March 4, 2022
Tonight was a night to remember for long-time fans and the newly indoctrinated for the legendary Blue Oyster Cult. The two remaining original members, Donald Roeser (Buck Dharma) on lead guitar and vocals and Eric Bloom (guitar and vocals), both well into their 70s now, show no signs of slowing down. They were terrific, and it looks as though they have not lost a step with their performances. It was over two hours of music with no breaks.
A significant part of this night was that to the date; it was the 50th anniversary of their self-titled first recording. After covering "Transmaniacon MC" and "Before the Kiss, a Redcap" Eric informed the audience of that historic moment in time and the story behind "Before the Kiss, a Redcap," which I found very interesting. You can go to a show and find out; you may be surprised.
B.O.C. covered much ground, including some choice tracks from the 2020 release The Symbol Remains , their first album in 20 years. I was delighted, and it was far too long to wait for many of the faithful, but they made it count.
There were so many memorable moments, including Buck's shredding and getting down on the floor on his knees. He was bending those strings as if 50 years had not passed, making it look easy. Eric and Buck sounded good and were always perfectly matched on every song. When "The Alchemist" started, Eric came out in a brown hooded monk robe during the encore. With a book casting his spell on the band and the crowd, he sang the words and shouted, I am the alchemist, and I am the sorcerer!
Some of my other favorites were "Burnin' for You," "Train True (Lennie's Song)," and "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)." The entire set was great. However, those were some of the highlights of the evening.
It was the sixth time I had gone to a B.O.C. concert since the 70s (when they only had three studio albums out). I saw two shows in Albany at The Palace. One was when Bob Seger opened for them (before he got huge with his live album that year), and Tommy Bolin opened for them around a year later. Bolin died a few months later of an overdose. Then there was the legendary Black & Blue Concert with Black Sabbath in the early 80's at Lebanon Valley Racetrack and the subsequent riot, killing some people.
I have a history with this band, as I am sure many of the grey hairs can attest and tell a few stories. If you have not gone to a B.O.C. concert, make sure you do before they hang it up for good. You never know what tomorrow brings, and the band's elder statesman may not be around much longer. They may decide to retire, and how many great ones have we lost around the age of 70 over the last few years? It is something to think about music fans.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 5, 2022
Before the Kiss, a Redcap
Golden Age of Leather
That Was Me
Burnin' for You
Dancin' in the Ruins
E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
Train True (Lennie's Song)
Then Came the Last Days of May
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll