2004: 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 hardly anybody there. Probably because it was about 30 degrees below zero, and the Patriots game was on. We were psyched though. We felt like we had the band to ourselves.
They sounded great, and we were very close to the stage. A local heavy metal band opened for them... can't recall the name but they were pretty big in Maine for a while, maybe they still are.
There was also a Dave Mathews tribute playing somewhere in the ski village. That would probably draw some younger fans away from the BOC crowd. We hoped that maybe they would book them again but so far no dice.
Here is the set list for the 2004 show in Kingston, NY, with the Pat Travers band opening. I've never written down a set list before, but your site was very helpful to me as I prepared for the show, and I want to give back to your site and the BOC community.
Note #1: After a really long Godzilla version, with long solos by the bassist and drummer, one member (Buck) came to the front for a longish (two minutes?) guitar piece - fairly melodic, with no singing, no drums, just a little backup from the bass guitar. I am not completely familiar with all of BOC's work, but the piece wasn't one I recognized. It was not a part of Godzilla or The Reaper.
Note #2: All three members of the Pat Travers band came out at the start of the piece playing cowbells. Two of them left after about one minute, while one (Pat Travers himself?) stayed the whole song, banging the bell and taking occasional whacks at the cymbals.
This is one I went out to Las Vegas for - I heard it was cancelled due to some legal issue with the NFL. Here is the only thing I could find online:
Steppenwolf was the opener at this show. BOC was originally set to open, but were delayed at the airport. Hence, Steppenwolf went on first and BOC headlined.
This was the most interesting and unique BOC show I've ever seen for one reason - the setlist. The band played a bunch of rarities, and a few tunes, while maybe not rarely played live- they were songs I had never seen, at least.
BOC plays Slim's in SF every year, and in '04 I was hungry to see them again, as it had been 4 years for me seeing them last.
Looking back, this show was a weird one for me - it was not until I had a live recording of this show (big thanks to either Redcap, or Tony O'Rourke) that I truly appreciated how great a show I witnessed. Only because at the time, I was not a big fan of Club Ninja (now I am) or Buck's "Flat Out" album.
There were also a couple of musical goofs during the set- but really nothing major, a missed cue here, a faulty, or not tuned keyboard sound there, maybe a clunker note here, etc... Close enough for Rock & Roll, right? Right! So I had left the gig that night thinking, "ehh, so-so". Today, when I listen back to this show, I can't get over how awesome it was.
The highlights of the evening were the opening "R.U. Ready 2 Rock", old chestnuts and oddities like "Shooting Shark", "Career Of Evil", "Perfect Water", "Black Blade", and for the encore... get this - "Dancin' In The Ruins" and "Maserati G.T. (I Ain't Got You)", how cool is that? These last two songs are I never thought I would see them play, in a million years.
Also hearing "Born To Rock" from Flat Out (great album, btw)? Fantastic. The band was pretty much making up the setlist as they went along, and Eric would say "we're gonna play something different now", etc...
Yes indeed, this was when the band was still taking chances with the setlist, and it was a great show, flubbed notes aside, it was an awesome set from BOC. The band played close to 2 hours that night, and they just went for it - there was a high spirited energy and strong BOC vibe in the air, ya know?.
Also, this would be the last time I saw the Bobby & Danny lineup.
Next up: Jules and Ritchie in '05.
This was an unusual night...
Bobby has new drum pedals which needed adjustment during the show... so Donald did some unaccompanied Beatles and we did In Thee with the help of the BOC Fanclub song book.
Odd audience didn't react much... hard to tell what was going on out there... odd stage, etc. Almost no lighting.
Tomorrow (today) on to Canada.
Tonights' set list at the "Brandon BBQFest" with Molly Hatchet and Paul Rodgers of Bad Company was:
Enjoyed it a lot. My 15-year old BOC convert nephew Jason got into it, too!. Bad sound problems at beginning of set, fixed by Woody (blue cloud over the soundboard).
Despite the short set, they still played the drum and bass solos, albeit mercifully short ones. The crowd of 2000+ (mostly folks whom I don't think follow the band as closely as we do) seemed to enjoy it. The good news about BBQfests and other ridiculously titled summer gigs is that you can see the BOC for a pittance. The bad news is that you are not likely to see them for much more than an hour.
Ah, the lake Erie Speedway fiasco - another local show opportunity without significant travel spoiled by inclement weather. Acts on the bill were as follows, (and I believe the running order was as well):
I believe the order to be correct, but could be mistaken, as before BOC was to play, torrential downpours with exciting lightning bursts came from nowhere, adding themselves to the afternoon's bill.
The speedway was basically in the middle of nowhere, with large open spaces around it, and the bleachers (aluminum), and stage/rigging was probably the largest/tallest structure in the immediate vicinity. Superb place from which to experience the violence of a sudden summer storm - a large open area, surrounded by metal, with large metal structures around.
The storm was relatively brief, but not without consequence. Water seeped into everything, causing a lot of equipment issues. After the storm had passed, and the crew was trying to dry things out, and clean it up so BOC could play, I recall watching in horror as standing water poured from the canopy above the stage directly into Allen's rig, as well as the stacks/heads on that side of the stage. An omen of things to come (sonically)... The electric status remained spotty for a bit, further aggravating the problem.
BOC did take the stage, and did play their hearts out, but due to electrical and equipment issues, the audience never really got to hear the show that BOC was giving them. After a few numbers, it was evident that the band was aware of it as well... they began to appear frustrated, but did soldier on, doing their best under the circumstances.
Sound improved as things dried out later, but what was done was done.
Shooting Star was the opening act. The actual name of the venue is "Soldier's Memorial Park", St. Louis MO.
Only about 150 people at this event because DeBorgia is just a wide spot in the road...
I don't remember the set list in order, but I can remember some of the songs...
I'll have to get as drunk as I was that night and then I might remember some more...
Every summer for the last several years, Harrah's casino in downtown Reno has hosted a series of outdoor concerts. Located on the plaza just outside the casino doors, the location makes for a very nice early summer concert experience.
June 4 '04 was BOC's turn at playing the temporary venue (when the series is over for the summer, they dismantle the stage till next year). What makes these shows appealing is that they are always free. What made this show special is that everyone and their brother turned out for this gig. (Isn't it funny how when something is free, people really come out of the woodwork?)
Earlier that day, Eric had made an appearance via telephone on one of our local radio stations. The DJ was as asking him lame questions like do you still have that huge afro and things like that. He answered all his dumb queries best he could, tho you could tell he'd like to reach thru the telephone and strangle the guy! They did give the show some good hype which most likely resulted in a few hundred extra people showing up. The place was packed.
Buck was playing his white headless Steinberger with the craters in it. On Reaper he played a black one. Allen played his honey blonde Fender Telecaster & his various keyboard set up. Eric had his old black or dark blue Gibson SG with the Kronos on the body. Danny was playing his Fender Jazz "Monster Bass". I could not tell the brand of Bobby's drum kit, although he played the hell out of them all night. Shooting Shark was played followed by Cities on Flame and Last Days of May.
It must be mentioned that the dual lead parts played by Allen & Buck on Last Days never cease to blow the crowd away. Done differently each time I see them, the interplay between the two guitarists is something to behold. From the thinner tele sound Allen uses to the all out roar from Buck's, the solos truly take you to the back seat of that rented Ford all those years ago! Stunning. Danny got to do his thing on Godzilla. A really great bass player. Also a thunderous drum solo was turned in by Bobby.
Don't Fear the Reaper was the set closer, and the crowd demanded more! Coming back on for an encore, the Group performed Black Blade. All in attendance for the free show went home very impressed! Oh, by the way, did I mention the show was free!! (I'll shut up now...)
Buck's guitars never showed up - apparently did not make the plane change in London.
Allen was ill, nothing serious, but unable to travel and will probably make the trip for tomorrow night's show (I think.)
The rain didn't help, and shortly before I spoke with Buck on the phone before the show, he'd just seen his hotel struck by lightning as he looked through his window.
All things considered, and with an uphill climb, they played their hearts out.
That's the scoop. I certainly hope the guitars are recovered and not stolen like the infamous Flying V which was stolen from JFK and showed up on ebay. But then, that's another story.
After doing some research, I've been able to work out the band running orders and which stage they played on:
Saturday, June 12, 2004:
Rock Palace Tent Stage:
Plaeto (Ex-City to City)
Eric Burdon & The Animals
Blue Oyster Cult
Ten Years After
Many online sources simply lump together all the bands who played the festival, so in that context, this was a BOC gig with Judas Priest headining, but all reports I've seen have BOC playing the tent stage, so that's why this gig is now classed as an Alice headine gig.
First of all - we had fun and the audiance was great. Unluckily the show wasn't as good as the last ones I could share with the other European friends.
First the weather was a horror - rain pouring down again and again and the place was only mud.
But BOC played on a smaller stage which was in a huge tent, so we stayed dry during the show. :-)
The first bad omen was: no chees-guitar - the roadies did soundcheck with the telecaster and a strat in the back.
The the 4(!!!) boys hit the stage - Allen was missing. I didn't had the opportunity to talk to Buck or Eric, so I cannot say anything what is going on.
During the first 3 songs the had massive sound problems on the stage - everyone was making signs to the soundman. So there were a lot of mistakes during the set, but we took it with a smile and so did the band.
During COF Buck snapped a string - so he has to change his guitar during the song. Now playing the strat.
Absolutely new: the song quiz!! Two songs were played simultaneously: while the others played Godzilla - as it should be - Buck was playing COF. :p Believe it or not - we got 100% for finding the solution to the quiz!! :D
Let's hope we'll see all 5 of them tomorrow!
And here is the setlist:
I was introduced to the band's music by a 39 year-old guy last year and I went to that festival with a few BOC fans who were all above 34 or so. I really had the feeling that I was a bit "too" young for being there.
Giving you a good review of that gig is a bit hard for me, considering that I cannot compare it to any other BOC gig in the past. the gig, too.
We were standing second row most of the time, until someone came who caused us some trouble (well why do drunk idiots always think they have to stand front row??) and forced me to take some steps back. That was the only real "problem" I had during that concert. Well, things like that happen too often.
But yes, I enjoyed it!! The songs they played were almost ideal for me, lots of the well-known ones, easy to sing along, actually the only one I couldn't sing along to (yet) was Shooting Shark. I remember my weird scream when I heard the opening riffs of Harvester of Eyes...whoa...but I was just a bit surprised to hear that song
Buck mixing up COF and Godzilla was really cool, we were standing in front of that 8 or 9 feet high stage and laughing...oh my god :D
It was funny for me when my friend asked me afterwards: "Well, I hope you know that this was quite a crappy gig compared to...?" - but I just can't compare it to another one, and I had lots of fun.
I just had a feeling of "This is where I belong" when I saw them. Standing there with some of my best friends, singing - no - SHOUTING along, the great music, even without Allen (well in this case it's quite good that I cannot compare it to any former gigs)... It was tearing my heart apart when they had to stop after an hour. When I came out of that tent, I was even more "hungry" than before the gig.
I really hope they'll keep playing for some more years... I missed a chance to see them only 20 kilometres from here in Lichtenfels in the winter... but that was too early for me. I bought Secret Treaties around that date when they were in Lichtenfels...
It's just that I often think I was born 25 years too late. They're getting older, Buck's exactly as old as my father I think, and now I'll do what I can to see them live as often as I can. That's an amazing, intelligent, atmospheric band. That's what I like about them.
Hmmmm... Now that I'm scanning what I have written, I realize that it sometimes sounds as if I was a fan of some stupid pop group. Doesn't matter.
I have the programme from this festival. BOC only get half a column - and no photo! Whoever put the programme together obviously didn't think they warranted more. Perhaps they're not as huge in the Netherlands as they should be.
Anyroadup... I enjoyed BOC's set very much as far as I can remember :-D
London is bathed in sunshine, there is a real buzz in the air, England shirts everywhere and people are smiling. Up from Cardiff for the day, arrive in Camden and straight into the "Worlds End" pub for a refreshing guinness. A good look around the markets (bargains galore) then it's off down to Leicster Square. The atmosphere down here is even better, flags all over the place people gathering in the pubs (£2.90 for a pint of Caffrey's- bloody hell), had a quick one anyway then went for a walk/sleep in Green Park.
Early evening arrives. Most people have only one thing on their minds but we have two. England may be playing France tonight but do all these people know Blue Oyster Cult are in town. Probably not. Because.....Because well what else is there to say about BOC. Buck Dharma was over looked in a recent poll of the 100 greatest guitarists, "Some Enchanted Evening scraped in at 31 in a recent "Classic Rock" poll of the 50 greatest live albums and then the same magazine ignored Eric Bloom in the 100 greatest front men of all time. This was a poll that included Ian Hunter, Ricky Medlocke, Geddy Lee and Phil Mogg all of whom I've seen and good as they are why would they be ahead of Eric.
I mean even Robert Palmer was in there and he suffered from stage fright most of his career. Such is BOC's lot, largely ignored on this side of the pond and largely ignored tonight. With England playing ticket sales are poor and the gig is moved from the Astoria to the smaller Mean Fiddler just down the road. As it happens this is OK, the Fiddler is a mean and moody sweat pit (just the place for rock'n'roll) and the football means it's just the real fans in here tonight. Three decades of t-shirts and loads of faces you remember from gigs gone by.
An American geezer asks Louise to do a twirl so she can show off her Imaginos t-shirt. Never seen one of them before he says and off he goes happy as a sandboy. I myself am checking out t-shirts in the Buck zone and wondering what they'll play tonight. Wondering wondering wondering..... time drags by BOC may be ignored over here but they don't help themselves sometimes, 2 and a half hours from the doors opening to them coming on stage. It's a good job there were no new fans in tonight, they would have been well pissed off, and being known as the bolshiest rockers around you know there will be no explaination and no apology. The jokes on you my friends.
Movement on the stage, a few last minute preparations from Alan and Bobby (check guitars before you go Close enough for rock'n'roll), then it's lights down and intro music. Will they make up for keeping us waiting???? 'Course they will. Straight into RU Ready 2 Rock and the place is buzzing. With this crowd they cannot fail. ETI, Burning for you, and Lips in the Hills fly by before Shooting Shark slows the pace a little. Only a little though before it picks up again with Alan's solo, biting and edgy and perfect hommage to former beau Patti Smith's lyrics before the song is taken out in a burst of power from Alan and Buck. A song that has grown so much since it was premiered on the RBN tour.
Follow that you say. But then of course they can with a back catalogue like their's they can bring anything to the party. In fact Patti Smith stayed with us for a bit longer for a thumping Career of Evil. After 2 such highs I was dissapointed with Born to Rock from Bucks solo album. I don't know why they dragged this out, it's not a BOC song and even Buck looked embarressed by it's rediculous lyric. So a small moan in the middle there but that was soon forgotten with the amazing Cities on Flame. Buck's incredible show boating and dexterity and Eric off molesting the cymbols is a sight to see.
This was followed by the centrepiece of the evening, Last Days of May. Two incredible guitar solos. Allen reaching for and caressing every note, Buck sadness personified in a perfect elegy for those who died before thrashing the life out of the final bars before the last verse (not even in the top 100 mind you. Who compiles these things) Perfect.
Godzilla and Reaper to close of course. I still wish they'd do the bass and drum solos in some other song. It always ruins Godzilla and just once I'd like to see the song played out in full. Two great encores of Golden Age and screaming laughter erupting from the PA for closer Black Blade sent us back onto the streets sweaty but happy. Doubly disappointing, the end of the gig and those silent London Streets. All those football fans should have come to see the Cult. Still Burning
P.S. Followed up this trip with one to Bilston. Another great gig. Eric on fine form here. ME262 and Flaming Telepaths my highlights although Veteran of the Physic Wars and Dominance & Submission ran them close.
P.P.S. So two round trips totalling approx. 700 miles and the buggers play Astronomy at Southampton. Why for god's sake? The only good thing to come out of Southampton is the road to London. That and Glenn Hoddle of course before he went mad. Oh Well there's always next year. We hope.
This was my tenth BOC gig and my third in three years, only having made it to Swansea for the 2002 and 2003 shows. This time I was going to attend two shows in two nights - Southampton and Bilston. Not being a lover of gigs in London or in fact pretty much anything in London, I chose not to attend the Astoria / Mean Fiddler gig the night before.
The Brook described BOC in their gig listings as a "mystical progressive rock" band - hmm! I think the general consensus of everyone in the crowd was that this particular "mystical progressive rock" band is just getting better and better. This was by far the best BOC show I've been to. They all looked like they were having a great time on a tiny stage and in a small venue - 300 or so people.
EB was really up for it, joking with the band, the audience and even with Woody. He really looked like he was having a great evening. Buck's playing was outstanding as ever and if Allen was ill over the weekend you could never tell from his performance. He'd made a great recovery.
The set list was almost perfect. Despite opening with "R U Ready 2 Rock" (one of the great unplayed songs in my record collection), the rest of the set was blinding! I never tire of hearing "Harvester of Eyes", the next track in the set. Powerfully played. Then came "Burnin' For You" and an excellent version of "Od'd On Life" which hasn't been played much in 2004. "ETI" was followed by "The Vigil" (highlight #1). Hearing "The Vigil" was doubly special as it's the best song on "Mirrors" in my opinion and I'd never seen it performed live until that night. "Joan Crawford" is another song which I normally play little at home but this was another great live version with a slightly extended piano outro from Allen.
After "Cities On Flame" came the second highlight of the set - "Astronomy". Fantastic. It felt like every single voice in the house was singing along and you could see the band getting into it even more as a result. Up next came the obligatory "Godzilla" and "Reaper". The solo at the beginning of "Reaper" seems to be developing a life of its own, getting longer and better each time I hear it.
The encores were something special. Not one but three encores played, thanks to some great audience participation. According to the printed set list they were down to play "Black Blade" which would have been cool but in its place we got "Perfect Water", "Maserati GT" and "We Got To Get Out Of This Place", the first time they've played this all year I think.
The real highlight of the show though was without doubt "Maserati GT". I've never heard this performed live until now and thanks to some persuasively loud voices in the crowd (mine being one of them) this was added to the three song encore. I danced so hard I dropped my camera!
What made the Southampton gig so special was not just the show but also meeting up with so many people I had got to know via the various boards - BDTE and J&A. It was great to meet so many of the UK fans - Yorkshrman (Paul)and Sue, Karen and BOCFanBob, the MIB (Rob, Tom and Georg), Davy (Deegee), Simon and his partner, Andrew (Grinningboy) and many, many others. (Sorry if I've missed you out!)
What's more I finally got to meet some of the band afterwards too - Buck, Danny and Bobby. Buck in particular was great, spending a lot of time talking to the fans and signing autographs (and thanks to Jacqui's pen I got a few of those too!). It's so odd - I'm in my 40s but evenings like this make me feel like a 15 year old kid again going to his first gig!
Meeting the band for the first time added a certain extra to what was already an outstanding evening, really rounding things off quite perfectly and left me driving the 100 miles back home with a big smile on my face. It was a truly great night.
Southampton, June 14th 2004 - the dream gig!!
I suppose we are comparatively recent BOC fans, having been introduced to them by a friend via the Imaginos album about fourteen years ago. Since then BOC became our favourite band and we have been in attendance on the last three BOC UK tours.
Up to the UK visit in 2002, we had always thought we would need to go to the States to see them and a trip to San Diego a few years ago brought us close, but not close enough to where they were playing! In fact, we even got one of the bands that played at McPees in Coronado to play DFTR just so we could hear it on American soil and they did a fantastic job!!
Southampton was to be our ninth BOC gig and we had seen them the previous night in London. On arrival at The Brook at Portswood, which was further from the city then we thought, we tried to find a local for the obligatory few pints before the show. We walked up a slope and found a great traditional boozer and sank a few cool lagers for a couple of hours.
Other BOC fans drifted in, some who I recognized from past gigs. The anticipation and excitement was at the usual level as we left the pub to walk down to the Brook. On entering The Brook, we realised that this was one of the best venues we had been to over the years, with a superb layout allowing complete intimacy between band and audience which Eric Bloom remarked on when he arrived on stage.
As the band started with 'R U Ready 2 Rock' it was apparent that they all were in really good spirits and going all out for our complete enjoyment. The sound was also great and the best I have ever heard at a BOC gig. As gig progressed, the set list became ever more unbelievable with 'The Vigil' sounding sharper and better then ever. Allan was playful on the keyboard for 'Joan Crawford' and never stopped smiling throughout the rest of the set.
'Astronomy' was out of this world and the best version I have ever heard with Buck's guitar playing relentlessly challenging Eric's superb vocal towards the end. With the 'Reaper' and 'Zilla' we thought we were near the end - but no! 'Perfect water', always one of my personal favourites was up next followed by 'Maserati GT' !!!! The last encore was 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place' which was played to perfection.
What a night. If BOC only come back once next year, please let it be to The Brook.
Could only realistically do the one show this time round - well, to be honest, the way things were stacking up for me, I couldn't even make this show for one reason or another but in the end, I went because well- it's Bilston, innit? You can't miss Bilston.
Got there about 7.20pm and found a bit of a queue already in place, which looked promising. Met Dharma Chameleon off the BDTE in said queue and was soon joined by Karen and BOCFanBob who told me how fantastic the previous night's gig in Southampton had been. I tried to look pleased for them - that they'd seen such a great gig - but if I'm honest, I just got very jealous. Jealousy's a horrible thing - I try and fight it - honest I do - but I often fail dismally. I'm just weak... Also met Phil outside with Doug and Anita... everybody else was clearly already at the head of the queue which by now had snaked inside and come to a standstill...
During my wait, I discovered it was to be the same support act as the previous year - the Dean O'Shea Group. Bollocks to that! I should have brought a paperback to read and a torch...
When we got inside, I felt the irresistible pull of the Buck Zone but fought against it. Midway back, the Robin 2 has a rail on a slightly raised platform for the shortarses, so I thought - as the sound might be better there - that might be a good place from which to see the show and, almost immediately, met Steve Dizbustologist down from Scotland and Andy Rushton - from slightly nearer by - and took up camp there for the evening.
The Dean O'Shea Group ambled onstage and then stood around for 5 minutes trying to look cool whilst somebody could round up the sound guy to turn off the music so they could start. They're an instrumental band and their unique selling point is the faces that guitar-player Dean O'Shea pulls whilst pulling on his erm... guitar. Remember the faces the guy pulled on "There's Something About Mary" when he caught himself in his zip? Well, multiply that by ten and you have Dean. He's a good guitar player and all that - but I found the songs in the main to be too relentless and I couldn't take it seriously I'm afraid.
Plus the longer they went on, the longer I'd have to wait for BOC!!
Anyway, they buggered off at last and the stage was cleared for the band. Noticed there seemed to be no Jack Secret this time round - are Rush touring? Dunno but there was a new guy in his place who reminded me of Michael Stipes (but it probably wasn't him)...
I had a lot of expectations for tonight's show but the song I think I was mostly looking forward to was "Maserati GT" - apparently the night before it had been pretty special. I already knew they'd done "Astronomy" the night before also so there would be zero chance of that again so soon - but I was hopeful of "Maserati GT"....
At 9.30pm, BOC took the stage and we were urged to get on our feet or on our knees - which was a nice touch. "RUReady" kicked us off - no surprise in this as I'd obviously been checking out the previous setlists - I last heard this in 1978 and - personally - I don't rate this song much - it's sort of dumb - imho - (sh*t - that sounds American - OK, "crap" then - I'll take it with lasers and flashpots, otherwise I'd sooner leave it) and they have much better songs to kick off a show. The harmonies on this weren't good, either - I have to be honest, though Allen's keyboards were pretty good...
Next up was "Me262" and I listened to this with interest. Here's my thoughts on Eric's vocals. For me, the great shame about the "ALDN" DVD was Eric's vocals - they're weak and strained and songs like "Quicklime Girl" and "ME262" are excrutiatingly painful to listen to on that recording - the reason for the pain being so acute is because I think Eric is one of the best vocalists in the last 30 years and what's happened to his voice is a crying shame. They finally get to do a DVD and it does not bear testimony to Eric's fantastic ability and that saddens me. It's often occurred to me that part of the problem lies in him trying to sing the songs in the same way as he did 25 years ago and - in the majority of cases - that's just not practical. But what about if he sang them differently? Instead of the high note, what about an octave lower, with a slightly different emphasis and timing?
Anyway, that's why I think songs like "Me262" don't currently work very well - they're beyond his current range and he could actually hurt his voice trying to do them any sort of justice.
So why not do a few more recent songs off the last two records? These are much more likely to be able to be effectively delivered. Are BOC so caught up in the mesh of promoters' expectations that their hands are a bit tied when it comes to what they have to include in their sets?
After "Me262", Eric started a bit of banter with the crowd. Actually, Eric spoke more to the crowd tonight than in all the other times I've seen him put together!! It was good - he should do it more often.
"We'll try and mix it up a little bit for the people who have been to every show... and for those of you who haven't seen it - you missed a couple of good ones.... Hey Woody - OK, we'll leave Woody alone tonight - it's his birthday today... again - he's been looking for a present for three days...."
He didn't say what sort of present Woody had been looking for but he did mention that he was single (Woody, that is)....
Well, "BFY" followed so so much for "mixing it up a little bit". We were in a good position to actually hear stuff this time, and I was actually able to listen to this song for once and it struck me that this seemed a trifle too fast tonight - plus Buck's solo was a bit too frenzied and feverish - it actually sounded a bit loose to be honest...
Now here's the thing - there were a fair number of what sounded like cock-ups tonight with the guitar and keyboards and at the time I was thinking "Jeez - is jetlag kicking in or something" but Roy Harrison - who was closer than I was - reckons there were some amp malfunctions due to a possible faulty valve. Some of Buck's notes just plain didn't make it out of the amp. Maybe the missing notes were what was throwing Buck out of his stride a bit - I know it would me!! To my ears, whenever I've seen Buck in these club-type venues, a lot of his good work seems to get lost, whilst some of the higher notes sound all trebly and discordant - I know I don't always (if ever) choose the most advantageous vantage points (sonically-speaking) so maybe it's just my unlucky experience.
With "BFY" safely out of the way, Eric lost the guitar and grabbed the mike. When he does this you can narrow down what's coming next - perhaps "See you in Black" or "Lips"...
"Way back in the 60s, believe it or not, we were there then... but not him though (gestures at Danny Miranda) - hey - remember that drunken guy that came up to Danny and said "Hey man, I remember you from 72 man - hey Joe, you were great back then man..." it's happened more than once, right? 'Course, there's Bobby on the drums - everybody knows Bobby, right? - He was in Rainbow!! - (Zippy, Bungle... and Bobby!!) - It was Rainbow that got you your first black Corvette, wasn't it? Now Bobby drives a Chevrolet, but that's another song altogether.. what are we doing? Lips in the Hills...."
"Lips" is much more in Eric's range and he seems more comfortable doing this one... The only thing is - Eric didn't finish what was going on "way back in the 60s" before he sidetracked himself.... oh well.....
"Shooting Shark" was next. Eric does the keys on this one and Allen is on guitar and gets to play some lead bits. Trouble is, his Tele sounds so plinky and tinny - someone should give him a new Les Paul or something with some bottle. Allen's solo is OK - for a rhythm guitarist - I've heard people rave about how fantastic Allen's solos are but I can't agree with this point of view - I just don't see it - or, more accurately, hear it... When Buck takes over the solo after about a minute, the contrast is remarkable - and not just (obviously) in ability - it's in the sound also. The Cheeseburger has it's detractors but it delivers in such rich and fruity tones that you can't really go wrong with it, in my opinion.
"Flaming Telepaths" was a nice surprise... somebody should have told Allen it was coming though as he seemed to completely f*ck up the keyboard solo in the middle. He suddenly looked very concerned and started turning knobs but nothing seemed to be happening until Buck's solo kicked in, by which time it was too late... perhaps it wasn't Allen's fault - might have been one of the technical gremlins mentioned earlier - hard to tell.... but Buck's solo was bloody good and ended too soon - they should develop that a bit more... Eric's vocals sounded a bit strained, despite vocal backup support, but "The joke's on you" ending part was effective - we're just missing the sparks from the finger-tips...
"We're trying to find those ones we haven't played for a while, so we're digging deep [enacts a digging motion over his shoulder a couple of times].... Subhuman, eh? I don't think so....it has to be something we've played within a year at least - otherwise everybody starts whining 'I don't know that'... we wanna play something from Buck's solo album... actually Buck, why don't you tell them where the idea for the song came from..."
Buck glanced up and looked as if he was trying to remember how it all started:
"The original Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith came up with the idea for this song - he said why don't you do a song about... being Born to Rock?"
Not exactly an in-depth analysis, of course - I hadn't heard "Born to Rock" live before and I dunno, it was OK, I suppose but in my opinion it just doesn't "belong" in a BOC set. The soft harmonies bit in the middle were handled well enough, though...
"Now we're going to change the setlist a little bit - for my heart is black and my lips are cold we got England on Flame with Rock'n'Roll"
What he didn't say was that he was ejecting "ETI" at this point from the printed setlist and replacing it with "Cities on Flame" - originally positioned later on in the setlist - effectively reducing the set by one song...
"Cities on Flame" - will I ever see a BOC gig without this song? It gets on my nerves nowadays - and the staged theatrics of the solo and Eric's cymbal-bashing etc don't do anything for me anymore... again, Eric sings it very "restrainedly"...
"This is the chanciest thing of the evening - something we haven't played in at least a year - so we'll just see what happens with this - it's from the soundtrack of the film "Heavy Metal"...
To my great surprise, the doom-laden drum intro of "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" started up - I love this song and my all time favourite Buck solo is the sublime version he did at the Hollywood Sportatorium in 1981 which was so wonderfully captured by MTV and was later used on "ETL".
This was a very loose version and not really anywhere near the same league as that one, unfortunately... Eric spoke rather than sang it, which was a shame - this song was always a great showcase for his vocals in the past but I suppose he has to cut his cloth according to his means these days... Buck's solo seemed off the cuff and wasn't his best work - there were quite a few cock-ups during the song prompting Eric to say at the end:
"Well that was most of it... This next song right here you all know about - it's about the big green guy from overseas...>"
Sh*t!! We couldn't believe it was "Zilla Time" already - fuck me, this was a short show. Perhaps there'd be a ton of encores? Meanwhile, back onstage Eric was waiting for the lizard footsteps and growl tape to kick in. He had to call out to Woody to fade it up who duly obliged...
"You think he's pushing that button with his fingers, don't you... well, tell me - who is it?"
"Godzilla" came back the muted response - how can you be enthusiastic when you know it's the next-to-last song?... I'm conscious that so far this hasn't been the most positive of reviews so I won't say a thing about the bass and drum solo. Not a thing. Nowt!! Bah... How can anyone outside the BOC cognoscenti ever take them seriously if they still do bass and drum solos...? But I'm not going to mention anything more about these outmoded and ridiculous hangovers from the 70s... See if I don't....
"Reaper" obviously followed - that intro piece is mutating into something with a life of its own... in fact, there was an audience clap along at one point... it's certainly a weird concept - it's about 2 minutes long now - half a song's length!! After Reaper, they piled off stage and I could believe it - the Bilston legacy had been well and truly laid to rest... it's crown nicked by Southampton!! Bastards!!
We got one encore: the usual suspect: "Dominance and Submission" Again, there were cock-ups on the guitar before last solo - they didn't seem technical this time - more a case of people coming in at the wrong time - how long have they been doing that song as an encore? They should be able to do it in their sleep so God knows what was wrong tonight - tiredness or something.
Anyway, Afterwards, Eric had one last comment for us:
"Up with the English - down with the Swiss that's what I got to say - Beckham Rules!! G'night everybody..."
This in reference to England's upcoming Euro 2004 match against Switzerland - Eric had clearly been briefed, but "Beckham Rules"?? Anyway, they again trooped offstage and then the house lights came on and the gig was officially over. It was then that it finally sank in that we weren't going to get to hear the latest version of "Maserati GT" after all... and I was left in thought trying to gather together my mixed feelings after this show.
I can't deny I felt let down by the show - not just the setlist and the shortness of the gig, but also by the performances and technical problems. Of all the BOC gigs I've been to, this was the most disappointing... what I'm going to say now is pure heresy and would be sufficent to get me burned at the online stake, but to my eyes, their hearts didn't seem to be in this gig tonight - for whatever reason. In football parlance, it was like an end-of-season mid-table fixture... Notice, I could have said I thought they were going through the motions, but I didn't...
Regarding the shortness of the gig - I have no info on why this was. The two previous Bilston gigs were both 17-song affairs and went on later than tonight's gig ended. I was told afterwards that BOC had to fly out pretty smartish the next morning but quarter of an hour after the house-lights came up, Buck was still chatting to the Capitaine on the "dance-floor" so the band weren't exactly in a big hurry to scoot from the venue. If it's the venue who control the set-length, why would they cut BOC short from the successful gigs they'd done the previous two years? I can't understand it... Someone else said that the band may have been so pissed off with the technical problems that they were glad to get out of there... Dunno what the reason was, but they played short, and that disappointed a number of people - including me.
But's that's just my opinion and your mileage may vary...
One thing I do know, however, is that I'd rather see a below par BOC gig than a great gig by almost anyone else.... now isn't that weird....?
This gig was in conjunction with the Albany Conquest Arena Football League team. The team would normally have a street party before the game and perhaps they played a few songs here also but I was unable to attend this.
I did see the game. My wife and I were in line to buy tickets and a guy came up and handed us two free tickets. He said that he had noticed the Robin Trower tour shirt I had on and thought we were deserving of the tickets. I agreed!
BOC was set up on a stage behind a corner of the playing field. At halftime they played BFY and we were reminded to stay for the concert after the game ended. So the home team lost the game finally and fans filed onto the floor, gathering around the stage. Very enjoyable with good sound on a smallish stage.
Greetings to you the loyal masses of the Cult. My name is Jacob Koehler and ever since I was sixteen I have been enchanted by The Blue Oyster Cult. In my 21 years I have been looked at as unique when it comes to my tastes in music. At 5 I was a student of the Beatles, by 6 it was the Doors, you get the picture. I thank my parents for getting me started on this kind of music instead of letting me be susceptible to the music of my generation post 1994. At eight I got my first guitar and became overcome as CD's and guitars took the place of toys and video games as I became more in tune with music and had a much deeper desire to find out all that I could.
As I moved through more of the classics of the sixties, I rebelled and got into heavy metal around 14. While still remaining true to my classic rock roots, I went ahead with the likes of Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Judas Priest and the American thrash giants of the mid to late eighties.
I always had a limited awareness of Blue Oyster Cult via classic rock radio, but with a strong emphasis on "limited." Outside of "Don't Fear The Reaper," "Godzilla," and "Burnin' For You" I was unaware of anything else they had accomplished. I do vividly remember hearing "Cities On Flame" for the first time on the radio while going over Interstate 79 from West View to Bellevue in my native Pittsburgh. WDVE was playing the song to commemorate their upcoming performance at the Rib Fest outside the now demolished Three Rivers Stadium. June 18, 1997, my older brother Aaron and I were going to go, but he was not feeling well and myself only being 13, I had no way of getting there alone. It was cool seeing footage of this performance later on VH1's "Where Are They Now?" but it was still frustrating to know that it was still a missed opportunity. It would be another seven years before I would get another chance.
My brother wanted a BOC CD that had all of the songs from the radio on it so mistakenly thinking it was a studio compilation, he picked up a copy of "Some Enchanted Evening." Upset that it was a live recording, the album collected dust. For his birthday my Mom got him the "On Flame With Rock N' Roll" compilation that met all of his demands. He seemed to be happy with it, but he never listened to it often. I would sneak down into his room and listen to this CD repeatedly trying to take in as much of its magic as I could.
I remember feeling that Al Bouchard's vocals were a little weak on "Cities On Flame", but for some reason I could not shake the imagery of "three thousand guitars that seemed to cry......and gardens of nocturne, forbidden delights". That entire summer and every one afterward I made sure to listen to at least that song to help my ever growing fix.
As for the other songs on the CD:
Transmaniacon MC: I felt Eric's vocals were also a little bit weak, but the music was strong with the strong chorus and catchy chromatic guitar run at the begining and conclustion of the song.
Career Of Evil: Another song that did not get me at first. I felt it was just too spacey to be heavy and too heavy to be spacey...but eventually I was proved wrong.
Dominance And Submission: Once again, I did not find Al Bouchard to be a convincing vocalist at first glance. I actually thought the call and response part at the end was silly, but the music was strong enough for me to listen again.
R.U. Ready To Rock: Now this song was awesome from the first power chord until the fadeout. An absolute favorite from the start, this began my love affair with the voice of Eric Bloom.
Death Valley Nights: Now this one was interesting. It had an Al Bouchard lead vocal, but on this one, I really did enjoy his singing quite a bit. Once again I fell for the drak and magestic lyrics about the horror of space and the terror of time with Allen Lanier's haunting piano trills piercing the darkness with blades of razor light.
As for Kick Out The Jams and the other tracks previously mentioned, there is not much else to write about with this.
So with all this in mind I had a start on my journey with BOC; but it would only become more intense.
Cut to Febuary of 2001. While shopping at Borders Books and Music near my home I spotted a diamond in the rough a copy of Don't Fear The Reaper: The Best Of Blue Oyster Cult for $7.99. What a find this would turn out to be. This compilation would offer me much more in terms of how deep and dense thier music would be. From this point it went to thier main albums and thier hallowed live recordings..........for me it was now too late.
So for the rest of high School and on into College, Blue Oyster Cult would stay with me.
On to my first gig. For the past three years I had been enchanted by Blue Oyster Cult and having missed a chance at seeing them in Pittsburgh in June of 1997 I jumped at the chance to see them in Johnstown.
I had lucked out majorly by scoring tickets for free at The Fox and Hound Pub and Restaurant located at the edge of my neighborhood. WDVE DJ Sean McDowell was kind enough to give me four free tickets instead of two. So with four free tickets I went about getting together a group of friends to go with me on this quest.
Since it was his birthday the day before and we missed out on seeing them in Pittsburgh before, my brother Aaron was going along. Still not the BOC fan that I was, he did enjoy their music, but he was in a real bad mood for the entire trip.
Todd, a high school friend that tried to go to Ohio to see BOC with me about a year before was going to join in, but gave some lame excuses first about the price (before I got the free tickets) and then something about work. He wound up going to a Mountain Bike race somewhere and was not able to go along on the trip.
Dan, a friend who I encouraged to by the "Super Hits" BOC comp was very eager to go and since we now had another ticket his brother Corey was looking forward to tagging along as well. But alas for Corey, he was not able to call off work so we departed for Johnstown with an extra ticket.
We stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet in Indiana, Pa to meet my girlfriend Mandie. We told her of the extra ticket, but she was stuck at work. So after we finished up we headed out for our final trek into Johnstown. As we drove into the valley at the city limits, we came across something unexpected; about two thousand bikers had descended on the town and basically took it over............apparently the golden age of leather was not quite over. Oh, and there were midgets too.
After we parked the car we realized we had a lot of time to kill so we decided to walk around the town. With the bikers there were a lot of food tents and other attractions set up around the town. It was about this time we realized we had a problem................Aaron now had a really bad "stomach problem" and had to go about every thirty minutes. Great.
After a couple of hours taking in the sites of the city, we got in line to see the show. As we filed into the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, we remembered that one of our favorite movies was filmed here. "Slapshot" starring Paul Newman was a favorite and it is always cool to actually see the place where one of your favorite movies was filmed.
Since it was pretty much festival seating, we initially took seats in the stands off to the side of the stage. We found out that this was a cancer benefit show and the band One Less Tear, a group of cancer survivors who had formed a band, started the show. They were ok, especially considering that about 2/3 of the group were just getting over their chemotherapy treatments.
Then there was a long change over. They were coming. Blue Oyster Cult, the band I had been waiting years to see were about to hit the stage.
Now here is where I got a little bit nervous. I vividly remember picking up "A Long Day's Night" the very day it came out (September 24, 2002). As good as it was, I remember that Eric Bloom's vocals seemed to be a little weak on that night. He just seemed to shout too much and those high notes just seemed a little too high. I had those same reservations that night. We headed out to the standing room on the floor to get close. Our view was good, the sound was fine, we were ready.
Then the lights went out and they hit the stage... I was in awe.
The setlist provided is 100% accurate, all of these songs were played, here is a breakdown;
R.U. Ready To Rock: Not my first choice as an opener, but this song ripped live. Eric's voice was absolutely nothing like it was on the new live album, all the notes were hit and he looked and sounded great. Bobby Rondinelli and Danny Miranda were in high energy, who would have thought that this would be the first and last time I would see them with the band....
Harvester Of Eyes: Ok, now this would be MY first choice as an opener (On Your Feet Or On Your Knees being arguably my favorite album of theirs) And like the first song, it was awesome. Buck Dharma and Allen Lanier seemed also to be in high energy as well and Allen looked pretty good. My brother remarked at how haggard he looked, but I told him that he has looked like that for about the past twenty years. They played the Secret Treaties Version like the one off the record, not like the live one off of OYFOOYK, still, it was stellar.
ETI: Really stoked to here this live. Eric's voice was superb and his keyboard playing was cool. Now for a while I preferred the studio version to this one, which is rare with BOC because they are just such a force live that more often than not the studio versions seem to be very dull and lack the fire of the stage versions. Now having heard this song performed right in front of me I am not sure which one is better. I like the riff changes near the end of the song before the last verse, like the version off of ETL. Once again, a great track live.
Burnin' For You: Surprised to hear this one so early in the set, but this song is still welcomed nonetheless. Buck's voice is still very strong and his solos on all the songs this night were outstanding. I like the long jam they do at the end of this.
Cities On Flame: Eric does a good job on this, the main riff is still one of the best in the annals of rock music and I think its hard to give a bad performance of this, but I think its played a little bit too fast and it looses a lot of punch in the long run.
Last Days Of May: Now here is where the show really became memorable. I am still in awe over how good the live version of this is off OYFOOYK, but this version more than gave it a run for its money. Eric talked a little bit to the crowd throughout the whole show and was a good frontman and he started this one off with telling the crowd that this was a true story. Allen took over on guitar from Eric and Eric manned the keys on this one. When they got to the jam at the middle of the song I was quite taken aback at how good of a lead guitarist Allen was. With a blonde Telecaster he ripped through with the passion of a twenty year old while Buck took his solos in stride like a pro. Then they started to speed the song up until they whipped into a frenzy, here is the song going at twice the speed and it rocks. Eventually, they finish off and the audience roars with applause.
Godzilla: When we got to this number I became worried, I could tell that the set was almost over. I was a little pissed. My brother had to go and spent most of this song running to the stalls while the solos came out. It is a really great song live, some little kid in the front row even put on a Godzilla mask as he was held up on his father's shoulders. Then came the solos, now I am not one to give guff for a drum solo or bass solo, but it really did kill some energy of the show, but this did not hide the fact that Danny Miranda was a great soloist and played a really good solo that was well-recieved. Next came Bobby's solo, great use of the double-peadal bass drum, it is easy to see why this guy was in so many different bands through the years.
Don't Fear The Reaper: The inevitable closer had arrived. I was happy to hear it, but I was hoping for more than just eight songs, but I will take what I can get. The kid in the front now was wearing a reaper hood and the guys onstage took notice. Still a great song live, good playing all around, but I really wished for more. I could listen to these guys for at least a three hour set and not be bored.
All in all it was a great show, we left right after their set, we are not big fans of Paul Rogers and we had a long drive home. Dan shared my opinion that the set should have been a lot longer. It would be even better next time on my home turf.
This was the show that got me a little mad, as Eric ask the crowd which song they wanted to hear, Last Days Of May or Astronomy. so I went crazy yelling "ASTRONOMY!!" Everyone around my gave me weird looks, as I was going nuts.
Then he said "ok",then they started playing Last Days Of May which I've heard 2 other times before that show! I was so pissed off I started swearing and bitching to my wife and didn't wanna hear another song BOC played that night!
LOL I was so close to hearing my favorite song and still nothing!!!! :-(
I wouldn't have been so mad but that song got me hooked on BOC, got teased on that one and didn't like it! LOL
A now-offline Doors message board confirms that BOC opened this gig, then it was Tesla, then The Doors 21, with ZZ Top headlining...
Fish Day Port Washington,WI. Set list correct, no encore because of fireworks...
It was a cold Northern Ontario night as I remember it. I'd been camping at a provincial park which was about an hour away from the small city of Mattawa. When we pulled into town it was obvious where the venue was, as everyone in the city seemed to be there. We got there way early, so we decided to tour the town.
We actually pulled into a hotel to use the phone which must have been where BOC was staying, as I saw Danny Miranda trying to get a soda from the machine. I don't think he had a loonie (Canadian dollar coin), so he was SOL.
The city was amazing. The venue was right on the river, and across the way was Quebec. Very scenic, and provided some nice sound bouncing off the rock walls. Streetheart was the first band on, and they were fairly decent. From what I can remember, they seemed to be a late-eightees type of band, trying to do glam-rock performance. The crowd ate it up though. The band would have fit nicely in the 80's, but to me they sounded a bit dated. They did a few covers, including a neat rendition of "Under my Thumb" by the Stones.
By now the sun was down, and so was the temperature. I hadn't anticipated the temperature drop, so I only had a sweatshirt. I had some of the others beat though, as they were wearing their old rock tee's. The crowd was wicked intoxicated at this point too. Anyways, BOC came on. No Allen at this show.
It was a general crowd pleasing set. I was happy to hear "Golden Age" in there, as for me it was a rarity. Shooting Shark had some awesome lead work by Buck, and the bass playing at the end was stellar. I remember Last Days being okay, but it was easy to see how the cold was affecting Buck's playing. There were some runs that he tried which just couldn't come. Cold fingers aren't good for guitar. With that said though, he still floored the entire park, and the crowd's cheering continued well into the last verse.
Once all was said and done, and the band was coming out for their encore (which was hardly crowd motivated), there was a guy in the front who was drunk as beans who shouted for "Godzilla!" I remember Eric saying into the mic "Godzilla...wake up dude, we just played that!" I had a good laugh. The guy continued to yell it through D&S. He was kicked out shortly after.
Good show overall, but hindered by the cold.
Picture this: A struggling new venue riddled with finger-pointing about financial problems and a dozen pissed-off unpaid contractors waiting for their money.
A year of silent, closed doors and newspaper articles about it's failure... then... a surprise announcement that it's RE-OPENING! A weekend of BB King's Blues, country, Beach Boys, etc... but first... "a pre-opening" with Blue Oyster Cult!
That's the story with this gig; a late announcement for a very little known, little advertised show. It's a wonder that about 200 of us showed at all! That's everyone else's loss! Toss the tickets away and walk right up to the stage for this one! BOC still played like the place was packed!
Buck burned up his guitar this night... best "Cities on Flame" I've ever seen or heard. Danny hits some awesome low notes on Godzilla - I swear my bones crumbled. Crisp, clean version of Perfect Water by Buck...
Wish I could relive this one... great sound in this new place...
"Bone Bash" - radio station gig for local radio station 107.7FM "the Bone".
Deep Purple - Joe Satriani - BOC - Thin Lizzy
Brad Gillis from Night Ranger guested on "Reaper" (he lives in Northern CA).
Place was pretty full - it only seats about a 1000 and there was probably 700-800 there. Festival seating on the sides and back, and standing-only in front of the stage.
Great setlist... had not seen BOC since 1978 in Fort Wayne, Indiana (I also posted about that show). I was 39 in 2004 and only 13 the previous time I'd seen them. I was close enough to the stage to see the setlist and knew I was in for a great show - in particular the inclusion of RU Ready, ETI, Astronomy, and Shooting Shark.
Before the show (but after the opening act - they were awful) me and the friend I was there with did a couple rounds of the beginning of 'Golden Age of Leather' and all the old school fans joined in...
My biggest memory was this 20something who stood close to us... he obviously didn't know much about BOC beyond their biggest couple of songs... during Don't Fear the Reaper he thought he'd be cute and jump on stage and do a little air guitar - trying to show off for his friends.
It took about 2-3 seconds for members of the band and stagehands to rush him from behind and launch him off the stage. He flew quite a distance and landed head down into the cement floor in front of the stage. A security guard came up to check on him and (I think) throw him out, but the kid seemed to not know where he was anymore - good symptom of a concussion. They instead took him for medical treatment. Bet there wasn't too much air guitar in his future.
Here's a promo poster from the ill-fated, weather cancelled 09/17/2004 (outdoor) show at Kenneth Cole Farm in Sherman, NY? I recall being very disappointed that the weather (and the grounds) turned to swampy muck, and that there would be no BOC that evening...
I believe the band did turn up for this one, but I never saw any of them. I did chat with the sound man at the board for a short bit, but his mood that evening was as foul as the weather turned out to be.
Show was largely a wash out from the off, but not until after all of the setup, lighting and PA work had been done... crew began working on loading out once there was no chance that the gig was happening.
The crowd did turn out, but evaporated as quickly as the show did due to the inclement conditions. I recall standing water on the "field" of 4-6" in spots, and it wreaking havoc with some of the electrics.
I know that Big Leg Emma did play (inside the barn), but don't remember Black Pearl... we did, however arrive a bit behind schedule. Neither of the support acts used the stage setup where BOC was going to play.
What a friggin week!!!! I gotta run to work in a few minutes, but I couldn't leave home today without putting something up here. I guess I'll try to do a quick recap of the last week.
Sunday morning, my phone woke me up. Someone was saying something about playing bass. After about 30 seconds of my brain scrambling to comprehend the phone call, I realized that it was Eric Bloom on the phone asking me if I could play bass with Blue Oyster Cult in less than a week. Of course I said "Absolutely." He then left me a voice mail with 15 songs to learn.
That day I went to the recital rechearsal for all my students at the music store. After a pretty intense day of rehearsal with the kids, I went home and got to work.
I worked from about 7 PM to 3 AM learning these 15 songs. Since I've been the substitute sound engineer for BOC over the last 4 years, a lot of the songs were in my head. I was basically practicing fingerings and stuff like that.
The next day I taught lessons till 7:30, when I got home I told Eric I learned those songs. He gave me 3 more songs to learn. So now there are 18 songs to get down in 4 days. That night I practiced from 9 PM to 4 AM.
Tuesday was the hardcore practice day for me. I practiced all day. My focus was on the vocals. I called Donald "Buck Dharma" Roseur on the phone to clarify some of the harmony parts over the phone. I practiced till about 1 AM, then I literally fell asleep with the bass in my hand.
Wednesday I had to go buy appropriate attire for the show since most of what I own doesn't match : ) I got home at like 8 PM and practiced till 5 AM.
Thursday, I taught lessons all day, then went home to do a final practice session for the gigs. I didn't go to sleep till 6 AM. I woke up at 7 AM and took a cab to the airport. On the plane ride to Buffalo, I listened to the songs. I did this just clarify any uncertainty I may have had about the arrangments. In the van on the way to the hotel Bobby Rondinelli and I discussed what we were gonna do for the bass solo.
The rain was really bad at the venue so the gig had to be cancelled because it was outdoors. We got together in Buck's hotel room and ran through the songs. It was crazy. Buck played his Martin Backpacker guitar, Bobby played his drumsticks on the arm of a chair, I plugged the bass into the television, and Eric and Allen Lanier sang their guitar and keyboard parts. We sat there and went through all 18 songs in a row.
It went very smoothly. The main focus of the meeting was to figure out who was singing what. It was actually a lot of fun. The bass sounded really crazy coming out of the TV!!!
The next day we flew to Vegas. We did a sound check and that also went really well. Buck and Steve "Woody" LaCerra (sound engineer) helped me get a bass sound for the show.
At 8PM we played the show. It was INCREDIBLE!!!! I can't tell you how much fun it was to play with these guys. Words just wouldn't do it justice. It was an amazing feeling. I was very happy to see that real deal BOC fans were happy with the show.
After the show I got the chance to meet a lot of BOC fans, and they treated me really well. They are really cool people and they seemed to be very enthusiastic about the show : )
I got home yesterday at 11 PM. I'm still freaking out from the show. It was a great experience. I gotta run to work now and tell my students about it. If I can find some pictures from the show, I'll put em up here.
I'll be playing again with BOC this weekend as well. Check out the gigs page for dates. I'll post more info as soon as I get it.
I'd just like to say thanks to everyone in the band and everyone who came to the show for making this weekend completely ROCK!!!!!
Here's the setlist from the September 23 show in Glenside, PA (the order is fairly close, but I'm not entirely sure):
I was at this gig with my brother and it was as usual, tremendous. UFO opened up and unfortunately (or fortunately for me being a big fan) they went over. They were supporting their "You Are Here" CD and the crowd would not let them leave the stage.
Because of local curfew, BOC could only play for about an hour and a half afterward. The set list here is right on, the highlight being Perfect Water from what I thought was a great album (Club Ninja) and Golden Age of Leather, a song I never get tired of hearing. Allen rules, I hope he's alright.
This show had been re-scheduled from sometime in May to Sep.25 which was the day our friend was getting married. So I sold our tickets to a guy I knew and wrestled with missing the show for a couple of months. Ultimately we decided to cut out of the reception early and catch the show. Turns out the reception ended just in time for us to catch most of UFO's set, and all of BOC!
UFO were great! Raucous and loud. Jason Bonham and Vinnie Moore were great additions to the line-up. They played for 90 or so minutes and were very energetic.
BOC came on with RU ready 2 rock, and the place went nuts. Buck was looking very bikerish with shades, slicked back dark hair and a leather jacket. It was the first time we saw them with Richie Castellano, and apparently one of Bobby Rondinelli's last gigs with them.
Vinnie Moore joined the band on stage and traded licks with Buck during the extended jam in "Then came the last days of May". It was quite a treat to watch and hear 2 master shredders playing off one another.
It was a great show and I am so glad we decided not to miss it, especially since it would be a few years before we got to see them again.
Cut thru VT into NH from NY with my pal Kevin. We stayed on the ocean just down the street from the Casino and were ligging at the bar when UFO hit the stage. No Pete Way or Parker but Bonham and Sparks did just fine. Of course Vinnie is not Schenker but just as talented. The new songs sounded great and who can touch "Rock Bottom"?
At one point one of the patrons (a lot of morons in the Boston area who like to act like fools at concerts for some reason) chucked a full cup of beer that just missed Bonham's head as he stood up to salute the crowd. Not cool. Luckily Jason didn't even see it and never missed a beat. Was nice to see Paul Raymond live since I'm a big Savoy Brown/UFO fan.
Anyhow, BOC rose from the shadows of the Atlantic and seemed to play an abbreviated set (sans Danny). The one/two punch of Lips/Leather was worth the 5hr drive.
No sleep but drove home straight thru next day on my birthday with the knowledge I'd prob never see a UFO/BOC double bill in this lifetime again. Catch them while u can!
This show had, at least to this point of time in my BOC concert history, a rare occurrence of having an opening band being worth the time to listen to! UFO had a great sound going and was very enjoyable! Jason Bonham on drums and Vinnie Moore on guitar were just plain awesome. Vinnie even played with the boys on LDOM and that was just a special treat! You just don't see a lot of guest stars trading licks with Buck but this moment was a great musical experience for me!
BOC's set was awesome that night. Lots of good material for the timeframe. I caught a Lips In The Hills that I believe was my first ever. ETI, Shooting Shark, Cities, LDOM, & a killer Dominance for the encore were other highlights that night. I think they just like to play at that venue as I have never seen a bad show there.
Then after the show, a nice walk on the beach to cool down and get yourself ready for the drive home.
Here's what I recall of the show. It was impossible to get accurate information from the club on the schedule of bands. As late as 5:00 on the afternoon of the show, if you called them, they told you that UFO was headlining, and BOC would start playing around 9:00. Imagine my surprise on arriving at 9:20 - it was the best I could do on that particular night - and finding UFO on stage, already 40 minutes into their set. Imagine how pissed off were the friends I was meeting, who were more interested in seeing UFO (they'd seen BOC a lot more recently) and drove 60 miles to get there at 9:30.
We still got a good dose of UFO, though it was a shame to have missed the full show. Vinnie Moore made his guitar sing, I was glad to see what I saw, even without Pete Way, who could not get into the country for the tour.
BOC eventually took the stage. I believe that the set list followed the one from 23/09/04 at the Keswick Theater, except with Buck's Boogie in place of Golden Age, but I can't swear to every detail. I'm almost certain that we got Perfect Water & no Shooting Shark.
Burning For You turned into a huge crowd singalong on the chorus. It was totally spontaneous; I've never heard that kind of thing at a BOC show before. It was pretty remarkable; it made me think that maybe the band ought to work that song a bit more as a crowd-participation number.
In ETI, they did the usual quick reference to the Zep "Heartbreaker" riff towards the end; later, near the beginning of his extended solo in Godzilla, Richie repeated the riff and made us chuckle.
LDOM was definitely part of the set; I remember Allen stepping right up and delivering the most authoritative solo I've heard him do on that song. Someone had posted on one of the boards that Allen didn't solo at all at one of the shows earlier that week, so I'd been wondering if they'd changed their approach to the piece; apparently not.
At the beginning of the Reaper outro, Eric walked over to Richie's corner of the stage, pointed out into the audience and gave a repeated "come up here" gesture. He then unstrapped his guitar and handed it to a slightly pudgy fellow with a dark grey-tinged beard and hair, wearing a plain sweatshirt & jeans as I recall. The guy started playing, looking a bit sheepish; Eric pushed him up to center stage, Buck egged him on with a big grin. We're all wondering who the hell this guy is. He lost his iniital reluctance and proceeded to crank out a decent solo, then stepped back and whacked out some crackling rhythm chords while Buck took the song home.
After the song ended, Eric introduced us all to John Castellano, owner of Castellano's Music Store just across the water on Staten Island, and oh yeah, Richie's dad. They were all grinning like Cheshire cats at that point; it was a great moment.
After the encore, which I'm pretty sure was D&S, Eric stepped to the mike again and announced that this was the end of an era, this was Bobby Rondinelli's last gig and he would soon be appearing with The Lizzards, we wish him well, etc. Bobby then thanked the band for seven great years and thanked all the fans for being the best in the world etc. There seemed to be some real emotion there, it felt like something more than the end of an ordinary show.
Last Saturday nights show was a show to end all BOC shows. No real surprises in the set, but here it is.
The stage was two tiered and the lower half was about a foot above kneecap level. Front row in the Buckzone, with Buck, Richie and Eric playing about 2 feet in front of us for a lot of the show. AMAZING. Got to say hello with everyone which was cool.
Buck did the duck walk alone during COF. Eric was the most animated I've ever seen him in the last 20 years. He was litterally dancing during Lips, and pointed at me while singing and gave me the thumbs up. Killer man, just killer.
It warmed my heart to see over a 1000 people pay $25 to see the band. Charleston is hungry for Rock and Roll.
There isn't anything else to do there lol. What a shit hole!. LDOM was the most ridiculous thing I ever seen (or heard). Buck played on his knees of course, but during Lips, he played the majority of the song on both knees. un freakin' real.
The crowd stood the whole show, while having a GREAT theater around them and comfy chairs. Buck and Eric really took great comfort in seeing the enthusiasm from the crowd, and returned the appreciation in spades.
THE GREATEST FRIGGIN ROCK BAND EVER!!!
What can I say? My 45th. birthday, my favorite band, and good friends. What a night!
The band was tight as ever, with a new rythem section. The casino let the audience enjoy the boys and let us stand, dance and we sang every song!
I'm sure the band enjoyed us too. Eric, Buck, and Allen smiled and pointed to our B.O.C. "uniforms". They showed their appreciation with two great encores. I go to see them every chance I get, but needed to write about this one.
My best friend made a point to let the band know that it was my birthday, and they gave me a playlist and a poster! It was a great night. Probably the best B.O.C. concert that I've seen. They were really on that night. Took me a week to rebound from that one! My ears did melt and then my eyes.
Elgin, Ill. show. My first time seeing Jules and Richie. Saw show with couple who had never seen them. Uneventful as far as set list.