill from a favorite BOC song in concert. Things most definitely change with time! (Eli usually has a more blasé countenance; Lilah was openmouthed.) Not that I wasn't affected-at the end of the particularly blistering second Buck solo, I looked at my wife and my friends, shaking my head, and said, "How does he DO that? How, how? I can't believe it!"
"The Vigil"-this time it was my turn to be thrilled; this has become one of my favorites and is sounded magnificent. I got a kick out of watching Sandy singing along with this song (and all the others), and waving to us from backstage.
"Harvester of Eyes"-what can I say, a legend, a towering song, quintessential Blue Oyster Cult, epitomizing everything that is great about this band. Anxiety moment toward the end of the song-Eli and Carrie left their seats, and I thought, uh oh, I hope he's not bumming out (but guessed he just wanted to get away and listen from a far away/no earplugs perspective).
They closed the first set with an incendiary (pun intended) "Cities on Flame"-Buck, we never tire of the hand jive.. My friends were having great fun pointing to Lilah and singing, "so let that girl rock and roll" during the song.
Then, Eric announced an intermission! A little weird.guess the theater wanted to sell more drinks. Actually, this break was heaven-sent, for me, as it gave me a chance to check up on Eli and Carrie and see what was what, and relieve my anxiety. Turns out, everything was OK.as I suspected, Eli wanted to view the rest of the show from further back. Lilah, meanwhile, wasn't about to leave her front-row spot!
You know how, when you hear certain songs, you just expect to hear the next one because of hearing them that way on the album? Well, the second set delivered with a one-two knockout: "Teen Archer" followed by "Mistress of the Salmon Salt." It took the band all of maybe a minute to regain the intensity level dissipated by the intermission. At that point, I was just in my happy-face-grinning-at-everything mode.
Which quickly escalated into "Oh My G-d" mode at the next song.."Perfect Water!" As Eric said, "from the rarely-played 'Club Ninja' album" or something like that.it was beautiful, sublime, dazzling. What a treat. (After the show, it occurred to me that the band DIDN'T play almost 20 songs they could have, that I've heard over the last five or so years. What a depth of great material. That's why you simply have to go to as many shows as possible and own all the albums :-})
Then, "Buck's Boogie." Man, was the band tight this night; I was getting into Eric and Allen's playing as never before, Danny in total sync, Buck reaching for the heavens.
Next, a version of "Then Came the Last Days of May" that can only be described as monumental. Great spoken intro by Eric, and a stunning 1-2-3 guitar solo sequence by Allen, guest LI legend George Cintron and Buck, who simply tore the place apart-the energy level of the band at the end of Buck' s solo, Danny, Buck and Eric on the floor, Bobby playing like someone possessed, Allen and George fueling the fire, was almost incomprehensible. The place went wild. Any words I could use to describe this very special musical event would be hopelessly inadequate.
"Godzilla"-by now, the audience was putty. Great, great fun, Eric making references to various LI locales getting stomped, seriously heavy playing and solos by Bobby (an extended drum solo that was entrancing, not boring like other drummers' efforts; milking it for all it was worth before the gong hit) and Danny (who had a grittier, more funky sound out of the amp this night; great "growl" from his Jazz Bass). Yeah, sometimes Man's efforts aren't all folly. At this point I started lifting Lilah up to stage level, which she thought was great fun.
"Intro/Reaper"-what can I say about this song that I haven't said already.a true classic and deservedly so, majestic, fantastic. The crowd went crazy; the playing was superb, an emotional crescendo. (After, Lilah ran up to Eli and said, "Did you hear 'Don't Fear the Reaper? You didn't miss it, did you? '" she was so excited.). A woman I was with, who had never seen BOC before and wasn't sure if she'd like them, was going crazy.
Encore-"ME 262"-I knew they were going to do it as soon as I saw Buck and Eric with the DeArmond SGs, but I didn't say anything to my friends, as I wanted them to be surprised. They were-surprised and delighted, as Ricardo Montalban used to say! The crossed guitars are just too cool; the song is pure hyperdrive energy, a great way to end the show. Buck shook Lilah's hand and you should have seen the look on her face (and mine). It was clear that the band had a great time, a great night.
After the show, Sandy was nice enough to come (almost running) up to us so she could say hi to my daughter (yes, Sandy, she's quite the charmer; you can guess she's got daddy wrapped around her proverbial little finger), and meet Carrie and Eli. I couldn't stick around for an extended period to hang with the band or friends-we had to fly out of there.
Man oh man, what a blast, yet again; the amazing Blue Oyster Cult mesmerized us yet again, a band that just keeps getting better and better. I'm still reeling!
How to begin?
The Stables, Milton Keynes, Tuesday,14th May 2002 - Just got home,it's 01:42 in the am,and I'm still in the clouds, after a show like tonight, there's no doubt that BOC are the world's greatest!! [was there ever a doubt?]
Pure perfection, pure excellence.
The sound was perfect, the guys were in a fine mood for a good night's rockin'and boy oh boy did they deliver!
Dan and Bob were as tight as a duck's arse on the rhythm section - notably on Godzilla
Buck and Allen's guitar leads, HOT, HOT, HOT - [swapping leads on Last Days - there aren't enough words - is magical, good enough, it's a start....]
Buck,Eric and Dan's vocals,crystal..
I could go on,but like I've said there aren't enough words....
Look out for other reports,'cause believe me, there will be plenty.
One slight draw back,only 14 songs,approx 105 mins long,but more shows too see,too see haha hehe, - hope I return to earth in time for London.
[Allen and Buck on last days and Dan and Bob on Godzilla,take me awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy....] Oh crap,forgot to mention The Vigil,Perfect Water,Harvester,Joan...ahhhh....
I was there too at MK. Great to meet all the other online fans. we all wore our t-shirts with pride. what can i add to what andrew already said.
the boys certainly rocked this small and personal venue. the sound levels were just right and the playing appeared to be perfect (although eric did admit to me later that there was a small mistake in joan crawford. did i notice.nah).
the stage was about 2 feet high (if that) and i think everyone felt like they had BÖC in their front room. the view was partially spoiled i think by the handful of dickheads who decided they should stand at the front and give us a display of their air guitar skills.especially the guy in the long leather coat and the cowboy hat. What a prick he looked. i suppose they were just enjoying themselves but it was an all seater venue (not a big fan of that anyway) and they paid no regard to the fans behind them. I think the fault lies with the venue not the individuals.they did nothing to sort this problem out.
BÖC were at their best. they came,they rocked and they came out afterwards to meet,sign, pose for photos and to have a ciggie. they are in my mind and always have been THE GREATEST ROCK BAND EVER.long may they reign.
if you havent seen them yet GET READY.see you all at the astoria.
on the way home from the gig my girlfriend casually mentions that while i was chatting to Eric,a guy in a bandana came over to her in the car park,commented on how cold she was looking and gave her a kiss.i think he was the bass player she says!!!HMMMM.
ROB.(Who will be offering his sister at the astoria)
OK here we go...
Oy Rushton - you pinch the set list off me at the bar to post it and then don't give me a credit...
Seriously though, my first show in 15 years and no I wasn't disappointed
To set the scene we turn back the clock to 1010 hours yesterday, DesUK walks out of his front door, thinks...overnight bag, cash, 30 mins until the train leaves ... yeah everything is fine, no worries. 10 mins later, almost at the station, once more, bag yes, cash yes, tickets....... oh bugger
Luckily I still caught the train, on to London to RV with Jack (Gil Blanco) and this boards former resident Mr Grumpy Dom from France, then onto Milton Keynes courtesy of Mr Blanco in Boorman mode.
The scene shifts, we pass the crane show/exhibition in full swing as we enter MK, we reach The Stables, the venue for the night.
What was the venue like? Err different, unusual, definitely rural... there were sheep grazing about 100 yards from the stage. It is a small (396 seat) modern provincial theatre. Our front row seats were about 15 feet from the stage which was at most 4 inches off the floor, the impression was almost like sitting in someone's front room watching the band.
Anyway I jump ahead. After arriving and finding that the band were not present, Jack, Dom and I diverted to a local pub then after struggling to find anywhere to eat return to the venue where we meet Andrew Rushton, Brian (Beej), Rob (Dynabob), Andrew (Grinning Boy), Nigel (Nortonboy) and Tom all wearing our specially created UK tour T Shirts...
We also ran into Bolle and Lisa who were great fun. From the horses mouth Bolle says the DVD will be recorded in July!
Then onto the show. What can I say... excellent, had a great time. Sound was not so good in the front row seats, the speakers carrying the vocals were above our heads so a lot of the vocals were lost - although this did seem to me to improve after the first 30 mins or so.
Burning to open - I don't think this really works as an opener, others may differ but as Dom said to me it doesn't really have enough get up and go to get things moving at the start.
Od'd, ETI, Pocket - as well performed as you would expect from reading this board.
The Vigil - woo hoo brilliant first time live for me - but then it was only my 4'th show.
Curious, but does Bobby always pull those strange facial expressions throughout every show?
Harvester - great, followed by excellent guitar work on Cities. Great to hear Perfect Water - sounded very good.
good keyboards on JC, then came LDOM.
I'll admit that when Eric introduced it i was slightly disappointed, as I wanted Astronomy, however that feeling soon left me. I had read here about Alan's guitar solo in LDOM and so when he stepped forward I thought this will be interesting.
Ha - understatement time, incredible performance that went on for ever... he was obviously enjoying it so much and when he had finished and Buck took the reins he was strutting about so pleased with himself. Talking to Bolle after the show he said that Alan had never previously performed the solo that well.
Buck's solo - absolutely amazing, have heard it on boots but to see it live is incredible. I understand the "Buck Zone" references that have been made here before.
To follow 'Zilla with Bass and drum solo's (sorry - big yawn) then intro/Reaper as good as I could have wanted, followed by a great D&S.
Did the band seem to enjoy it? A definite yes I would say. They really got into it, they will have to work hard to top last night's performance on the rest of the tour IMHO.
After show Bolle had said the band would probably come up to the bar, but this being the UK it shut at 11PM of course (fizzy John Smith's, Kronenbourg, Fosters only Anton ). So we hung about the stage door, met Bolle again, then shook hands and had a few words with the band as they went to their coach. Eric posed for photo's and then came the moment of truth, we had dreaded....
"What do those T shirts say?" he asked, peering at Andrew (Grinning Boy). We held our breaths, this was the moment we had agonised over, would they (and in particular Eric) get the joke
"Hey Woody come and see this - I don't know, maybe we should have words with you guys" he drawled, smiling as he went back into the dressing room
Oh for the others attending UK shows, Bolle stated that he is trying to get them to play all 36 songs they can currently play, during this tour....
For Dom, Jack and myself it was back to Blanco Towers for the night, and I would again thank Jack and his wife for their hospitality.
Was it worth the most expensive tickets on this tour, £24.50 (about $37)? Definite yes.
Am I looking forward to Friday and London? Again yes.
Am I pi**ed off I am only going to 2 shows on this tour? Oh my my, oh hell yes!
What can I add to what others have said? the show was great.
The boys put on a brilliant show, the last time I saw them was during the Bouchard era and it was good to see Danny and Bobby doing their stuff.Danny never seemed to be in the same spot for long prowling round the stage firing up the audience at every opportunity.
The original cast seemed to be enjoying themselves too Buck seems so animated his playing as fluid as ever.Going thru the motions?
Not this band!
I'm sorry the dancing fools spoilt it a bit for you at the front, the blonde bloke was sat next to me, then he was up and gone .Thought it was something I said.
Twas good to meet you all, only regret was I appear to have left to early and missed meeting the band.Wifey loved all it too,wore her T shirt to work today and now wants a BÖC bandana! Where will it all end?
Here's to the Astoria
Last night I was blown away.
Have not seen them since '84 but it was worth the wait.
Opera House is a smaller venue than the City Hall (venue for 'Some Enchanted Evening' recordings, I was in the balcony that night) Last night I was in the upper balcony and although there were plenty of empty seats lower balcony and downstairs were full and the atmosphere downstairs was excellent (wife was 'happy' to stay upstairs and so therefore was I!)
Sound was spot on and so was Buck... awesome
Eric had plenty of well received banter with the crowd, however Eric I was unaware that a triffid made a stomping noise... more like a rustling shuffle surely
The band were very well received and it was abundantly clear that there were plenty of very loyal fans in the audience. Shame people don't wear nametags as some of us are shy and don't like tapping on people's shoulders to ask their names!
Wanted the wife to wear the European Tour '78 t shirt but she wouldn't (I could not get it over my head... hey I was 19 then)
Favourite song was QLG and it would have been perfect if they had played Teen Archer/QLG with no gap but just hey grateful to hear both songs.
Vocals on Perfect Water and Golden Age of Leather made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and the latter really got the crowd on their feet
Allen's solo on LDOM was musically thoughtful and totally unexpected... keep it up marra
One moan..drop the bass and drum solo as it killed the flow... up to that point they were rocking!
Sorry another moan... the stewards did not appear to want anyone to stray too far from their seats... howay man average age in the audience was 40+ neebody was fit enough to climb the barrier never mind rush the stage
You guy's over the pond are so damned lucky, here's hoping I will see them again before my eyes and ears will melt with age
Me thinks... wonder if the wife is up to a golfing holiday stateside next year with the odd gig thrown in? Worth a try... unless the boy's are aiming to tour Portugal??
The show was fantastic, but then after 13 years it would be wouldn't it. The sound from where I was (absolute centre, front row balcony, about 40 feet back from the stage and a few feet above the guy's heads), was fantastic - really clear and sharp.
Burnin' for you - I think works well as an opener (although I prefer Stairway to the stars). Everyone knows it, good tempo.
Harvester/Teen Archer/Quicklime girl - what can I say? Brilliant.
Cities on flame - I take this song for granted now after all the years, and don't find it particularly exciting listening to it at home or work... but it was terrific played live.
Good sing-along to Golden age of leather - the crowd really belted this out. Would sound good on a live album (or tape of the show - anybody?)
Great (and very long) version of Last Days of May, with two excellent guitar solos from Allen and Buck.
'Zilla - Humourous intro:
"Think I can hear something big coming this way....is it Nessie? (the Loch Ness monster)...what else have you got up here, Oh yeah, is the the triffids?...
OK, so I agree with all those who would prefer an extra song in place of the bass and drum solos - but they weren't too long, and I knew what would come next...
Reaper was excellent and got most everyone downstairs on their feet - long intro from Buck was pretty neat.
and a bit of D&S for afters.
The band seemed to have a great time. All were quite animated and interacting with the crowd. Eric and Danny walking circles on the stage (I see what people say about Danny "prowling" the stage). At another point, Buck, Danny and Allen were all playing their guitars on the floor (kneeling, lying, whatever), so Eric played the keyboards kneeling down - very funny!
Interesting to see that Eric was deciding what to play at some points in the set, and signalling to the rest of the band.
The venue is a really old traditional theatre with three levels of balcony, so it rises up high above the stage, but isn't very deep, so even those near the back are pretty close to the band. Beer from the bars could be brought into the hall, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
Makes me want to go to the show at Swansea tonight...
Which reminds me: When Eric said "tomorrow we play in Swansea", there was spontaneous laughter from parts of the crowd. Don't worry Eric, it's a Newcastle thing - anywhere south of the Tyne is strange and foreign (especially Sunderland).
That's all folks!
Well folks looks like I have the honour of doing the first Newcastle report..... Frankly I'm knackered after the 3 hour drive back but here's some highlights....
Golden Age of Leather plus singalong
See you in Black, never liked it on HF... Live it was bloody marvellous
Allan on LDOM (I finally understand what you've been on about!)
Perfect water (made up for the absence of astronomy..just)
Pocket.... very rare for old timers new stuff to match up to the classics... BOC the obvious exception they should do more COTHM live.
Yeah it was a bit short, the crowd took a while to warm up, so did the band and the soundman, but overall I remember why I love these guys!
Just one gripe..Danny Miranda... you think he could loosen up a bit, act like he was enjoying himself, move around a bit and maybe stop taking it all so seriously!!?
I was really looking forward to this. I hadn't seen BOC since the '70's. In the meantime I'd seen a lot of gigs. Music is just about my life. Sabbath are still my favourite band, but BOC remain one of those bands that I've got everything they've done. (Along with quite a few other bands!)
I'd also managed to get my photo with all of Sabbath, Purple, Rainbow, Priest, Tull, Wishbone Ash, Maiden and a load of others in the last few years and I desperately wanted to add BOC to those. Click here to see just a few.
The gig being at the Opera House helps - it's an intimate venue and bands often mingle after the shows. But as a bit of insurance I left a message on Danny's message board and he said he'd try to sort something.
The night of the gig I was full of anticipation but I was a little bit disappointed when I got to the Opera House and saw all the seats had been left in. Usually for a "rock" band like, say Wishbone Ash the front rows of seats are taken out so you can "rock." Leaving them in meant that a) people would be more likely to sit (boring!) and b) my row J seats were a lot further back than they should have been when I bought them hours after they went on sale. One good thing about the Opera House though is that you can take your drinks in - and I had plenty.
The gig started a bit disappointingly, first with the announcement that absolutely no photography was allowed, and then the sound was terrible. Burnin' For You started. I knew because I could hear the bass and I could see Buck's mouth moving, but the vocals and all three guitars were almost non-existent. Things improved slowly until by three or four songs in the sound was near perfect, but Burnin' and OD'd were ruined. Even once the sound was crystal clear it wasn't loud enough - until I got down to the front.
I couldn't believe after seeing bands like Wishbone Ash at this venue and the place bouncing that everyone would sit right through BOC - but they did. All except me. By the time Golden Age appeared I'd had enough (or maybe just enough beer) and made my way to the front of the stage. The rest of the crowd may have thought I was mad playing air guitar and head banging 3 feet in front of Buck by myself but I know who enjoyed the gig the most. Eric, Allen and Danny had a right laugh at me. Maybe most of the audience were used to the corporate free lunch atmosphere of St. James rather than the more animated Stadium of Light (Paul F.)! The sound was great for the rest of the gig and then I noticed the rest of the audience joined me at the front for Reaper - surprise, surprise.
After the show I was starting to think the photo opportunity wasn't going to arise. Most bands tend to come out to the bar about ten minutes after the show but there was no sign of BOC for twenty minutes or more. I hurriedly wrote a note to Danny reminding him about my email and sent it in with an unusually helpful roadie. After a couple of minutes Danny came out with a promo band pic for me and the first photo was done.
Danny seemed really nice and I asked him if he could get the rest of the band out (I managed to resist asking him to get the "real" BOC members out) and to my mild surprise he reappeared a couple of minutes later with Eric. Photo opportunity 2. Eric was cool. Bobby Rondinelli came out next but seemed in a hurry to get somewhere and wasn't too keen to spend any time. No matter - I already had a photo with him when he was in Sabbath.
I patiently waited for Buck and Allen but after a further ten minutes or more it started to look as though it wasn't going to happen. Then Danny stuck his head out the door and told me the band were just leaving and maybe try outside. Nice one Danny! I managed to make it to the back stage door just in time to get Buck. Considering he and Allen hadn't made any effort to meet anyone inside the gig I was surprised how pleasant he was with the fans that wanted autographs and photos.
But after Buck had got on the bus and no-one else appeared it seemed obvious Allen must have got on first. None of the handful of fans had seen him. It was disappointing not to get Allen but I was well pleased with my haul of Buck and Eric (and Danny.) But hang on a minute. Shy bairns get no broth as we say in Newcastle - or maybe it was the beer - but I surprised myself by banging on the bus door just as it was pulling away. The driver opened the door so I shouted if Allen could get off the bus to meet a fan 'cause I'd met the rest of the band and wanted the lot. To my surprise Allen did - and was really cool. (Believe me this is not recommended with most bands.) I ended up with the 4 photos on the night. And I've already got my Bobby photo. All in all a good night.
The 2002 tour is well documented - I'll only add that the opera house at Newcastle is a marvellous but smaller venue compared to City Hall (the venue the band have always played at whenever they've visited the city in the past) - packed with bars, and more to the point, I never saw any theatre more reminiscent of the gatefold of "oyfooyk" - right down to the colour scheme!
What is interesting, seeing the cult now, is that the fans in the bar are not the scruffy students / greasers knocking back snakebite before the bus home - it's teachers and accountants and computer programmers and other professionals - and a lot have to visit the bog, especially during cities on flame! But the fans are notably charming, intelligent and pleasant - it's rock and roll, but not as we knew it.
Times change, bands come and go, but BOC remain constant. They don't play stadiums anymore, testament to a public who, unable to classify them, prefer to err on the safe side and flock to see Def Leppard and Metallica instead. Hence tonight's setting - a cricket pavilion in a park by the seaside.
Beautiful as it happens. Sausage egg and chips in a local cafe, a walk on the beach and then up to the hut for some pre-concert atmosphere, for this gig is for the faithful and the faithful are here. Four Hundred and twenty to be exact for a venue that holds 500. Not bad for a band whose last major sales here were in the 80's.
I move into the darkened atmosphere and that pre-concert excitement starts, that special buzz for people in the know. No proper bar so a can will do. I walk around and the talk is of Cities on Flame and a drug deal gone bad somewhere in a desert. The demands are for Me262 and the Red and the Black and most people mention the genius that is Buck Dharma in hushed tones. I spot T-shirts from the 70's when BOC were platinum and I rue the fact I missed those laser years.
Time draws on. The support band haven't shown so some guy gets up with an acoustic and plays some Buddy Holly tunes. He's good but no-one cares. He leaves.
The crowd pours towards the stage
The lights dim and
I'm caught up in the magic that is BOC for the 14th time.
The lights flash and the end titles from Blade Runner scream through the PA and then the roadie with the BOC tattoo's gets up and "And welcome Swansea. Are you Ready to Rock and Roll. Well Please Welcome from New York City, the Amazing Blue Öyster Cult ".
Big cheer and there they are, Burning for You jangling in the ears. They look happy and relaxed(if somewhat older) and the crowd pick up on this. They've come to praise BOC not to bury them, and how they are rewarded.
The sound is excellent and I don't think I've ever heard them play or sing better. Eric takes over on vocals next with the totally unitelligible lyric that is OD'd on Life Itself riding a pounding guitar riff - perfect. The band know their audience and the evening proceeds with the old stuff with just a nod to the latest album via the excellent Buck Dharma tune Dance on Stilts.
The variety of their work is stunning with songs spanning 12 different albums on show tonight, all different and maybe, just maybe this is why BOC never quite made it onto everybody's lips. Too different? Too inconsistent in their approach? It's all history now but the point is emphasised by a middle 3 that are surreal. Teen Archer, Mistress of the Salmon Salt and Perfect Water. Name any other band that could even contemplate producing these songs. Great for the fans though and I'm sure none of these 3 have been played on this side of the pond before.
Too many highlights to list them all but See you in Black deserves a mention. Metallica influenced for sure but the venom in Bloom's vocal in the line "I'd like to see you in black, It would make me feel like your husbands dead " is something James Hetfield could only dream of.
Showpiece of the night was undoubtably Last Days of May. The song started at 10.20pm, slowly with that aching vocal and lovely guitar of Dharma's. Surprisingly then Allen Lanier takes over to play the middle solo and plays really hauntingly, building and building to his own finale. Excellent, but it's not over yet as Buck picks it back up and treats us to what can only be described as 7 minutes of guitar pyrotechnics. Stunning. The song ends at 10.37pm.
And so to Godzilla and the Reaper and the encore which go by too quickly and then it's goodbye for how long this time? Three years? Four? I hope not!
Blue Oyster Cult : Still Burning....
NB: one rider to the gig was that my 10yr old son was with me. As luck would have it we stood next to the promoter of the gig who took quite a shine to him and she asked if we'd like to meet the band. So we went back stage with them for about 10-15 minutes which was great although I have to say they were not the friendliest bunch in the world with the exception of Danny Miranda.
However Bolle Gregmar the founder of the fan club was also there and he was really good to talk to. They were polite and signed autographs but just didn't seem to want to talk, but then they had just played for 2 1/2hrs and were probably knackered. Managed to get a photo of my son with Buck so hope that comes out O.K.
It was the sixth time I'd seen BOC but the first time since Club Ninja at the now defunct Queensway Hall in Dunstable (now an Asda!) I had to drive a little way to get to Swansea as I live in Bristol but it was either that or Wolverhampton.
My first impressions of the gig was "Oh my god! I'm 40 and I'm one of youngest ones here". The venue was the Patti Pavillon which has capacity for about 500. I understand that they sold about 350 tickets beforehand. The support band didn't play so in their place was some local non-celebrity who plugged in his acoustic and sang some Buddy Holly songs. Now if you have to imagine how weird that was when I've seen bands like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Aldo Nova, even Japan (in their glam rock phase) support BOC.
Although the band are all older, they were still fantastically powerful, the songs were as dramatic and they played an excellent set. I was expecting "Reaper", "ETI", "Godzilla" etc but you could have knocked me off my plimsolls when they played some of my old time faves like "Teen Archer" and in particular "Mistress of the Salmon Salt".
They also played requests! Someone wanted "Take Me Away" from "Revolution by Night" and they obliged. They also played songs which I must admit not to listening to very often like "Lips in the Hills" and "Perfect Water". They played a few tracks from the last two albums - "See You In Black" was a crowd pleaser, I can tell you!
Anyway, they did a magnificent two hour set. I took some pics, the best of which I attach.
I thought I'd add some background information as Tony and Steve have done a wonderful job of describing the gig. Although there are no words to describe the feeling I had hearing Last Days of May that night.
The Patti Pavilion is probably one of the more interesting venues to host a B.O.C. gig. It is not a cricket pavilion, as Steve states, although it is in the shadow of Swansea's St Helen's rugby and cricket ground, famous for being the venue where Sir Garfield Sobers became the first batsman ever to hit six sixes in one over in 1968 (I realise this will mean nothing to any american readers).
The pavilion is an historic listed building. It was originally constructed at the end of the 19th Century as a Winter Garden at the country estate of opera singer Adelina Patti. Madame Patti was described by Verdi as perhaps the finest singer who ever lived. She bequeathed the building to the people of Swansea in 1918 and it was moved from the estate at Craig-Y-Nos in the Swansea Valley to its current position in the town.
Support act Martin Ace was (and probably still is) a member of very nearly legendary welsh rock band Man.The Patti Pavilion was the venue for Man's certainly legendary Christmas Party concert on 19 December 1972 which was stopped in full flow by the police at midnight.The recording of the night's events "Christmas at the Patti" topped the UK's budget album chart when released in 1973.
Most people I meet, on receiving the answer of "who's your favourite band" from me, often send back a blank look in my direction. They don't know who Blue Öyster Cult are. However, as soon as they get to know me, they sure as hell know who they are. I am a one man Cult propaganda machine, actively encouraging people to go out and experience BÖC for themselves; it's an education. Then again, being 17, I suppose it's forgiveable that most folk I come into contact with don't have a clue. Which is a shame, if you ask me, as on the evidence of May 17th, BÖC should by now be a recognised force in music not only to the generation (or so) before me, but mine too.
My experience began in the Basque country in Spain. Staying with a family on an exchange, I was still able to view e-mails and keep in touch with everyone using their internet connection. One day, I got a message that BÖC would be touring the UK, giving me the opportunity to see my favourite band for the first time ever. But what could I do, hanging around in an area where mullets are still prevalant and they enjoy bombing their politicians (and many other things - they play football on astroturf everywhere - crazy......)? "Perdon, puedo llamar mis parientes en Inglaterra? Leé un e-mail muy importante, y necesito charlar con mis padres sobre un problema " I lied through my teeth, and one short phone call home later I was set for BÖC. I was so happy that I didn't even mind the astroturf burns.
Skipping forward, me, my brother and five friends all set out from Bournemouth train station one overcast afternoon, heading for London. No amount of shirts of antiquated bands (even a "Dio" one) could disguise the fact, however, that we were a bunch of kids off to see a band that my parents would've first heard of at my age. After arriving, eating and hanging around the odd shop for a bit, we decided to head over to the Astoria. A sudden wave of curiosity hit me - who were the support act? I had to know.
"That guy looks like a lumberjack, a real redneck" my friend Simon said in hushed tones, indicating to a fat ZZ Top stunt man in a chequered shirt. "He'll know". So, attempting not to laugh, I politely asked him if he knew who were first on the bill. "Gee, support act, huh? You mean, the opener, right?" the man drawled, in, to my utter dismay and amusement, the most hardcore Texas accent. Here at last, a true redneck! "Uh, dunno. Sorry man, can't help you". Damn. However, in front of us in the queue was a guy who looked authoritative on rock music - I mean, his shirt was from something from "Schwungfest" - one look at that told me he must bleed rock and roll (it appeared to be some Dutch festival - Slade, Dave Davies and Golden Earring were there, couldn't have been too bad). Once again, I asked nicely, only to get the equally nice reply "Schorry, I am not of the England - I am not shpeaking this as first language. I only come today, to see Blue Öyster Cult. Of course, I am not knowing the schupport". No wonder he went to obscure Dutch festivals, being Dutch himself.
As it so happened, it was the great Carl Palmer. It felt odd, knowing that almost exactly thirty years before, my mum had seen them at The Oval, and now here was one of them playing in front of me. As feared, the majority of the crowd were at least twice as old as me and my friends, though it was a good atmosphere. The people were there to enjoy themselves. Throughout Carl Palmer's set, one guy air guitarred continuously whilst holding (read, spilling) a pint, and some spaced out old hippie in a necktie swayed in a rather drugged addled manner. The music was technically superb, though prone to meander, and Carl must've been having a private joke with himself when he declared "Fanfare For the Common Man" was to be a shortened version, before launching into the longest drum solo known to humanity. Another amusing incident was when he asked for requests - those who knew who he was shouted "Fanfare! Fanfare!", only for him to say "Sorry? What? Did you say Tarkus? I think someone said Tarkus!" prior to another widdlefest. Crazy. A guitarist with an aversion to frets 5-12 and a penchant for playing seemingly identical solos, and a double finger-tapping bassist completed a swirly, surreal yet oddly pleasing opener.
The main event was just something else though. I was standing right under Danny Miranda's nose, well juxtaposed to hear his tight, rhythmic bass onslaught. Right from the word go the band seemed to enjoy themselves, feeding off the obvious enthusiasm of a packed out Astoria. Although inter-song waffle was kept at a minimum, they knew how to connect with the crowd, shaking hands, waving, gesturing and in some songs inducing mass crowd sing-a-long (as if we weren't singing along anyway). The set itself was a good mixture spread throughout the band's history, and it was a pleasure to hear songs such as "Perfect Water" and "Quicklime Girl" amidst other, more established material. My personal favourite on the night was "Cities on Flame", though I would say that every song was brilliant. Along with "Cities", as an audience we got the chance to demonstrate our dubious singing abilities during "Golden Age of Leather" (nice idea for the intro) and the encore, "Dominance and Submission" (pure classic - always wanted to shout "dominance" in a crowded room without being thought of as odd). Overall, sound quality was very good, though I strained to hear Eric's vocals a couple of times - however, with the crowd filling in the whole time, there was no real problem in discerning the words.
Instrumentally, the balance between each separate musician was almost spot on, though my vantage point meant that I was subjected to a rather more intense bass barrage than most. The solos were all nice and tasteful, with "Last Days of May" climaxing with a monumental eight minute solo from Buck (after Allen weighed in with a corker of his own), and Godzilla featuring bass and drum solos. I usually dislike these, but Danny's was funky enough to meet my approval, and Bob's drum solo was mercifully short compared to Mr. Palmer's earlier offerings. Having said that, Bob was especially impressive throughout, stoically keeping a tight and chunky rhythm with fag in mouth at all times. Danny was also a sublimley talented bass player, and a lot of fun. He even attempted a high-five with a surly Astoria security man, only to be turned down. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.
Which brings me onto my only real bugbear of the whole experience. Thanks to my friend Howie we managed to smuggle a disposable camera into the theatre, as the tickets actually said it was permitted to take photographs. We took a couple of shots prior to the gig (including the old hippy swaying around in ancticipation of the music), and even managed to get nine or ten of Blue Öyster Cult in action. In a bizarre manner, Howie and Simon actually managed to get the camera confiscated at the bar! One minute Simon was posing for a shot of him with a drink, the next Howie is being whisked away by the particularly unfriendly security. We did get the camera back (with film unharmed, and therefore, some good photos), but don't expect this kind of treatment from security when it actually stated that cameras were permitted. Also, the one time we were nabbed, the "perpetrators" were nowhere near the band, and in fact taking daft pictures of each other! I wonder whether the interview process for security work in Astoria included a prerequisite of antisocial behaviour.
The concert ended in a flourish, "Don't Fear the Reaper" as expected, and then we got a bit more with a turbo-charged rendition of "Dominance and Submission". After a few handshakes, and Danny taking photos of us (strange; his camera wasn't confiscated) it was made clear to us that we needed to get out due to G-A-Y night still commanding it's regular place. Naturally, some of us wanted to hang around for that too, but as we needed to return to Bournemouth that night, we reluctantly departed, having witnessed a truly great show by in my opinion one of the world's most underrated rock bands ever. Not even the fact that we missed the gay disco, being sick on the train and having to go to work the next day could alter my annoyingly cheerful mood. That was indeed my favourite gig I have attended to date.
On the 'no photos' front, I got in early to watch Carl Palmer Band (first time I've seen the support act in years) and someone near the front was filming it with a camcorder.
Astoria security came in from all directions (like the raptors in jurassic park 2), pounced on the guy and led him away. They also had one guy on stage directing the others towards photographers, though I didn't see them do it once BOC came on stage... go figure!
Otherwise, another brilliant night and three more impressed friends with me. Except no Astronomy (again). After Newcastle I had a quick word with Eric and I think he said they play Astronomy roughly one show in five, instead of Last Days Of May. Tough call, since Last Days has been the highlight each night for me (Teen Archer in Newcstle notwithstanding).
Yeah the Astoria was my first live BÖC experience. And I'm new to this fans Message Board stuff too. So seein' as Mr Lynch has given me a name check - and a photo (he doesn't look old enough to have been a fan for 20 years I hear you all cry!!!), I thought I'd write a few words.
Most people reading this have probably seen them loads of times...so what did a new boy think? Well here are a few highlights and lowlights (well mostly all highlights really).
Burnin' - Lots of people seem to question this as an opener. Well I'm certainly not complaining, it's one of my faves cos it just sounds so Buck. Anyway the sight of all four guitars in a line at the front of the stage just got me straight into it.
OD'd - great - has the chorus (tempo) always been different live to my old album version?
ETI - don't worry I'm not going to go thru' the whole set list - but this is another personal fave - great.
That's enough going thru' them one by one.
I didn't realise how popular LDOM is - I thought I'd be one of the few who liked this one so much (proving, I'd like to think, that I'm a better judge of a good tune than I thought I was) - and Allen's solo was just top notch (shame Buck had to do one too here - it's not like he doesn't get plenty of other chances to shine).
Quicklime Girl - probably the weakest in my view. But what a good one Perfect Water is - I'd never appreciated how good this is until now. And as for the Reaper - it isn't just the song that made them a bit commercially famous - they must have played this so many hundreds of times, but still manage to belt it out like it's their latest single - and a great little intro from Buck.
Having not experienced a live BÖC with Bouchards I cannot compare this to then, but Bobby was pretty tight on the drums and as for Danny - wow what stage presence.
D'you know I used to think people who followed bands around on tour going to more than one gig were a bit odd - well either I'm wrong or I want to be odd too...next time...I do hope there will be next time...and soon. Good to meet a few new friends too - thanks for talking to me!
OK The Astoria... let's see...
Good start to the day, another RV at Blanco Towers where I met the aformentioned Mr Blanco once again, along with those far too well travelled denizens of the BÖC fans pantheon Paul (Yorkshrman) & Sue (UKSUE).
On then to the RV at 3:30 in the Tottenham, where the international flavour of the day became apparent, when we met Dom again this time with his fellow countryman Stefan; and the Irish contingent of James and his two fellow countrymen - great guys whose names I forget completely - (sorry chaps)!
After several pints were consumed and Paul and I had lamented the performance of the England cricket team who were allowing Sri Lanka to score hundreds for not very many, in front of us on the telly, we all went on to The Royal George where we hoped to meet Bolle and Lisa.
Upon arrival we were "greeted" with the words "we have no draught beer" - a sharp exit followed to the next watering hole
BEER REPORT Adnams and Young's Bitter, Anton.
A word of credit to Dom at this stage as he disappeared for a few moments then returned with Bolle - still not sure how/where he found him, but all credit to someone else's investigative skills
A short return to the Royal George (still no draught beer!) meant a reunion with Tom O'Hanlon, Andrew Rushton, and re-inforcing the international theme Georg the German biker, who was pleased to find out that he now has his own thread.
The close proximity of Chinatown led to the inevitable, and all credit to Jack for his choice of restaurant.
Then Came The... Astoria. I'll say first up that despite living in London for 10 years I had never visited this venue, and well, let's just say that all being well I hope it will be at least another 10 before I go back. Not really my type of venue I'm afraid, run down, dirty & cramped IMHO with a dreadful bar.
Downstairs was simply too packed and heaving for my taste, and with Jack, Paul and Sue in agreement we headed upstairs and found a good view on the balcony, stage left in front of Eric. I know that Rob (Dynabob) rated this show as better than Milton Keynes. Sorry Rob, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one, it was very good IMHO, but MK just had the edge I think. The sound at The Astoria was "fuzzy" I felt and didn't improve, and while the vocals at the front at MK started bad, they did improve, and I MUCH preferred seeing them in the smaller venue.
The band really seemed to enjoy this show - maybe due to the larger crowd which was enthusiastic and let the band know it. As Simon said, Danny even took photo's of the crowd after the encore
The Show itself? Well even at a second listening, Burning For You as an opener still doesn't work for me, but well performed and as Simon said good to get it out of the way early .
As Simon's set list above indicates OD'D on Life, ETI and Pocket followed - all of which I enjoyed and again were as good as I could expect.
Then The Vigil - again absolutely brilliant and great to hear, but I'm afraid alarm bells started ringing in my head. This was song for song exactly that which we had heard at Milton Keynes!
Then one after another it continued Harvester, Buck's Boogie, Perfect Water (woo hoo). Again don't get me wrong I enjoyed them all, especially the latter which sounded even better on a second hearing, but come on, I was only going to see them twice on this tour, were we going to get exactly the same set?
Then it happened, the opening bars to Quicklime Girl - one of my all time favourites - not disappointed, followed promptly by Golden Age of Leather with as Simon mentioned the crowd sing along at the start. Never heard this live before as far as I can remember - great live version, loved it!
Then came a short pause, Eric wandered around, the band were talking to each other, Paul and I standing beside each other almost started praying for it, "Astronomy, come on Eric, Astronomy..."
"We're going back to our first album...." Big sigh of disappointment followed - being realistic we'll be lucky to get them back this side of the pond, so yes I was VERY disappointed, this was my last show on the tour so that's probably my last chance to hear it gone.
However on the positive side it was great to see the Alan/Buck solo's again, although I personally feel Alan's solo in MK was the better of the two - he enjoyed it more there and it showed.
'Zilla, hmm... shall I be controversial? Why not? Why do they still play this? Complete waste of time IMHO. Only good thing about this was that Simon (Slynch) managed to find us - God knows how, it was so dark and there were so many people there. Anyway it was great to see you old chap, absolutely delighted that you made it
Intro - shortened version, probably due to fears of over running the 10:30 curfew. Reaper - brilliant as ever, followed by D&S, again! Had really been hoping for Me262 and the crossed guitars or a repeat of Swansea with Lips in the Hills.
So in all honesty a mixed reaction from me. Yes, I did enjoy myself, yes I consider myself very lucky that they have come here and I have been able to see them twice, and yes I do wish I was in Bilston as I write this, in Sheffield on Sunday and Glasgow on Monday. However, knowing the short length of the tour, the fact that many of us may not see them again, the fact that (according to Bolle) they can currently play 36 songs, I feel they have made a mistake not to mix the sets more than they have done (so far?).
I wasn't supposed to be able to make any shows this time 'round but my far better half persuaded me to go and I'm so glad she did.
Got to the meeting place mentioned in the last UK email at about 6:15 - true to Phil's word they did indeed serve London (yumm yumm) Pride.
There were one or two guys there in BÖC T-shirts, but for a good while there were none of the (in)famous Online shirts to be seen. Funnily enuff, even tho' I was sporting a BD.com shirt, no one seemed happy to meet my eye or engage in conversation. Luckily, after many minutes of staring at peoples' mammaries (looking for certain phrases, OK?) I spotted someone with the correct phraseology and the ice was broken. So I got to meet Nortonboy (Nigel) and wife (??) and "New boy" Nick (only been a fan for 20 years, but a first time live).
Didn't get to meet up with anyone else so at 7:30ish we strolled on down to "The Astoria".
Horror of horrors, the house security nabbed me "cunningly concealed" Box Brownie of a digital camera at the doors (sorry, Alma). They even made Nigel and his good lady consume their bottles of Evian before they were allowed to enter!!
Support was Carl Palmer Band, took me a while to recognise who the f**k it was 'cos I didn't recognise any of the lyrics. The CPB on the drums gave it away eventually, as did "Fanfare"
Very well recieved for a support band, the packed house seemed to give them more than the usual encouragement.
Talking of which, the last time I saw BÖC at the Astoria there seemed plenty of room to stretch your legs and have a breather. On a very hot and humid night, tonight, the placed seemed full to overflowing. There seemed to be almost twice as many people there as last time - can't explain it, except for better advertising, but very pleased for the band that the place seemed sold out.
Kept scouting around for other onliners but the crush of bodies made it almost impossible to move, so retired upstairs to the balcony where we bumped into Dynabob (Rob) and sister (??).
Anyway eventually @ 8:45 the band came to the stage to the usual Blade Runner theme. They opened with BFY, and to be honest they could have played The Birdy Song and I'd have been happy. As others have said tho', BFY doesn't really do it for me as an opener, but it is sort of good to 'get it out of the way' to leave the way clear for my more favourite tracks.
Straight on to OD'd (following a pattern from previous gigs on this tour) and this was the first time I really noticed Danny. There he was, hunched up with Buck, belting out blinding bass lines, then off he goes, pirouetting across the stage like a man possessed. I swear the man must think he's in a Boy Band, the moves he comes out with. Seriously tho', the 'new' rythmn section brings a new vitality to the band and just emphasise the fun they all seem to be having. Altho' I'm a big fan of the contributions the Bouchards bought to BÖC, I think this was the most 'fun' show I've seen them do.
ETI, seen it every show I've been to - best version yet.
Pocket - only song off the new album. Cracking number and a foretaste of what Allen had 'tucked up his voluminous sleeve'
Vigil - sort of a bonus, especially after having heard the "Archive" version
..lots of shouts for requests - Eric:"We'll get to most of those later"
Harvester of Eyes - excellent (but aching for a couple of other ST tracks)
COF - He's played it before, we've heard it before, how many times has he cracked his knuckles like that? Still works tho'
straight into - Buck's Boogie - funkier than ever. A few of us have mentioned the lack of 5 guitars in the set list, 3 guitars and a bass is pretty darned good, especially when one of them is Buck.
Perfect Water - now, this one I thought I wouldn't mind missing, I mean it's off bleedin' CN for ****'s sake. Wrong, speeded up by Buck it's just something else, the guy just plucks sounds out of the air, creating music and mood unlike any other player I've heard.
Quicklime Girl - nice to hear this after the rave reviews from across the pond, but didn't come with the one-two punch tonite.
Golden Age of Leather - more than made up for this tho'. Started off with a nice a capella/sing along bit and then just got rocking. One of my faves from Spectres and an excellent live number.
LDOM - I'd heard of this, I'd read about it, but I still wasn't prepared for it. When Eric said "we're going back to our first album (seems like yesterday)" I started to get excited, then when Buck seemed to start the 'solo' off, I got a birt bemused. Then Allen took the spotlight and almost bought tears to me eyes, such timing and feeling. Awesome. Buck came back to round things off and it finished off as hard as a raccoon's baculum.
Godzilla - "Nessie rising up from the river Thames, triffids blah blah blah" (Eric, you may be the coolest vocalist in rock, but for the "thinking man's heavy metal" spokesperson, your geography and biology stink)...
Coincidentally my bladder decided it was too full so I decided to pop to the littlest room in the house (along with a large %age of the crowd, whether they wanted to check out my baculum, or just needed a pee, I'll never know. Also coincidentally managed to bump into Phil, Paul, Sue and Jack (not all in the gents) so got to listen to
"Intro"(first time ever) and Reaper, again one of the tightest versions I've heard.
At this point Phil informed me that the Astoria has a regular Friday Gay Night, and consequently the band had to be off stage at 10:30 sharp. Until then I'd been hoping for another 15 minutes or so, so when the band left the stage tehy returend almost straight away for D&S, when again I'd have loved an ME262 od Flaming Telepath. The sound seemed to go a bit here, especially Eric's vocals, but their farewell was very touching, they seemed to appreciate the audience's response, especially with Danny taking photo's of the crowd - don't see that too often.
Managed to get me camera back on the way out without any hassle, then it was a mad scramble out into the rain and off onto ye olde publice transporte - got me home by midnight tho'
All in all an excellent show, the icing on the cake for me being Danny's antics, Allen soloing and the fact that the whole band seem to be enjoying themselves so much.
At first, sorry for my english, it isn't my first language, but i hope you can understand this anyway.
The concert was really nice. But the thing with the camera was as a crime and horrible. I got my camera with me at the room. I stand in the front (second row) near the band. I maked pictures at the first half hour.
Suddenly three bodygards stand by me. They took me from the front to the backstage. I must delete all pictures from my camera under they eyes. But during the move from the concert room my only idea and chance was: I removed the memory card from my camera and hide him. The deletion of the pictures hasn't really worked (without chip), but they don't understand the correct funktionality of the digital-cameras. Last but not least: I have the pictures save. (see above)
Remark: I visited the concert with my father. I think he was the oldest visitor at the Astoria Blue Oyster Cult concert. He is 75 years old, and he had very fun to see this show.
O.K. Thats it. Im happy for this anyway Happy-End.
Take a deep breath, sit down and possibly even get a stiff drink - here's tonight's set list:
Dance On Stilts
Burnin For You
Harvester Of Eyes
Career Of Evil
Cities On Flame
Old Gods Return
This Aint The Summer Of Love
Golden Age of Leather
Don't Fear The Reaper
Think For Yourself
Lips In The Hills
What can I say (apart from THANK YOU!)
Massive set list change from previous nights, and I wish I could make it to Sheffield or Glasgow, but what a high spot to finish (my bit of) the tour on.
'Think for yourself' is the old Beatles number from Rubber Soul, in memory of George Harrison.
Everyone around me was smiling as each new gem was played. What a night!
Thanks again to the band for a great tour (and good luck with the last 2 nights).
Well it was a bit of a mix and match set - not much from the latest album I'm happy to say except 'The old gods'. I little bit from the couple of albums before that with Harvest Moon being pretty good - though no Damaged I'm sad to say.
Other than that it was all back-catalogue stuff (which was patchy in how good the songs selected really were) with highlights including Golden Age of Leather, Cities on flame, Harvester of Eyes, Career ofEvil, Godzilla and Don't Fear the Reaper.
On the whole 7 out of 10 brought down to a 6 out of 10 by a slightly oversold venue (can you say 'sardines' children ?) and just about the most unforgiving unsprung floor underfoot that we'd ever seen (all three of us - including the guy in boots - came away with knackered feet!).
If they come round again then I'd go to see them if they were charging a tenner or less but for £18 I'm afraid that the answer is 'not again'. Still, well worth seeing a couple of times just for the experience !
Hi everyone! Bilston Sat. May 18 2002: Here we go, quite possibly a set list to die for....
DANCE ON STILTS
HARVESTER OF EYES
CAREER OF EVIL
CITIES ON FLAME...
THE OLD GODS RETURN
THIS AIN'T THE THE SUMMER OF LOVE
THE GOLDEN AGE OF LEATHER
BASS SOLO,DRUM SOLO
THINK FOR YOURSELF [a perfect tribute to George Harrison,with Allen on fuzz guitar]
LIPS IN THE HILLS
read em' and weep....
what else can I say....?
Met Bolle,Lisa,Eric,Alex,Paul,Paul,Sue,Andrew and of course,George,
sorry if I missed anyone.
A fantastic hometown gig for yours truly and possibly best ever BÖC UK [IMHO]
A night to remember,a night forever.
The above pics they were taken with an inexspensive digital camera from right at the front of the stage. I tried at MK and Swansea to take them without flash, but they were crap, so resorted to flash for Bilston and Sheffield. The band didn't seem too bothered with me using flash, and had no problems with security at any of the venues I attended. I was suprised actually that no one was searched on the way into any of the venues.
Incidentally, at the Bilston show I was at the front centre stage by Eric's monitor and before the encore of George Harrison's "Think For Yourself", Eric walked towards his monitor with a sheet of paper with the lyrics written on it.
"I have to cheat on this one" he said smiling to us at the front as he taped the sheet to his monitor. "And if any of you nick this, I'll come down there and kick your asses"...
We arrived home at 4.45 - still high from the show.
This was my 24th BÖC outing and without doubt the best I have ever seen Dr Dharma. Buck put everything into last night and made it truly a night to remember.
Look out for a classic last night in Glasgow!
Sheffield tonight... another excellent show. Setlist started with...
Stairway to the Stars
Before the Kiss !!!
I got too excited to remember the rest in any particular order, but included:
OD'd on Life
Cities on Flame
Harvester of Eyes
See You in Black
Last Days of May
Encores: Lips and D&S
I might have missed one there ..... (Sue thinks not.)
FINALLY, after 28 years, got to see BÖC in my home county. All played a blinder; and Sue was thrilled when Buck gave her his pick after LDOM.
Sad to say goodbye to all the other online folks, and also to Georg - last seen heading back down a wet M1 in the general direction of Dover. It's been a great week ...
3.00 am,just got home from sheffield.what a perfect end to my week. Three shows and all of them "blinders".
I'm too tired to go into detail now but for various reasons this was my best BÖC show ever.
Great to make fleeting aquaintances with so many people: georg,mark,paul and sue to name just a few from tonight.
Hope your all as happy as me but stop reminding me of the bilston setlist as you know it winds me up that i missed the subhuman. ha ha.
Met bolle again tonight and he seems pretty certain that the boys WILL be playing astronomy in glasgow tomorrow you lucky bastards.(always get jealous when i cant go !!)
take it easy y'all.
Just got back from the Leadmill and am completely cream crackered. The Leadmill is a really small night club type deal so it was great to be so close to them but we thought it was pretty dire sound wise...I dunno - perhaps I'm just getting old but I want to listen - I'm not so much into the idea of cramming down the front anymore and trying to see if my ears will actually bleed...I remember once at a Ted Nugent gig I... ah, but I digress. Where am I? Sheffield - that's right - told you I was getting old...
Anyway - the support guy they had on was OK but it's hard to concentrate on support acts when you're waiting for BÖC. I don't know - I can't get into the concept of support acts to be honest. I don't understand what they're for. They're just making me wait for my group, so I'm on a downer with them to start with. Bastards. Unless BÖC is the support, of course - in which case, I can make a case for them...
Anyway, whilst he was on I finally found a spec at the back where I could half stand on a rail to give me a slight bit of elevation. As soon as I was set, the eight tallest people in the place came to stand in front of me, but I was expecting that. It actually said that would happen on my ticket...
Oh well... the lights dimmed, Blade Runner came and went and then they were on. It's been some years since I last saw them and I was interested in seeing how the "new guys" got on... Eric looked the same, and so did Allen. Buck on the other hand I wouldn't have recognised. Hair much shorter, no moustache, no white jumpsuit...
But no time to reminisce - that's Stairway to the Stars they're kicking off with. Last time I heard them do that was 1975. Wow - next it's Before the Kiss. Bilston can sod off - this was looking like it was going to be the setlist to end all setlists.
ETI - fine but I would have preferred Take Me Away if we're talking spaceships. They always seem to play ETI - last time I saw this, there were laserbeams shooting out of Eric's wrist...
Pocket - Nice to hear this live but I'd still love to hear the other COTHM track Stilts they've been playing lately...
Harvester - Love this
BFY - Pleasant enough - I saw a film on TV the other month and they had this playing at an outdoor barBQ and it seemed to fit. Dunno about it live but that's probably just me...
OD'd - Again, last heard this in 75 - good to hear it again
Perfect Water - really enjoyed this - it shouldn't work well live amongst these other songs but it does
CoF - if there's no Albert, I can do without this one - I enjoy Buck's knuckle-cracking virtuosity but still...
Bucks Boogie - This really took me back and I was happy to hear it - though I appreciate not everyone's a fan...
See U in Black - I was hoping to hear Harvest Moon off HF, but if I can't have that, then this is a great second
Last Days - Probably my 2nd favourite track and this version certainly did it justice. Allen and Buck both with featured solos as they build to a crescendo - I'd have loved to have heard this from further back so I could listen to it rather than feel it. I've heard people rave about the Buck/Allen solo swapping but to my ears parts of it sounded discordant. This may have been down to where we were standing (perhaps "perched" would be a better word) - we'd have probably got a better mix if we'd just stuck our heads in one of the bass bins. Perhaps it all sounded brilliant across the other side of the room. Actually, knowing my luck - it almost probably did. If you want to get served quickly at a supermarket checkout, just go into whatever line I'm not in. At a gig, find out where I'm standing and then run like fuck to the other side...
Godzilla - I can take or leave this but I'd rather leave it. I am not a fan of bass and drum solos - Bobby and Danny had already demonstrated their abilities during the show - you don't need to hear them separately - bass and drum solos are like chip butties without the chips - they don't work on their own - they're out of context and the show's momentum comes grinding to a halt.
It's probably a good point for a word about the rhythm section. I'm an Albert and Joe fan. I think their departure ripped a HUGE creative hole in the Cult - it simply had to. Just look at their input, both from a song-writing and performing (including singing a fair % of the songs) point of view. So I wasn't about to accept these new guys so easily. But...
After this evidence, from a performing viewpoint, I couldn't fault them. Bobby - who I've seen described as "Danny Aiello in a Motley Crue wig" - was great (in all senses of the word) and as for Danny... Feck me, I thought he was a hoot - the faces he was pulling. What's this guy on? - the rest of the band generally tend to look pretty serious about the whole performing business as a rule, but Danny Miranda's starting to give them a different stage vibe entirely. He just cracked me up - even with no room on a pretty small stage he covered some ground last night. Fuck Ozzy - he should definitely have his own tv show.
After Godzilla, we got the banker DFTR with an intro piece (does it have a name?). Can't be a BÖC show without this but I'm not complaining... Then they were gone and we found ourselves shouting for more... what a weird concept encores are... Why can't people just do their stuff and get off - then we'd all know where we stood...
Lips in the Hills - this is the only song I regularly play off side 2 of CE so it was great to hear it live
Dominance was the 2nd encore and I was loving this and yet I could feel a deep sadness creeping over me as I realised they were about to finish and the gig would be over. And just as I was realising this, it was true. They were gone.
So, they hadn't done a Bilston after all - after the first 2 songs, they'd reverted to a "pre-Bilston" setlist - more or less.
It's weird - I feel glad and sad all at the same time... After the Bilston setlist, I had dreams of Subhuman with a big workout (my fave), Career of Evil, Telepaths, Summer of Love, Golden Age - perhaps Astronomy at last. So I almost felt let down afterwards that I hadn't - how weird is that?
It's like finding out you've won the Lottery, and then moaning because you have to split it with ten other people. It's like finding a fiver in the street and complaining because it's not a tenner. It's like seeing Blue Oyster Cult again after all these years and moaning because they didn't play all the songs you wanted.
If I could possibly manage it, I'd go to Glasgow because I know tonight will be amazing. It's days like this when I wish I had a car...
Still - what I do have is half a bottle of Southern Comfort left, so if you'll excuse me, I'll see what I can do to remedy this situation and drown my sorrows. Whilst the good folk of Glasgow are knee deep in Oyster pearls tonight, I'm going to put OYFOOYK on and make sure I'm well and truly bladdered...
Good health to you (if not to me)...
My wife Lesley & I had the pleasure of meeting the band not only at Swansea, Bilston & Sheffield but also wound up on the guest list at Glasgow.
Stayed at the same (two-bit) hotel in Sheffield and sat up half the night listening to Danny play his Elton John favourites on the lounge piano (much to Bobby's dismay & displeasure!) before Buck made an appearance to chat with us.
In Glasgow the entire band welcomed us backstage and even the normally reticent Allen was relatively chatty! Buck photographed us with his digital camera which may or may not turn up on the fan pages of the BOC site.
We also journeyed to New York just prior to the UK dates which was an amazing fan's pilgrimage - just about everyone on Long Island was aware of the 'Cult - the local record shop owner, a '70s CBS A&R man, gave us a 1976 promotional flag/banner of 'Agents Of Fortune' free of charge! Needless to say, we made sure we got this item fully signed by the entire band!
Addendum posted after request for further details:
The hostelry in question was the Grosvenor House Hotel which looked very stately in the Sheffield guide but resembled a council tower block when seen up close!
The stationery the band's crew were issued with appeared to be headed ROYAL Grosvenor Hotel, which might well explain their decision to stay at an apparently Regally endorsed establishment ...
That evening, the nightwatchman on reception reluctantly produced a bowl of crisps for the band to snack upon, post-gig, with the comment "Please don't get any on the carpet". My immediate question, surveying the tatty, holey floor covering was How would anyone even notice?
Meanwhile, Bobby Rondinelli was lungeing at Danny Miranda's throat. Seems Bobby was somewhat tetchy at Danny's constant references to rock band Kiss. Danny reponds with "Aw man - you're just pissed you didn't get the gig back in the day!" (Apparently Rondinelli failed the drummer's audition following the death of Kiss stixman Eric Carr. Doubt they'd have let him smoke onstage, anyway ... Aside from which, imagine Bobby Rondinelli in make-up!)
Still breathless, sweating and euphoric in the minutes following the second encore at the Leadmill in Sheffield I was talking to Hans-Olav Thyvold by the bar. We had been corresponding by e-mail and via the BÖC Discussion Group for some time and it was nice finally to meet up with him. H-O is a journalist from Norway with his own radio program and a rabid BÖC fan. Somehow he had managed to blag his way onto the tour bus for four of the UK dates where he conducted a series of interviews with the band to be broadcast on his show at a later date. So we're standing by the bar when he says:
"Excellent I see you have a camera - I don't and I need some pictures of me with the band. If it wouldn't be a bother would you mind taking some for me?"
For a second I stared at him in mingled wonder and pity. Poor guy. Was he under the influence of some illicit substance or perhaps just of severely limited intelligence? What did he expect me to say? Perhaps something along the lines of: "Well yes actually I do mind. It's extremely inconvenient. Find someone else."
Then I realised it was only his exquisite Scandinavian manners that led him to couch his request in such a courteous and diffident way.
"I'd be happy to" I replied in a cool and offhand manner whilst inwardly screaming "OMIGOD!! WOW!! I'M GOING TO MEET THE BAND. OMIGOD!!!"
"Great," he says, "I'll go and see it they want to do it now backstage or in the morning back at the hotel. Back in a minute."
Still not quite believing my luck I waited impatiently for his return gazing round distractedly at the people around me and not quite taking in what the man at my side was saying. If that was you I do apologise I'm not normally that vague and I hope you don't think I was being unfriendly but I was going to meet the band and there was no room for any other thought in my head. My eye fell on a little group a few yards away. Two fans with tour shirts and baseball caps talking to a man with long dark hair wearing a black leather waistcoat and a sleeveless t-shirt. The dark haired man's eyes caught mine and he smiled. I smiled back.
'Oh that's nice,' I thought. 'Bobby just smiled at me.'
You'll have to take my word for it that I truly am not quite that 'blonde' under normal conditions. I saw his smile become a frank laugh as my jaw dropped audibly. OMIGOD!! Bobby Rondinelli just smiled at me!!! OK so now he was laughing at me but hey that was fair my face must have been ludicrous. It took a gentle nudge from H-O to get my attention. His expression became one of amused sympathy as he followed my gaze over to Bobby.
"I'll introduce you if you like," he said.
If I liked? Either this guy was seriously taking the piss or he just didn't know what he was dealing with here. As a Sabbath/Rainbow/ you name it Heavy Metal devotee of many years standing I was a Rondinelli fan long before he became drummer to the best band in the world. And here was someone offering to introduce me to him. OMIGOD!!
"Hey Bobby come and meet Karen," cries my new Norwegian best friend.
I can't remember at all what conversation we had being in a sort of starstruck daze but somehow I found myself backstage in the dressing room with Blue Öyster Cult taking pictures of them with H-O. I remember shaking myself into semi awareness whilst discussing Ian Dury and the Blockheads with someone. Neither of us could remember the name of a certain song even though the tune was maddeningly there in our heads. It was 'Reasons to Be Cheerful' by the way Eric if you ever read this. It came to me around 3 am but you'd already gone to bed and I didn't think to mention it to Bobby or Danny or Buck. Yes - I was talking about the late great Ian with Eric Bloom. OMIGOD!!!
Then we were outside and I was taking a picture of Buck with some fans (hi Roy).
And suddenly I was on the tour bus and someone was offering me a cigarette. I totally forgot I'd given up five months previously and took it. Well what would you do if you were sitting opposite Allen Lanier and he was offering you a cigarette? What did we talk about? Haven't a bloody clue but I remember he was nice. He and Eric went straight to bed when we reached the hotel. Buck stayed around just long enough to send me and Lesley (Gareth's wife) into raptures by kissing us both on the cheek. OMIGOD!!! What an incredibly nice man.
Next we were all sitting around on sofas drinking beer Bobby, Danny, Neville the bus driver (an absolute star in his own right - a blunt Yorkshireman from my own home town Leeds with the driest sense of humour) me, Lesley, Gareth, an American guy whose name eludes me but who had travelled to see the band from the States - there's devotion for you. H-O was playing pool with Woody the soundman.
Danny and Bobby traded insults and put downs growing increasingly offensive to each other and keeping the rest of us in fits of laughter. Danny said they had a love/hate relationship. Danny loves Bobby and Bobby hates Danny. Most of it centred around Bobby's love of expensive designer pens and Danny's lack of patriotism. I'm not entirely sure how it happened but at one point I was talking on Bobby Rondinelli's cellphone to Danny Miranda's mother. Yes it's true I swear. Bobby was telling Danny's mother that her disgraceful son had been saying he'd rather be a Canadian than an American and that he had the Canadian National anthem as his cellphone ring tone and that here was an English lady to confirm this was true.
What a lovely lady she was and completely unfazed by speaking to some strange English woman out of the blue. And if she ever reads this I ask her to please forgive me. I was so sure Bobby was joking when he asked if I wanted to talk to Danny's mother that I babbled like an idiot when I realised that there really was someone on the line. Thanks Bobby - I will get you back for that one day. We then all sat by greatly interested as Danny was forced to endure a diatribe from his mother. We couldn't hear what she was saying but it was obvious she was tearing strips off him judging by his pained winces and vain attempts to protest his innocence.
Buck made an unexpected reappearance. He sat and talked to us for hours as if we'd known him forever - I can't emphasise enough what a seriously lovely person he is. It has all taken on the quality of a dream three weeks on but a wonderful dream. It was a rare privilege to spend time with the band and such a thrill. My one regret is that I couldn't go on to Glasgow the following day even though I was sorely tempted and pressed. Receiving an e-mail from Hans-Olav upon his return to Norway didn't help especially as he pointed out that not only did I miss another brilliant set I had an all-areas access VIP guest pass waiting for me on the door authorised by Buck himself. Damn.
Whilst the venue in Glasgow was unique and memorable, I have to say it was a crap choice for a rock band (Can I just stress again IT WAS A BLOODY BOAT!) The acoustics were pish and the view was restricted for at least 60% of the crowd.
The ventilation was poor, so bad that the boys had to get fans plugged in halfway through the set to clear the smoke.
Still the gig itself was great even from the rather unusual vantage point of looking down from above just to the rear of the side of the stage looking down onto Allan's keyboards.
The support band consisting of 2 Aussies on acoustic and drums doing a blues/folk thing were tremendous and the boys made the best of the cramped sweaty conditions (Red and the Black a personal highpoint).
It was good to meet a lot of the guys from the board. Mike did a nice role reversal - autographing something himself (his book what he wrote) to give to the band! (?did you get it to them Mike?) as well as providing top notch sounds in the bar beforehand thanks to a CD compilation (I think you had just left when Siege and Investiture came on and the Metallica Version of Astronomy was a nice touch) Eric wins the "is that a mircophone in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me" award, and it was good to meet Trevor Bowman down from Aberdeen.
The highlight of the night however was undoubtably being asked by a rather scantily clad young lady whether I wanted "any buisiness"!on the way back to the car - Good to see the spirit of free enterprise is alive and well in Glasgow! (and before you ask no I didn't!).
Anybody else feeling a bit low now that its all over? In the words of the late great Spike Milligan: "what are we going to do now...what are we going to do now..what are we going to do now...."
The gig was a weird choice, but cool in a sort of way. I have been to some pretty large gigs with bands like Aerosmith, ACDC and Metallica, but they beat them hands down in terms of atmosphere.
Accoustically, the set was terrible - at least from where I was. Imagine a small car ferry, and standing on the car deck - I was standing about 25 feet back, where the mezzanine floor is overhead. Apparently the sound was much better up close, but I didn't feel like wrestling with a fair number of fellow BÖC-ers!
Having said that, it was a real blast to see them in the flesh for once. I read a post recently saying that you can listen to the albums, read gig reports and hope, but it doesn't compare to being there. Too true. I've been listening to them since being an undergrad in St-Andrews (we used wax tablets back then!), and missed the last chance to see them about five years ago. In total, I have been waiting for a gig I could get to since about 1988. Their stage presence was a pleasant surprise.
After the gig, Bobby was the only band member who really hung around while I was there, but he did sign the two album covers I had with me - BÖC and Secret Treaties. I know the purists will say that I should have taken albums that he had drummed on, but hey, I was too pumped up to think clearly before the gig!
Don't know if anyone taped the gig, but security seemed very relaxed indeed about photos. One guy was standing about five feet in front of Eric, and snapping away happily with flash. The guys seemed totally OK about it, unless they managed to squirrel the guy away and beat the crap out of him!
All in all, I was very impressed. What the gig lacked in terms of sound quality (hey, it was a ferry with a greenhouse on top, for God's sake!), it made up for with their presence. I would definitely go and see them again, and will even consider crossing the Atlantic to see them, if all else fails. A guy from Edinburgh I was talking to at the gig compared it very favourably to the Newcastle show...
Well, I thought about doing an indepth gig report but Steve (Dizbustologist) has pretty well covered all the points. A few others spring to mind - Danny was wearing a Nazareth T-shirt (neat - see pic 2 above), and during Dominance Eric changed into a Scotland soccer shirt (nice one!). The fans (electric ones) were brought on between COF and Perfect W - one was taped to one of the monitors and a second round mesh-type one was sat beside it. Didn't seem to help much, tho - it really was mighty warm.
And that's the thing - the first idea that struck me and my buddy Stewart on arrival was that this was a mental venue, but not really a rock venue! (When I heard that BOC were playing the Renfrew Ferry a few months ago, I did some investigating and found that the other 2 main rock gigs in town, the Barrowland Ballroom and the Garage, had nothing booked on that night. Hmmm, go figure.) In the Ferry you have a smallish stage before a rectangular floor with a balcony running all the way around and above. Downstairs and upstairs was packed: don't know if it was a sellout but all them bodies turned it into a sauna on the Clyde! Yeah, not really a rock venue, yet it was a very intimate setting - almost as if the whole audience was enclosing the band - a very good feeling, very friendly and benevolent, as if we were welcoming back some old, good friends.
Other highlights: Last Days of May was just astonishing - as if they've turned that long middle section into something between a reggae and a salsa beat, with amazing guitar which got cranked up and up towards the end, finishing with Danny and Buck on their knees duelling like mad!
Then there was Allen, not just keys but guitar too - and what a player the guy is! With Eric's vocals and presence and Buck's guitar (now this guy... I haven't seen anyone so in control of the instrument since the last time I saw Zappa), and Danny and Bobby hammering away in the engine room (!), it was a night to remember. Could well be the Gig of the Year (and I've already seen Flower Kings and Pallas and Mostly Autumn since Jan).
Yes, Steve, I did manage to get a copy of me book into Buck's hands; I think he was a bit nonplussed tho', having a fan giving a signed object to him and the band. Hopefully, someone'll get to read it and maybe get some feedback. (In retrospect, maybe should have spoken to Woody or someone..)
Agree totally about Derrin Naundorf, the support guy (and his percussionist) - they were excellent (and I'm playing their CD even as I type).
So all in all, one blinder of a night - just hope they'll be coming back real soon. And maybe we'll get them in a better venue.
The band Medication were on between UTG and Headstrong. I thought "wow, I like this singer's voice" and my buddy reminded me it was Whitfield Crane from Ugly Kid Joe. They had stickers and lotsa of promo going on but sank w/o a trace as far as I know.
Anyway, a nice day for rock. Caught a glimpse of Joey Belladonna mingling backstage while I was browsing the merch tent. Quite a mix of numetal, cover bands, and classic rock led by Foghat and BOC.
I enjoyed hearing "Perfect Water" which I had assumed I'd never hear live since CN is low on the list of popular LPs by the Boys.
At one point Lanier pitched a fit concerning his keyboard setup or connection. He went to sit down at one point and missed the bench. Landing on his backside to the chuckles of the drunks in the crowd led to him stomping off into the wings for a while. The band kept going and he returned in a bit. The perils of rock stardom!
To end the show was "Lips"... which was the 1st time I had heard that brilliant track live. Syracuse and the Cole Muffler Court (what an exciting name for a venue!) on flame w/rock n roll.
Full (intended) setlist was:
This was a very lightly attended concert outside at a casino, molly hatchet got rained out the night before so when we got our money back we bought boc tickets...
As I walked into the concert i asked if cameras where ok? Guard said yes so went back to my car and got my camera and took a ton of pics from about 5ft away.
Even though there may have been 300 people there(?) they gave a great show... I have a cool pic of Al, Eric and Buck all together jammin!!!...
Eric has a band-aid on his forehead... seemed like they where playing a concert just for my friend and I... very cool
I've seen a lot of live shows and this was in the top five all time...
the oysterboys were out for blood as they prepared to rehearse the setlist for the filming of the upcoming dvd next week in chicago's navy pier...as long as the weather held out. somewhere during the changeover between bands, mother nature decided to listen to the concerns of eric, buck and gang as the skies began to clear up just in time for history to wake up and prepare.
opening with burning for you, their MTV hit, never quite sat right with me until experiencing it in person. the masses were immediately indoctrinated into what the disciples know about the power of this band live and all became one. buck's solo was brillant and very animated as i was once again reminded that this is a great pop rock song...and now one of the big three was out of the way. i now fully understand why eric has set this one up as an opener and it makes sense and felt right to me.
bloom then confidently led the crew into one of my early favorites, OD'd on life itself, which helped show off the 3 axe army and great guitar harmonies between allen and buck. despite being a total staple these days, eti came out strong and very powerful as danny stepped into the picture with great animated moves that sequestered the crowd into action just in time for a "new one", dance on stilts, with buck singing strong and proud and sporting that killer opening riff. the end of this song has a real anthem feel that seemed to grab the attention of people that have never heard the song and will hopefully buy the disc.
i have always loved eric's visuals on harvester of eyes and tonight's lights really enhanced things with nice work from lightman and tour manager, bill. that evil chunking rhythm that is powered by buck brought us to the dark side for the first time of the evening. i'm glad i had my shades on as bloomman pulled some eyes out of the back of their skulls with ease! it's instrumental time as buck's boogie kicks into high gear and allen steps up front wearing a gorgeous new telecaster and laying down great harmonies. drummer bobby rondinelli rose to the forfront as his driving steady grooves propelled us into the next dimension ... but it is BUCK's boogie and the audience is laid to waste by the effervesing power, style, prowess, timing, and feel of one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
perhaps the first real highlight of this show for those of us that see multiple shows came next with the amazing evil insanity of quicklime girl (the mistress of the salmon salt). i had never experienced this great tune which was resurrected earlier this year and one could tell as my jaw was on the wet grass below throughout the entire song. buck's closing lines were incredible and allen's hammond (C-3 i believe) and leslie spun into full form action. i realize that it is tough to cart one of those heavy setups around but i would recommend that it gets added to the band's rider so ALL can feel the wonder of this master of the keys. QLG is written for allen to shine and he sure did. the next classic was also a first-timer for me (back to back!) and has always been one of my favorite songs, flaming telepaths. great guitar lines swarming around awesome and visual lyrics enveloped into a sea of madness as the joke's on us and bill's fantastic use of strobes takes us into a land of psychedelic majesty and mayhem. i really hope this one makes the cut for the dvd as it provided the feel of classic cult like no other song of the evening.
heaven forbid we get another relatively new song so the harvest moon rises to let buck tell his first strange and spooky tale of the evening. the double-timing of the middle section sent shivers through the crowd as the sky seemed to clear up for the first time all day, just in time for the show-stopping last days of may in which allen gets a very nice and long guitar lead (and the beautiful new tele gets to sing long and loud) as the rhythm section proves they are not to be messed with. the buildup during buck's ling journey of a solo is a lesson in dynamics that all musicians should be required to view and the beauty of this flowing tale of psychedelic progression and tempo madness are one of the reasons i follow these greats around the midwest each summer.
and it is only mid-set! am i dreaming?
allen steps into the spotlight again as the eerily haunting grave of joan crawford opens to reveal more magical lights and great bloom antics. soundman woody gets to have fun in the middle by panning and swelling the center section sound effects that pull the crowd into singing the final chorus. allen's outtro piano solo sends chills down by spine. he seemed very confident and relaxed as he owned the spotight when it came his way.
the classic staple cities on flame follows with fantastic crowd involvement on each and every chorus and once again i am impressed by the timing and magnitude of the full-blown light show. of course, buck's shiningly enigmatic guitar solo is very entertaining as it intertwines humor with guitar pyrotechnics and grasps the attention of anyone that ever wanted to play guitar. it seems my mind is being read as i get treated to my first ME262 next, an incredible rocker that represents early BOC at its most rockin' and culminates in such a great and twisted vocal-harmonied chorus...real hard rock at its finest-and time to boogie like a madman.
mother nature agrees so she boogies a slight rainfall on the tightly-knit crowd and ice dog's daughter points out the beauty of the perfect water dancing in a spotlight. i don't know if it was next on the list or an eric audible but buck begins playing the chordal progression that is perfect water with amazing timing as the light and friendly rain passed over and upon us. i am so glad that the fans voted this song into the active setlist this year and i commend the band for listening as it is a wonderful live tune that shows the positive and upbeat side of the oysters and buck's outtro solo is amazing beyond belief as he's singing throughout much of it as well-TRue talent!
had enough yet?
hell no! eric fires up his hellacious biker voice as buck's fast and killer opening riff to lips in the hills begins, another great example of what hard rock is all about. once again the buckster blinds us with amazing speed and vivacious fire from beyond the realms of mortals and we are left in the smoking dust only to marvel.
ahhhhhhhh the big two - 'zilla and reaper. as one who likes to own the buck zone during the show, this has become a time for me to cruise the surroundings a bit and take in the feel and aura of the crowd as well as get a full-spectrum mix from woody-one of the finest live mixers in the business. they play these songs to frightening perfection and i love to dance about in the sea of crowd energy, absorb their vocal "abilities", and say hello again to woody.
the solos given to the fabulous combo of danny and bobby during godzilla are well-deserved and have become a crowd favorite as a reminder of the daze of old when almost all heavy bands had moments like this. both fabulous talents are showmen and tasty veterans that know how to get an audience involved and shine brightly when their windows open. buck's solo before DFTR tonight seemed brief but his outtro solo was incredible, of course. the harmonies are strong on this classic and everybody goes completely insane, especially those first-timers that have waited over an hour-and-a-half (HA!) to hear it. woody's mix was absolutely fabulous and the clarity of the system was superb!
encore ... (S!) wow, we get three more songs! are we worthy? there's has been so much talk about astronomy being played and yet i have been blessed with it at my last two wisconsin shows...and am very pleased. the amount of "thank you"s that came from the front of the buckzone after this sought-after rockin' ballad was overwhelming. what can i say? a superb opening freezes the crowd into bewildered excitement and eric sings with a soulful passion that we have not seen yet tonight-very heartfelt and deep. this is a great and special song that almost brings tears of joy and buck reaches a plateau of playing that few can even dream of deciphering...loss for words...(what?!)...
still there is more...
dominance and submission has become one of those live anthems of gestaltic release and everyone present joins in with raging fist and energetic screams of fury. eric is in charge and don't you forget it as it is time to rock hard and heavy. a similar energy continues to flow as those red and black canadian mounties appear full of charging adrenaline and guitar madness...it's alright!
what another amazing event right here in the midwest-when it is summer time this area knows how to rock and the oysterboyz make plenty of stops. the show was a mere $8, beer was very affordable, plenty of port-a-potties around, very clean, and great staff letting us do our thang. if anything even close to this happens next week in chicago...and it will!...the upcoming dvd is going to be so hot that stores will have to shelve it in a freezer.
thanks for taking the time to read my second "novel" - see ya at the pier!
Racine Harborfest. This was an excellant show. You have a good review from Weavil, so I won't get into that, except to say this was a killer "dress rehearsal" for the DVD that they were going to film the following Saturday in Chicago.
I did get a chance to talk to Buck and Bobby at this show only briefly. I was helping a friend of mine that was catering this show. At the end of the show we got back stage 'cause I was "catering"...
Yes we were there. What else can be said. Great time. I appear in crowd a couple of times with wife and friends. Killer show. No backstage, or meet'n'greet for this one
The following link says a band called "Mother Root" was also on the bill, but I understood from reports that BOC were the only band on that night...
Well, fellow BOC fans, I have to say that everything I've been reading on the J&A site about this incredible band of 50's-ish hard rockers is TRUE TRUE TRUE.
Tonight, they played at the "Sarasota Kennel Club" for a verylame "Sarasota Fest" with Jefferson Starship as the headliners! Of course, I could make some snide comments about the "girl and Greyhound at leather's end" or or something corny like that that only BOC-heads would get, but I won't.
What I will do is tell you that I screamed my voice raw and clapped my hands to bloody hand-burger cheering on Eric Bloom, Buck Dharma, Allen Lanier, Bobby Rondinelli and Danny Miranda play a great set of tunes that I have been aching to see them play for almost 30 years.
They only played an hour, but they played enough notes to last me for a lifetime. Highlights included an Buck's solo and incredible rave-up ending on LDOM following Allen's tasteful solo. And Danny Miranda's solo covered all possible ground. And Eric's guitars were awesome, works of art really.
I last saw them in Sep 1973 in Hollywood FL, sandwiched in the middle of a show with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Spirit and Focus. They were the loudest band I ever heard, and I loved every minute of them then.
So tonight I finally got to see them play live in their current incarnation. And I was right up front, in the third row, unbelievably, with empty chairs around me!!! Although puzzled at first, I didn't worry for long about where everyone else was. I would go to the same place to see them if they came through again. And even further, I suppose...
I get the picture that alot of these online fans hit the road and track the band or fly to their gigs, such as the recent Navy Pier show where the band played 21 tunes and did the filming for the DVD...Now THAT would have been well worth the trouble and expense!!!
Later, on reflection, I attributed the empty seats to poor advertising, as well as the reality of life in subtropical Florida, where every afternoon in the summer, we get a healthy cloudburst of rain (which had well cleared up by the time BOC took the stage). This tends to put a damper on folks attending outdoor concerts in the summer here...
Plus: Sarasota is about one hour south of Tampa-St Pete on the southwest coast of Florida. It's rare when any band makes it south of Orlando or Tampa... this part of the state is viewed as a retirement village with few venues. I frankly didn't expect to see tons of folks there anyway. I had tried to see them earlier this year in April in south Florida but got skunked by work. I have to tell you, that Danny Miranda is one rocking dude. And Buck is really incredible. Live, all of these guys exude Rock Star Coolness, even at this ridiculous dog track venue. Obviously, the band needs to make money, and these "-fest" gigs must allow them to do that. I remember that their tour schedule has them all over the US this summer... it's not like they were in Florida anyway and they just used this to piece an itinerary together.
It was great fun singing along and bopping and dancing to these great tunes with the Hispanic mom, daughter and dad next to me and the very interesting looking chicks in the front row (thanks you very hot ladies, you made my day!), as well as a hardy seasoned and appreciative crowd of a few hundred (I'm only guessing...I don't think there were tons of people here).
The promoter did a very lousy job of promoting the show...I didn't even know about it until the 4th. And the empty stands showed. But it was very inspiring to see the band play with such enthusiasm and professionalism, even though the audience was small (but obviously loyal!).
Of course, I got the Godzilla T-shirt and the Reaper T-shirt...new duds for "Casual Fridays" at the office! I think folks there will be impressed!
A great time!!
Final Thought: I mentioned Sarasota is regarded as a retirement community: I think that the day of the "retirement village rock concert" is just about on us! Instead of dancing to the sounds of the Glen Miller Orchestra, we'll be banging our heads to DFTR (maybe a little too earnestly!)
I can just imagine the chaos at the monthly retirement community's association as the types of bands that will play at the retirement community center and all-purpose auditorium is debated:
"No, that's lame, man. Foghat!"
"Foghat? One-hit wonders, dude! We want Aerosmith!"
"You want corporate crap like Aerosmith? How about the "thinking man's heavy metal band, Long Island's favorite, Blue Oyster Cult?"
A repetitive chant starts to swell from the crowd, "BOC! BOC! BOC!"
The association president starts banging his gavel on the formica table top, breaking the mallet into a hundred pieces, "Order! Order in the room!" By now the crowd is chanting, "3000 guitars, they seem to cry..." And someone plugs in their combination MP3player and hearing-aid into the intercom, "It's been 10 years, half my life..."
Later that year, the following article was published in the Annual Sun City-Village-Place Newsletter:
This year, by overwhelming voice vote, Blue Oyster Cult ended up being the band for the annual summer soy-steak-fest within our new hermetically sealed and air-purifying all-purpose community center and auditorium.
The boys, looking trim and lively, sporting Kronos insignias on their walkers, cranked through tunes from all 30 of their albums, dating back 50 years to their first album, from which they started the set with "Last Days of May (and June and Sam and a bunch of other folks)" and concluded the set with a rendition of "Very-Tenderloin", which drew a knowing smile from most of the folks here, as a snide-reference to how tough the soy-simulated ribs actually were these days.
The crowd rocked in their rockers and rolled in their strollers to the best sounds of modern rock left over from the 20th century. When asked, the band agreed that they had never seen such a loyal and appreciative band of oldsters, and god willing, were going to back next year, as soon as they completed recording their 31st studio album, "Curse of the Hidden Dentures.
People have said that they wished BOC would play less of these type of gigs.... My response to the idea of fewer but higher quality shows is that maybe the market is different for these guys now and to them, these shows are as good as any other, and it creates the rare opportunity for fans like me to actually get to see them without flying across the country. I just hope that they can continue without burning out. Ha, there's probably a good parody in there somewhere, "I'm burnin', I'm burnin', I'm burnin' out for you!"
Like the Seinfeld show-within-the-show concept, this report is essentially about nothing. But you know I've gotta write it anyway. You have been warned.
For once my efforts to get to a show early succeeded. Karmically that was perhaps my first mistake, since I'm usually late to things but get excellent shows.
After picking my way slowly through the usual rash of oil spills and smoking wrecks along the New Jersey Turnpike, I swing onto I-78 & get a clear sail westward for the remaining 80 miles to Bethlehem. It is brutally hot in my non-AC-equipped Honda, but since I keep moving I've got the breeze.
Hit the exit, pull out the little Musikfest map I'd downloaded, follow the local route straight to Central Parking, where all the Fest info on the Net urges you to park since "downtown parking is limited." This place is creepy, it's a huge cinder lot on the wrong side of the river with about 20 cars there & no shuttle buses, let alone people, in sight. Screw it, I'm headin for downtown.
I know the Bethlehem area a bit, I'd driven out there many times to meet with folks at a branch office of my former company in one of those corporate-parks-in-a-cornfield north of town. I don't know the downtown area too well, been through it twice when I tired of driving back home the same old way & tried to seek alternate routes. So I know that this area can be very disorienting, it's easy even for me to lose my normally excellent sense of direction. Sure enough, I twist around a few times, eventually realize I've gone way north of wherever downtown is, pull into a mall, study the map again, head back south. I pass a bank where the thermometer sign says 101. Ouch that's hot. Try another turn, I seem to be heading even further from downtown, but then I hit an intersection with Market St. This part of town isn't on the map but I know that if I head west I should get there. Soon I'm driving past tree-lined blocks of charming old Victorian houses. I see New St., I'm on the map! Head north to Broad & find the little municipal lot I'd spotted. It is virtually empty. Downtown parking limited, right. Idiots. It's an hour till showtime, might as well kick back, have a smoke, drink some water & relax for a while.
Load up pockets & get ready to head down to the river. I consider carrying the Goretex rain jacket I'd brought due to the forecast of scattered T-storms. But it's still 98 or so, there are a few little clouds out west but nothing big, so I leave the jacket.
Stroll through "historic downtown Bethlehem" as all the signs tell you. It really does have a nice feel to it, things are well kept up. I pass an historical marker where some grand old dame sewed a flag that Kosciusko's regiment carried until the end of the Revolution. Cool enough. I keep heading down, find some stairs down to a little waterside park & a lovely wooden bridge across a tributary of the Lehigh. This is nice! Can't help but feel it's gonna be a glorious evening. On the other side of the bridge you turn left & hit one of the Foodplatz areas of the Fest. Everything imaginable is on offer but it's gonna wait till after the show. Walk thru, glancing at the vendors' locations - just where is that Carolina BBQ Co.? - out the far end.
I cross another bridge - the venue is on a little island in the middle of the Lehigh, THIS is really cool - give up tik, next I know I'm walking by the backstage area, then the stage itself. Seats are fenced off to my right, vendors to the left, not much space to walk in between. (This will only get worse.) Head back to check out the lawn. Stage is pretty far away but what the heck, this is the place to hang. Not many people here yet, no sign of any onliners. Decide to head back to the backstage area, figure folks may be hanging around there if they've arrived.
Some monster bass sounds emanating from the stage, Danny is up there doing a last-minute sound check & knob-tweaking & whatnot. As I pass by backstage, Danny is just walking down the stairs, mug of something steaming in one hand, I guess he's getting a little more caffeinated to gear up for the show. Ha excellent! This bodes well for a rockin night to remember!
Hang for a bit, don't see anyone familiar. It's 6:50, even if the show doesn't start at 7:00 sharp, figure it's time to stake a place on the lawn, I'll find the online crew eventually. As I'm trekking back past the reserved-seat corrals, lightening is crashing to earth from an ominous black cloud in the distance off to the southwest. I realize the whole sky has grown overcast, but it looks like the black stuff is gonna stay north. Wow, BOC is gonna play with a thunderstorm as the light show! Outstanding! It's just after 7:00, they're bound to start any minute, time to get PSYCHED!
Silly me. You know what happens two minutes later: the lightening strides ever closer, the blackness spreads across the sky, a monster wind whips up, & suddenly a brutal rain is pelting us. It's hitting at a 45 degree angle. There is no shelter except for those who choose to stay in the Port-O-Sans. I see nothing to do except sit down in front of two tall trash cans with my back to the wind. I'm actually quite comfy there for about 10 minutes. Then the wind decides to die and in 30 seconds I'm soaked to the bone.
This rain seems to go on forever. I lose track of time, it's at least a half hour before it starts to taper off, but it doesn't stop, not for a good while yet. Lightening is crashing all around, the thunder is so close that you understand why our ancestors invented tales of Thunder Gods. I am simply numb, going from the brutal heat to this interminable icy shower. I wish I'd worn a CoolMax shirt instead of this cotton one, that at least would dry quickly, but I'm destined to be damp all night. So it goes.
FINALLY the rain stops enough that I feel like walking around again. My match heads have dissolved in my pockets, my lighter is so soaked it will take 45 minutes to dry, I am cadging lights from people who somehow kept their lighters dry. Decide to head back toward backstage to see if anyone's there. The crowds next to the vendors are madding. Get about halfway back, spot Jim/jcobst & his sister. At last! He says that Alex & Pete & Ed & Michelle & families are further back but making their way to the lawn. Fine, I can't deal with this crowd, back to the lawn. Jim spots BlueOysterBoy 2.0 & his family. We hang & chat. Alex & Michelle & kids show up, hugs all around, Ed & Pete are en route from parking the car. Soon Ed shows up, Pete is somewhere behind, but yes! The vibe is back!
Until, of course, we look at the stage & see what appears to be the wrong drum kit & stacks of Marshalls. I whip out my binoculars - thank God they're waterproof -- & sure enough, BOC's equipment is gone. A sinking feeling sets in. Alex talks to someone on her cell & tells us that BOC has left the venue, they are not playing tonight. Curses! So much for the 30th anniversary show. Alex & Michelle & kids leave, I don't see them again. Ed hangs a bit & chats, then says something about backstage & goes off, don't see him again either. A guy trots on stage, says that BOC will not be playing, but don't worry, Guess Who will be out in just a little while. A serious chorus of boos erupts.
Now I am looking at the sky behind the stage. This bloody thunderstorm seems to have taken a right turn & looks like it may be circling back at us. I start to panic, I do not want to be drenched again, so say "so long" to Jim & Kate and head off.
I get back to the backstage area & pause. The storm doesn't seem to be moving any closer, I somehow sense it's not going to hit again. I look at where it is and realize I'd be driving right back into it if I try to head home now. Not a fun idea. I decide I've got nothing to lose, & possibly a safe drive to gain, if I hang & try to make the best of what this night has dealt; I'll listen to some of Guess Who, then seek out the Carolina BBQ Co. at the Foodplatz & generally chill out. Stroll back towards the lawn one more time, run into Jim & Kate on their way out, say 'bye again.
Back on the lawn. The storm seems to have smeared itself almost 180 degrees across the sky. Lightening is crackling from one cloud to another, bolts shoot down, converge into one giant stalk & zap the earth, looking like gigantic electric trees flashing in & out of existence. It's an incredible show. Good thing because nothing's happening on stage. I keep my head turned to the sky.
Finally the guy trots out on stage again & says he's a DJ from 99.9 WUSS (those oughta be their call letters), where they "bring you classic rock, without the hard rock, all day long." What??? How can they say that & be hosting a show with BOC? That karma is just plain wrong. If only I'd known.
Guess Who finally shows up at 9:20. For this I got soaked & waited 2 & 1/2 hours. OK I'll give 'em a chance. They do two midtempo songs I don't know; one may be new, it mentions the Taliban. They play well but there is a certain lack of energy. They break into These Eyes; the crowd cheers, that makes them a little suspect in my eyes. Then the band goes into Hand-Me-Down World. This was one of their snappier hits, but they've slowed it down, it's lost its edge. I think fleetingly of what the Who did on stage just 2 nights ago, compare it with this, and realize I've had enough.
As I'm leaving, they kick into You Ain't Seen Nuthin Yet, a little BTO, finally they're picking up the pace. OK, the show may get better, but I'm too tired & hungry to care, on to the Foodplatz! I never do find that Carolina BBQ Co., but the local specialties look mighty tempting. I go with a bratwurst & German potato salad. Absolutely first-rate. The deal here is, you grab your food & take it to the tables inside the huge polka tent. About 100 people are polka-ing away. There's more energy happening here than with the Guess Who. It's more entertaining than it might seem at first glance. It reminds me of a Greek festival that Sheila & I stumbled on up in the Catskills a few summers ago, where everyone was dancing away to that wonderful Greek music. I think of how this is what we humans have done on summer nights for thousands of years, we dance away to the music that calls to us. It's one of our better rituals. Shame it didn't happen with BOC on this of all nights.
I still crave something sweet, so I grab a warm cherry strudel from Helmut the strudel vendor & take it back into the tent. To die for! Crispy, buttery, juicy, it's pastry perfection. Now I feel semi-human again & ready for the hike back up to the car.
Up on Main Street, a 3-block section is closed to cars for the Fest. Bunches of kids stroll up & down the street, at the cross streets you can see lights twinkling across the Lehigh valley. I am reminded of Spoleto, where you have similar views at night from its main street, and I suddenly feel like I'm back in Italy, watching the passagietta that takes place every evening in every little town over there. Except here it's temporary, there are no sidewalk cafes where you can stop for an espresso or gelato, & the kids don't dress as well. Still, it's a nice thing while it's here.
Up the block I watch two cops toss an old drunk into a squad car & drive carefully up the street to where they can turn. A kid jumps out of the crowd & starts banging on the side of the car. Three street cops run up & say "OK that's enough." The kid starts yelling, "That's my dad, that's my dad!" The cops let him open the door & talk to his dad for a few seconds, then pull him back & the squad car drives on. Something sad going on there.
Back to the car. I know that I need to consume the entire thermos of tea which I always carry on road trips to sharpen my senses for the drive. Twenty minutes later I hit the highway. I watch that tremendous spread of lightening ahead, but it stays in front of me all the way home. The trip is a breeze. Home at 1:40, ten hours on from when I left, and a little more than 30 years on now from that first BOC show. You can't always get what you want....
At the Beulah ND gig we braved shitty weather, Beaver Brown agreed to go on a smaller stage while the promoters tried to get the main stage set up again after an earlier wind and rain storm.
We went on, played a song and a half, [Burnin' and the beginning of Godzilla] then all wind and rain broke loose, we're all getting soaked, the drum monitors are about to fall over on Bobby, the light trusses are looking a lot like what happened to Curtis Mayfield, the audience certainly doesn't want to stand in this mess, and we called it a night.
Outodoors, dark and slick ground. On vacation from Denver and arrived very late without a ticket.
The guy at the car entrance to the show/parking area said too late - no ticket sale and no entry. So I parked outside and walked back near the entry and noticed he was gone so I walked in.
Through the loud wind I could hear BOC playing and as I almost got to the show the music quit.
The crowd was coming out against me and the weather got nasty and wet. I didn't want to get trapped in or my car stuck in the mud, so I beat the rush going out.
It was a great concert, the band played to about 30,000 people in the middle of downtown fort worth. One of my top five concerts of all time.
What the Hell is this? Blue Oyster Cult is coming to the town next to mine? Way out here in the middle of North Bumfuck?
Yes sir, a little ski resort called Hidden Valley runs a Summer concert series every couple of years and BOC was part of the 2002 "Thunder on the Mountain" concert series.
Unfortunately, it rained off and on throughout the outdoor concert and I had a little too much to drink (rare for me). I had a great time, they played great and even the young kids in the audience seemed to love it.
Here's a visual for you: Imagine a half dozen 8-year-olds dancing and screaming "Dominance!"... guess you had to be there...
What a great show! Since BOC got rained out/cancelled in Bethlehem, Pa (my home town) during the Musikfest on Aug. 2, I was determined to travel to Vernon, NJ next month to see them live. They almost didn't play this gig because of the off & on rain.
I got to meet and talk to the entire band. I even received each band members autograph on my "Secret Treaties" album cover that I brought with me. It was a precious day. Before the show, I remember bumping into Eric and Allen in the resort. They were kind enough to chat for a little and I got my picture taken with them.
I saw Bobby and Danny near the "band members only room" and they were kind enough to advise me where I could locate Buck. Buck was sitting in his car in the parking lot warming up his vocals. Through his windshield I showed him my Secret Treaties album that it was signed by all the members except for him. He was kind to lower his car window and sign it too. Buck was a really nice guy. We got talking about the "Mirrors" album.
Overall it was a great show. I was so happy they played "Career of Evil" live which is one of my all time favorites. The song "See You In Black" was a special treat too.
About three weeks ago I get an email from a co-worker and he tells me that he has met a guy who used to roady for BOC. Mark, my friend, tells Art, the former roady, about me and my passion for this band. Art says that Mark should have me email him and that he will "hook me up" next time I want to see the band!
Since I was about to go to a show I emailed, he said no problem. I called about a week before the show,and he said "I will call you right back." 5 mins later, he says that he just talked to the drummer, and that I was all set. "How many tickets did I want?" lol! I say two would be just fine, he says "sure you don't want 4??" We settle on 3 incase I get another guy to come along I have been trying to talk into going. Turns out cuz of the weather I am the only one to go.
I get to the venue, the venue....I am not sure that words can descibe this place!!!
LOL! Check out the pics later and decide for yourself, and I ask where do I pick up tickets that have been left for me?? They ask "who left them" I say the band, they ask which band?? When I say BOC, they start treating me like I am some sort VIP!!
WAY too funny! What Art has hooked me up with are tickets and VIP access. I can get into the bar, go back stage (such as it was) pretty much anywhere I want to go! Every time someone asks to see my pass, they say the same thing, 'Oh, your with BOC, you can go where ever you want!" I just shake my head and chuckle!
I should say here, Thanks Art! Your the best!!
The Venue is a bar just off I-94, seats about 200ish, this serves as the VIP area for this outdoor event. The show is taking place in what can only be descibed as a field with a bit of a slight rise in elevation from the stage to the back of the property.
A guy helping with parking says that they sold 3000 tickets, but I bet the crowd for BOC numbered less than 300. Kinda a small club date only out doors!
It is a temporary stage that has been built, corregated roof, with tarps as side walls!! Nothing about this says "permanent"!!
We had torrential down pours all day acrross the lower part of Michigan, but it only rained a little during the warm up act. (Don't ask me about them, I was high and dry in the bar!) Never rained a drop during BOC's set. I was right up front to the right side of the stage, the band was very animated and looked to be having a high time all night! I was surprised at the short set list when I got home, seemed like we had gotten more songs when it was done. Must have been the extended solo'ing during several songs.
I think the highlights of the night for me were hearing Perfect Water and See You In Black for the first time, of course Astronomy!! But the one I keep playing in my head is Bucks Boogie. This has evolved quite a bit since I last saw it in January! And it cooked to say the least!!
All in all, a really good show! Not going to go down as my favorite, but a good strong performance I'd say!!
I went back towards the bar between the stage and dressing rooms after the show to try and catch the guys and see if I could get a picture with some or all, shook hands with Buck and he said they would be out to talk with people in a bit, and that he would be glad to take pic's then. So I cruise on in to the bar and find out its Midnight, and think to myself no way I can stay! Got 90min drive to get home, 35 mins to get back to work by 7am, that will only leave about 3 1/2 hrs to sleep.
But, the thing that really has me wondering.......the warm up act had set up their gear in the bar after the show, it looked to me like "some one" was going to play again that night! I sure hope I didn't miss a little after show show by the boys!!!! That would really bum me out!
I am feeling a little rushed right now, gotta get on a plane for work in 4 hrs and I have a million things to do before I leave.
Prior to this show, I was already psyched. I mean, two shows, one night. How could that be beat? I didn't think it could. But it was.
I left Duluth around noon Saturday for a 4 hour drive to Keshena. Map and Expedia directions in hand, I was out the door. Head over to the local Conoco and grab some munchies and some fuel, and hit Highway 53. Auto pilot set to 72mph, London Calling blaring out of my speakers. It was already a good day. There was not a cloud in the sky. Blue skies abounded and the temperature was a crisp 57 degrees. Windows down and arm on the door. Tonight I was going to see a rock and roll show. Yeah, my favourite group is playing. Do the customary stop in Wausau, WI for some grub and a leg stretch. I was so giddy, I couldn't stop moving.
Just as Murphy's Law dictates, something went wrong. Nothing terrible, but an inconvenience nonetheless. I got lost. Expedia, my navigation choice, failed me for the first time ever. So after 45 mins of driving through farms, towns you could spit over, and cows in the road, I arrived at Menominee Casino and headed to the pre show gathering of online fans in room 1614. Just kidding. It was room 221. This is where I meet RJay and his son Steve. Icedog was there too. RJay made up some cool name tags with a BOC influence for all of us onliners present. Of course Mark and Jeff are there and it was great to see them again. We were just having a jolly old time. The party moved to room 224 due to security and the large tree stump they had up their ass. But oh well. Nothing can ruin this evening.
During a stroll through the hallway, we saw Buck and said hello. Well, it's 6:30. Show time is at 7:00 and I have no tickets in my hand. So we head down to the box office so I can pick up my Row 2 Seats 6,7,8 for Jeff, Mark, and I. Tickets in hand, we headed to the bar for a drink.
It's weird, but as an online fanatic, and having been a part of it since late 1999, I get this feeling of "I know something you don't" to all the people there who are there for Reaper or Godzilla. It's almost a feeling of being an ambassador for the band. Getting the word out, educating the masses. Letting them know that there is a lot more than the big three, and you are missing out. But I digress.
While Jeff, Mark, and I were standing at the bar checking out the crowd, Buck walked over. Sunglasses taken off, "Hey!" Once again, as always, my tard meter is pegged and I become a poster child. But I relaxed. We just had a little chit chat and mentioned the after show gathering we were having in room 224. But now, it is show time.
The venue was nice. Very intimate and had seats. I don't like seats for a BOC show. But what can you do. Woody was in the back working his magic, and I knew this was thr right place for BOC to play. We grabbed our seats and was ready to be aurally accosted by the Blue Oyster Cult. It has been a long 7 months since I saw them in Southern California, and I was ready. Here is the setlist:
Burning For You
Dance On Stilts
Golden Age of Leather
Cities On Flame
Last Days of May
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
The Red & The Black
Danny was, as always, very animated on stage. Eric made an announcement during the intro to Stilts that gave me a good laugh. "We're going to play something off our new album. That's for the 18 of you. To the rest of you who don't know we still make music, the album is called….." I laughed. Of course I was one of 18 he was pointing to, and we screamed! Bucks guitar was on flame. New LDOM intros, new PW intros. We witnessed a new dawn to the intro of the two songs. It was like nothing I have ever heard. Bucks playing is one of the many reasons I stood there with my jaw on the floor. This was the first time I have ever seen Golden Age. The first few rows stood up for the intro with drinks on high. It was great. The first show was awesome. My voice was ¾ fried and I was excited that I could see another show!
We headed up to 224 so I could look at the 200 pics I took of the first show. We were sitting in the room and Jeff had the door open and he was talking to someone. It was Eric. He's a tough one to talk to. Because it's tough to get the chance. But we spoke to him for a second in passing and he basically said, if you liked the first show, wait for the second. In unison, I think I remember, we asked for Career of Evil.
With the door open still, Allen was walking down the hallway. We struck up a conversation with him, and he wound up coming into the room and shotting the shit with us for a while. I wanted to talk about something other than music, so I thought I would talk about fishing. Just as soon as I was going to speak, Mark asked him when he was coming to La Crosse to fish. Bastard!  Anyways, after a few mins, Allen left. We were all dumbfounded. Did this really happen? Are we dreaming? Still giddy, we were just sitting there talking, resting and getting excited for the next show. Knock at the door. Jeff says, "Wow. That was a cool knock!" to which I replied, "Yes. Very sophisticated". Laughs abound. No shit, guess who's at the door. Allen Lanier. He came back just to BS with us some more before heading downstairs to the show. After Allen left, I had to change my underwear. LOL! This night was unreal. I was in a state of shock. Showtime..AGAIN!
We headed downstairs and grabbed a drink and our seats again. Now, of course I was thinking, same show minus a 3 song variant. Well, take a look.
Stairway to the Stars
Lips in the Hills
See You In Black
Career of Evil (plus 2 Career of Weavil's)
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Burning for You
No repeats minus the big three! Eric even asked the crowd if they had repeated anything. They hadn't. Buck and Danny had so much fun on stage. Bobby was laughing. It was a great time had by all. Career of Evil!!!! That was a first for me. Thinking the first show could not be topped, I was cooked at the sound of the band the second go around. They were on FIRE! No words can describe the show tonight! The place had 75 to 80 people in it. It was a nice venue and very intimate.
After the show, I headed upstairs. While I was up there, we got an invite to Room 202 from Allen. The band's hospitality suite. My reaction, "Shut the fuck up! Really?" We headed down there and no one was there. We waited and checked again, but no one. It was early. We headed down to the bar and there was Buck, Danny, and Bobby. Of course, Buck had fans all over talking about this and having him sign that. I didn't want to get involved in that. It's my feeling that it is annoying to anyone to be bombarded like that, and little did I know, later on, I'd have a more personal chance. We headed back upstairs and chilled. We did grab a bit of food from 202 though. We were starving. LOL! Mark came back up and took off his shirt. Apparently, the shirt is one of 17 that our Sal Drake made, and now Buck owns it. We were walking downstairs and found Buck in the hallway walking upstairs. We walked with him up to our floor (Our rooms were 15 feet apart). As we were walking up, we mentioned that we were having a little gathering and Buck was more than welcome to come on over. He said, "Sure" Could this be happening? I am on cloud nine. We waited but after a little bit decided to head over to the Hospitality Suite. So there it was. Buck, Bobby, Danny, and us. Talking, having a good time. I am "OD'd on the Night Itself!!" I couldn't believe what was happening. It seems like a dream. But like all good dreams, it had to end. We said our goodnights and left.
We headed back to our room in a "Oyster Haze". Did this night really happen or am I dreaming the same dream again? We were in the room no more than 3 minutes when the phone rang. Danny Miranda. Calling us. "Are yous guys still up?" "Umm….YEAH!"
So Danny came over for a little bit. We had a drink and talked about music and some of his favs. Danny. In the room. Called us! Hanging out with us!! Danny had to go and as he left he said "Thanks for having me." No….no Danny. It is us who should be saying "Thank you for hanging out with us!"
There are no words to describe how much it means to us (fans) when that type of stuff happens. We idolize you guys and to hang out with some fans is a moment that we will cherish for a lifetime. At least I will. To have Buck or Danny look down and make eye contact and give a nod is like the Pope giving us a blessing.
It is an honor to know you Buck. You are a real class act and one hell of a human being.
I can't come up to an ending to this novel. I'll just close by saying, Go to a show. Go to as many as you can while we still can. The band is the tightest it has ever been.
I really dont know how or where to begin....
3 good buddies, on the way to a show!
Not 1 show, but 2 in one night....
We got to the venue @ 3:00 in the afternoon. Ran into Woody, and Danny's new guitar tech named Eric. They remembered us from the show in Illinois we were just at. Said hello, etc... and off to find another guy we were going to hook up with.
Found their room, as we are knocking on the door we see Buck walking down the hall, and go into the room 2 doors down from ours! He had some food so we left him alone to eat.
Almost show time, we ended up renting a room there for the night, and were getting ready to leave, stepped into the hall, and here come Buck, Danny, and Bobby!
We said hello again, and walked down through the hotel and Casino with them.
While on the way we also talked to Allen and Eric and invited them to our room if they wanted to. Got our tickets (2nd row) had a couple of drinks and went into the venue.
Small place we all said, and smiled! :-)
Made some new friends, and saw old ones as well...
Show starts! 1st show: Burnin, ETI, Stilts, Harvester, Golden Age, Cities, Water, Last Days, Zilla, Reaper, Red and Black! WOW! What a show, and we have 1 more yet!
Went back to our room for the intermission to have a couple of beers...
On the way there we get an invite from Buck and Allen to come to the bands room after the 2nd show!
I had to go to the bathroom, and when I came out there was somebody digging in my cooler looking for a beer, It is Allen! Talked for a minute, and left..2 min later a knock on the door, open the door, there he is again! Said it was boring sitting in his room alone, and wanted to come in and talk! This is a rare treat indeed!
Time for the 2nd show! Out of the room we come, and run into Eric again, said thanks for the 1st show, he said wait till the 2nd one! He asked for a request, and we shouted Career of Evil!
Walk down with them again...
2nd show:Stairway, Teen Archer, Lips, Pocket, Vigil, C-U in Black, Career, Joan, ME262, H.M, Zilla, Reaper, Burnin! Only repeated 3 songs!
Hung for a bit in the bar with them, all were busy, so we went to the room for a bit.
I changed into my Red T shirt and we went back down. Things had quieted down a tad so we got to talk some more... Buck Loved the shirt! Well, I went back to the room, changed again, took the shirt back down to give to Buck, caught him alone in the hall as he was coming up to the room and gave it to him.
Then we all went to the bands room!
Eric and Allen were not there, but the 4 of us and Buck, Danny and Bobby! We were there for an hour or 2 and all said good night..
We 4 got back to the room in disbelief as to what had happened this night when the phone rang.
It was Danny!
He wanted to know if he could come over as he was not tired and didn't want to go to the casino!
He was there for another hour and left... WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! So, that was my incredible day with the Blue Oyster Cult!
I'm still shaking and smiling!
Menomonee Casino show. SET LIST correct and review is excellant.
This show I finally got to talk with Buck 1 on 1 and told him I am SPORT [OH YOU'RE Sport, he said] ok.
I had Danny sign a great 11X14 pic I had taken of him at he Beloit show on 7/13. After show the wife and I sat at a table with Bobby and Danny for awhile.
The next morning at breakfest Buck came to table and said hello to us. Very cool. This was the first time I saw them at a two show night.
The weird thing was not too many people were there, especially the first show.
This casino is in the middle of no where. Green Bay was three hrs away and Milwaukee was 4 hrs away. Very intimate.
October 5, 2002 here in La Crosse, WI, they played at the Oktoberfest grounds during Oktoberfest.
Eric, Buck and Allan Lanier were there, Danny Miranda was on bass and I cannot remember who the drummer was on that tour.
Promo West Pavilion (now the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion) is right across the street from Nationwide Arena.
Occasionally, deals are made with the Columbus Blue Jackets for fans attending games on a concert night, can use their hockey ticket to get into the concert for free. We decided to take advantage of it while we were doing the trick or treat night, and got great tickets to the game, and then made our way to the long line at the show.
During a break in the game, the big video screen played the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" clip, when Damone is approached by some kids looking for BOC tickets, to promote that fans could go on into the concert with their game ticket stub.
Opening the show, and already on stage as hockey fans made their way in, was local radio producer, Dan Orr, and his parody band, The Dan Orr Project, who have been featured on the nationwide Dr. Demento Show. They included their locally popular Buckeye medley.
BOC took the state with Burnin' for You, and tore through an hour and a half all their best music.
As the venue is as much a club with several bars, as is it is a concert hall, when the band broke into The Golden Age of Leather, there were plenty of glasses and bottles of beer raised on high.
In the end I was rewarded with a great hockey game with Blue Jackets beating Dallas, and superior concert party to celebrate.