Okee dokee folks… Blue Oyster Cult fans converged on The Cabot Theatre in Beverly, MA on Saturday, March 5 to experience a 50-year celebratory show of the band Blue Oyster Cult (BOC). Though the band was formed in 1967, they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of their eponymous first album.
I saw BOC quite a few times in the mid ’70s at venues like the Providence Civic Center and the Cape Cod Colosseum. Back then their arena shows were elaborate affairs with special effects lighting, smoke and lasers. BOC was one of the first bands to incorporate lasers into their shows, and guitarist/vocalist Eric Bloom often used a hand held laser that he would shoot into the crowd. Not only was BOC memorable, but their opening acts were as well. I was introduced to new acts such as Cheap Trick and Rush because of their warm-up spots. BOC’s show at the Cabot was a big contrast to those old arena days: this 50th anniversary performance was a straight ahead no-frills rock show with no opening act.
The band walked out on stage to pre-recorded instrumental music pumped though the PA and launched right into “Dr. Music.” Eric Bloom encouraged the crowd to sing along with the lyrics, “Raise your can of beer on high and seal your fate forever,” and, of course, raise it again as they played “The Golden Age of Leather.” It wasn’t long before they performed one of their biggest hits, “Burnin’ For You.” They ran through “Buck’s Boogie” that incorporated other melodies in the jam such as “Mary Had A Little Lamb” as well as a little ZZ Top. The new song “Tainted Blood” was fronted by newer BOC member Richie Castellano: Not only did he nail the vocals, his guitar solo screamed talent. The band’s vocal harmony skills were demonstrated on another new number, “Train True.” This song has a roadie take center stage wearing a conductor cap and blowing some harp. “Then Came the Last Days of May” was introduced as being a true story and once again featured a blazing solo by Castellano. Guitarist “Buck” Dharma had cleared to the side to let Castellano shine but soon it was his turn and Dharma did not disappoint. Soon Bloom was yelling, “Do you hear that? Something big is coming!” Fans knew, it was “Godzilla!” Dharma slid his guitar across his mic stand to emulate the sound of Godzilla “pulling the spinning high tension wires down.” This song was followed by the picking a chords and the tell-tale sound of a cowbell. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” closed out the show.
Chants of “B-O-C, B-O-C” brought the band out for a two song encore that included “The Alchemist” and “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll.” BOC performed a satisfying set of new songs and classics. After 50 years the band’s sound still holds up and founding members Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom, the only original members left in the 5-piece band, still can bring it. Though they are now in their mid-70s they had no problem rocking hard and keeping up with the younger blood in the band. Their voices and chops have not withered over time. Though the Cabot was a far cry from their arena shows of the ’70s the band still has it and the Cabot Theatre provided an intimate atmosphere to experience rock legends of BOC’s stature.
To check out photos from the show head over to the Motif Magazine Facebook page! (Facebook.com/MotifRI) There are lots of other concert photos there as well. You can find my new podcast at MotifRI.com. Have a listen. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. www.JohnFuzek.com