December 2, 2020

This month see not one but two live CD/DVD sets from the mighty Blue Öyster Cult making this a real party time for fans of this larger than life band.

Live At The Rock Of Ages Festival 2016 is a new work, a CD/DVD and stand alone Blu-ray set recorded at the Seebronn Rock Of Ages Festival in Germany in 2016 which is a country that has not seen too many appearances from the maestros in the last few years. The band for this gig is Eric Bloom on vocals/ guitar/keyboards with Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser on guitar/ vocals, Richie Castellano on Keyboards/guitar/vocals, Jules Radino on drums and Kasim Sulton on bass/vocals. The band is hot and they give a great performance although the show is not a long one at just over the hour mark. The set is well considered and contains a pretty good selection of BÖC classics for the German audience to revel in. BÖC were sandwiched between Magnum and the day’s closing act Avantasia and it was still light during their set but the stage was cleverly set up and enclosed so that it almost looks like an indoor show. Bands playing outdoors in the sun can almost look ‘washed out’ and the light show almost invisible but this is not the case here due to the well designed set up so the view of the band is excellent and you get the benefit of the lights too. For some reason This Ain’t The Summer Of Love is not on the video but it is on the CD so we get to hear it even if we do not see it. The audience seem respectful and maybe a little quiet but I think this is more a case of the fans thoroughly enjoying the performance and also, it seems, enjoying the best sound mix of the day. The band plays with the usual level of passion and experience we expect of them and the levels of intensity increase throughout the gig with the perfectly chosen set going down very well. The extended Then Came The Last Days Of May is a real stunner which the band then follows up with the knockout blows of Godzilla and (Don’t Fear) The Reaper.

The sound is exceptional, the band is on peak form with the video being beautifully shot and well edited with lots of wide shots mingling in with the close ups that put you in the middle of the performance. There are a lot of live BÖC CDs and DVDs being released at the moment but they are all relevant as they continue to show the band captured at specific times in its history Luckily, they have a huge catalogue which allows for sets to be radically different and the band is also renowned for playing around with the songs anyway so that they always sound fresh and inviting. Yet another wonderful release from the very epitome of heavy metal, long may they reign.

Live At Rock Of Ages Festival 2016 track list

  1. This Ain’t The Summer Of Love (2:32)
  2. Golden Age Of Leather (6:00)
  3. Burnin’ For You (4:56)
  4. Od’d On Life Itself (5:07)
  5. Harvest Moon (4:55)
  6. Me 262 (3:26)
  7. Buck’s Boogie (7:27)
  8.  Lips In The Hills (4:31)
  9. Then Came The Last Days Of May (10:05)
  10. Godzilla (6:38)
  11. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (6:56)

DVD/ Blu-Ray track list: Golden Age Of Leather, Burnin’ For You, Od’d On Life Itself, Harvest Moon, Me 262, Buck’s Boogie, Lips In The Hills, Then Came The Last Days Of May, Godzilla, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper. Blu-ray only: This Ain’t The Summer Of Love (Blu-ray Bonus Audio – Stereo and Surround Mix)

Has there ever been a greater time to be a fan of one of America’s finest classic rock bands as the release of archive live footage in the form of A Long Day’s Night. Blue Öyster Cult seems to continue unabated and all this alongside and complimentary to the bands recently released first studio album in nineteen years, The Symbol Remains. The latest treasured work is a CD/DVD and stand alone Blu-ray set that was recorded 21st June in 2002 at the Navy Pier/Skyline Stage in Chicago during the summer solstice. It also celebrates 30 years of history from one of the few American bands that could compete with the British metal invasion of the 1970s.

This set is not new but is a re-issue of a classic album/video but it has now been restored and remastered and is absolutely pristine in quality. The sound and picture quality is amazing and it looks as it was shot yesterday and is only given away due to how young the members of the band now look. Talking of how young they all look, the team in 2002 comprised Eric Bloom on vocals/guitar/keyboards, Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser on guitar/vocals, Allen Lanier on keyboards/guitar, Bobby Rondinelli on drums/percussion with Danny Miranda on bass/vocals and it is nice to look back at them with Allen Lanier performing his magic with the band. The interaction with band and crowd is wonderful and the love flowing from the audience is almost palpable and the band rewards by playing a thrilling and powerful set with lots of banter and wonderful music. The CD clocks in around 77-minutes with the DVD being a touch over 2 hours and means that there are differences in what is on each format as the CD does not include seven songs (E.T.I., Harvester Of Eyes, Flaming Telepaths, Then Came The Last Days Of May, ME 262 and the encore songs of Dominance And Submission and The Red And The Black) whilst Astronomy is on the CD but not the DVD. I’m not sure why the split has been made like this and it would have been nice if this was a double CD set featuring the full gig but let’s not complain about what we do not have and celebrate what we do. What can be said though is that this is an almost perfect set list to showcase what the band have achieved over 30 years of recording and touring and it stands as a fine testimony of where the band was at in 200. Again, the sound is excellent and showcases just what a hard hitting and powerful rock band Blue Öyster Cult is. The picture quality is perfect with great camera angles and you have the perfect ringside seat for a band having a real ball.

This really is one of those live shows that you are going to watch and re-watch as it is a pure joy to see BÖC in action and proving that they have few peers in the metal market. This is a perfectly put together package and also features several bonus items including rare interview footage, behind the scenes coverage, fan interviews, bio & discography information. What more could you ask for?

A Long Day’s Night track list

  1. Stairway To The Stars (3:53)
  2. Burnin’ For You (4:39)
  3. O.D.’d On Life Itself (4:42)
  4. Dance On Stilts (5:50)
  5. Buck’s Boogie (5:27)
  6. Mistress Of The Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl) (4:58)
  7. Harvest Moon (4:43)
  8. Astronomy (10:19)
  9. Cities On Flame With Rock ‘N’ Roll (5:53)
  10. Perfect Water (5:22)
  11.  Lips In The Hills (4:20)
  12. Godzilla (8:44)
  13. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (8:14)

DVD and Blu-ray track list: Stairway To The Stars, Burnin’ For You, O.D.’d On Life Itself, E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), Dance On Stilts, Harvester Of Eyes, Buck’s Boogie, Mistress Of The Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl), Flaming Telepaths, Harvest Moon, Then Came The Last Days Of May, Cities On Flame With Rock ‘N’ Roll, ME 262, Perfect Water, Lips In The Hills, Godzilla, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Dominance And Submission, The Red And The Black.
Blu-ray only bonus video: Joan Crawford and Astronomy (both previously unreleased performances).