Blue Oyster Cult @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta 10-4-2014

The smash HBO series Game of Thrones began with a mass beheading in an encampment “beyond the wall”.  Blue Oyster Cult played a recording of the theme song from GofT before hitting the stage around 9:00 on a Saturday night at the Variety as a prelude to another form of carnage.  BOC’s four-axe sonic onslaught energized an already anxious and enthusiastic crowd in what appeared to be a sold-out house.  The opening act was a psychedelta blues quartet from Nashville called All Them Witches.  They weren’t the worst warm-up act I’ve ever heard (that distinction goes to Smoke, who opened for Patti Smith) but they are in my bottom five.  BOC opened with “OD’d on Life Itself” from 1973’s Tyranny and Mutation and continued with “The Red and the Black” from the same album.BOC3They proceeded through a diverse sampling of 14 tracks (I don’t consider bass or drum solos as songs) from 8 different releases, with BOC4 BOC5tunes from their Black and White period accounting for half of their selections.  That was fine with me.  Their first three studio endeavors were their most productive, with Secret Treaties being their magnum opus.

The seeds of Blue Oyster Cult formed in Long Island in 1967 as students/rock critics.  According to a story Buck told us at the show, it was a chance meeting and conversation in a record store.  The band under the name Blue Oyster Cult started in 1971 and their eponymous debut LP appeared in 1972.  There have been numerous changes over the years but Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser on guitar and vocals and Eric Bloom on vocals and stun guitar have been the bedrock of the band.  They both appeared in this version of BOC at the Variety.  Eric is the one who brings sci-fi themes to their lyrics, and “Astronomy” would have been a welcome addition to the setlist.

BOC12 BOC8 BOC6BOC11

I was impressed how well BOC has held up and this show exceeded my expectations.  But one thing – they needed more cowbell.

BOC9 BOC7 BOC2 BOC1

Until the next concert, it’s time for my boot heels to be wanderin’.     George Ford

Setlist :

  1. “Game of Thrones” theme (Klaus Badelt)
  2. Encore:

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2 thoughts on “Blue Oyster Cult @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta 10-4-2014

  1. Having seen BOC twice in my lifetime, once at the Fox Theater and once at Music Midtown, I would have expected this show to be a letdown, as I couldn’t imagine them still going strong at their age. Glad to know they can still bring it (thought like the OP, I would have been disappointed if they didn’t play “Astronomy”).

    Liked by 1 person

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