Concert Review: Blue Oyster Cult Rocks The Flying Monkey!

Iconic Rockers Still Deliver The Goods

PLYMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE – The legendary classic rock band, Blue Oyster Cult, recently invaded The Flying Monkey, a unique and very cool venue, located in this quaint New Hampshire college town. It was also a special night for this long-time fan, finally getting to see one of my favorite bands for the first time.

Review and photos by Joe Milliken

What’s more, I had originally obtained the tickets months prior with a close friend, who unfortunately is no longer with us. Therefore, bringing his best friend (and my good friend) to the show in his honor, surely added to the emotions of the night. Did I mention that we were also lucky enough to be sitting second-row center? The venue is simply classic and beautiful, which also includes a vintage movie house and a relaxing lounge-area and bar.

The current Blue Oyster Cult line up is fronted by original members Buck Dharma (lead guitar, vocals) and Eric Bloom, (guitar, keyboards, vocals) who led the band through a nearly two-hour set full of BOC classics and a few surprises mixed in. The duo looked trim and fit, energetic and happy to be performing for their enthusiastic fans in this intimate setting. The other current members of the band include Richie Castellano on guitar and keyboards, Danny Miranda on bass and Jules Radino on drums.

From the outset, the band was in fine form, performing a set list of songs that spanned their entire career. From such staples as “Golden Age of Leather” and the jazzy-rocker “Before The Kiss, A Redcap,” to their most recognizable hits like “Burnin’ For You,” “Don’t Fear The Reaper” and “Godzilla,” the set list was balanced, touching upon BOC’s four decades of rock music splendor.

Dharma and Bloom were their cool tongue-in-cheek selves, often doing the classic “guitar line up” at the foot of the stage with their band mates, building up that guitar “wall of sound” they have always been known for. Their vocals remain strong after all these years, and this reviewer must admit, that finally getting to see one of my favorite guitar players up-close, was a thrill, as Buck shredded solo after solo the entire night, including his legendary guitar instrumental “Buck’s Boogie,” which he was originally inspired to write after one of his guitar heroes’ songs, Jeff Beck’s “Beck’s Bolero.”

Eric Bloom was also in great form, bouncing between lead and backing vocals, guitar and keyboards, telling an occasional bad joke, and hoisting that vintage, black “BOC guitar” over his head triumphantly as the crowd roared its’ approval... it was all just so rock-and-roll!

An unexpected treat was also hearing a favorite of mine, “Shooting Shark,” from the band’s more radio-friendly 80s period, as well as the classic-70s “True Confessions,” a song that I love and had somehow (sort of) forgotten about. How dare I! My only slight downer, (it’s a review, gotta be honest, here) was the omission of my favorite BOC song, “Don’t Turn Your Back.” But it certainly wasn’t for a lack of my screaming for it in between songs!

Closing out this review on a personal note, the show was fantastic and memorable and everything I could have hoped for, except for the fact that my close friend was not there to enjoy it with me. However, I had looked for a sign from him all night, and then, at the very end of the last encore song, I felt something gently tap me on the shoulder.

I looked to my right, and the dude standing next to me said “Hey, that was a guitar pic!” I looked down, and sitting right there on top of my friend’s pocketbook, was a Buck Dharma pic! I picked it up, turned to Beth and said, “It’s Patrick!” We both smiled wide, for it was the sign I had been looking for. It was the perfect ending to a most memorable concert. I look forward to returning to The Flying Monkey for more shows, for the karma there is very, very good!