Blue Oyster Cult at the Saban

Went to see Blue Oyster Cult at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills last night.

At first I was disappointed to see only two of the real members of BOC, Eric Bloom and Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, and their opening number wasn’t one I knew. But as I am getting accustomed to, older bands need to get a head of steam going. Here was just an example.

Diving into an a capella opening for The Golden Age of Leather, this Long Island, NY band showed off a better-than-expected four-part harmony that was surprising as well as appreciated by the crowd.

On Burning for You, they showed off their singing prowess once again, led by the haunting voice of Buck Dharma. The diminutive guitarist came up big all night trading extreme licks with newer guitarist Richie Castellano, who paraded all about the ample stage all night. Bloom had a number of interactive conversations with the crowd and it gave a kind of homey feel to a band’s earlier somewhat otherworldly persona, exemplified by the UFO-tinged The Vigil.

Surely they played Don’t Fear the Reaper, OD’d on Life Itself, and ME 262, but the highlight of the night was definitely the near-comical Godzilla, which also featured a nice bass solo from the terrific Kasim Sulton (Meat Loaf, Utopia, Joan Jett) and a lengthy and enjoyable drum solo from the youngster Jules Radino.

One of my favorites, Then Came the Last Days of May, presented two very lengthy and contrasting guitar solos by Castellano and Dharma sandwiched around the ill-fated story of three pot smugglers from Long Island going into Mexico to make a big deal.

After about 80 minutes, they returned to the stage with a rousing encore of The Red and the Black. As all good entertainers sadly do, they left us all wanting more and more and more…see you next time, BOC.

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