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Monday, Nov. 5
Best Buy Theater
Times Square, New York
It was only fitting for Blue Oyster Cult to kick off the release of the brand new 40th Anniversary CD Box Set in New York City. (The concert was postponed due to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy).
After all, it was here in the Big Apple where the Long Island Rockers first broke big after a couple of name changes; picking up a very loyal and rabid cult following that still exists today.
Old Cult Fans never die they just get abducted by aliens.
Let’s face it; Blue Oyster Cult were way ahead of their time and bands from Metallica to Guns and Roses and Moe credit them as major influences.
But in the early 70’s, with the exception of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, there was not a lot of hard rock or metal being played on the airwaves. And even though critics hailed the first three albums, (“Blue Oyster Cult,”“Tyranny” and “Mutation and Secret Treaties”), as instant hard rock classics, FM Radio didn’t give the band much airplay with their early tunes about werewolves, vampires and aliens.
However, critics had now labeled Blue Oyster Cult “The Thinking Man’s Metal Band.”
They were so right.
Their constant touring and word of mouth from fans finally paid off in 1975 with the release of the double live album “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees” which showcased the amazing talents of lead guitarist Buck Dharma. The album quickly went gold and cemented the band as a major concert draw.
It was the following year, however, that Blue Oyster Cult really hit pay dirt with the multi platinum “Agents of Fortune” and the hit single “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” The album was a big hit with fans and critics alike. And Reaper was used in horror classics like “Halloween” and “The Stand.” It also propelled the band to major arena headliners, going head to head with some of the hottest acts of the time Aerosmith, ZZ Top and Ted Nugent.
At this time the band also fine tuned their hard rocking, guitar slashing live show with a barrage of theatrics including flash explosives, fireworks, smoke, strobe lights and a laser light show that was unsurpassed for its time. At one point the band would jam out on five guitars and also included Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma riding motor cycles on stage for the encore Born to Be Wild. It was a head bangers dream.
More radio friendly hits followed including “Godzilla,”“Burning for You,”“Joan Crawford” and “Take Me Away” and the band went on to sell 24 million albums.
I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight , and although the band got off to a late start, they did not disappoint.
Hitting the stage with “This Ain’t The Summer of Love” and rocking through a tight set of hits and fan favorites including The G”olden Age of Leather,”“ME-262,” “Burning for You,”“Shooting Shark,”“Lips in The Hills” and the house rocking anthem “Godzilla.”
After a short break, Eric and Buck were back with some classic cult favorites and some cool surprises including an acoustic version of “Harvester of Eyes” (very bizarre) and “In Thee,” in which Allen Lanier joined the band for the love song he penned for Punk Princess Patti Smith.
The rest of the show was a seamless set of hard rocking favorites like “Od’d On Life Itself,” “The Red and The Black” and “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” where other original members Joe and Albert Bouchard reunited with the band for one great rocking reunion.
Due to time curfew restraints there were some obvious omissions like Buck’s Boogie and Hot Rails to Hell, but all in all BOC put on an amazing show doing what they always do leaving the crowd screaming for more.
Avid BOC Fans should check out the following: Their Oct. 31 interview on rocklineradio.com and the 2011 indie film “Roadie” starring Ron Eldard (available on DVD).
Blue Oyster Cult will be appearing at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, Pa. on Dec.7.