|Blue Oyster Cult rocked the Emerald Queen Casino on Friday night. The only remaining original member are rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roessner. The amazing Dharma is the second from the right.|
The band played the Emerald Queen Casino. More about the venue later. They played a lengthy set. I would like to say I'm not thoroughly conversant with the entire BOC catalog, but I'm not. When I had a huge vinyl collection, I had three BOC albums, but they're mostly gone. Let me just say, there were six songs I really wanted to hear, and they played all of them astonishingly well. Just listening to their stuff on Spotify, it's amazing how well it still holds together, how interesting it is, and how utterly listenable it is. Blue Oyster Cult is a band worth playing again.
|My very bad picture of Bloom on vocals. Most of the songs are sung by Buck Dharma.|
I love great guitarists. Saying that, I'm looking for someone who can do more than just play really fast. I really enjoy guitarists that are melodic and are capable of weaving together a narrative with their instruments more than those who are just ripping out lots of notes. Buck Dharma is capable of doing both. If you like guitar solos, BOC provides plenty of them. The band actually has two leads, with Bloom filling in on rhythm guitar. But it's Buck's guitar work that's amazing. I liken it to his being able to tell a story with his solos, as well as providing the opportunity for the occasional face-melting shred fest by him or number two lead, Richie Castellano. Somehow Dharma manages very competent vocals while playing an incredible lead.
|The venue was about three quarters full with many very knowledgeable, worshipful fans.|
Just a couple words about attending the EQC. It's comfortable, but only a step or two above seeing a show in a high school gym. With booze. They sell alcohol outside the seating area, but inside the venue. Sounds handy, right? Lots of the crowd were out of the seats. Many were stupendously hammered and distracting. I'm sure 10% of the crowd had no idea why they were there or what they were listening to. This works okay at the Gorge in front of a crowd of 20,000 in the wide open spaces. Not so much in front of 1,200 people (and I'm being very generous) in a pretty small space.