Sunday, October 30, 2022

Blue Öyster Cult @ le Trianon, Paris - October 30th, 2022

Blue Öyster Cult hadn't played Paris since a memorable double bill with Uriah Heep in September 2009 so when they announced their return to the City of Lights for a concert in 2020, the event sold out rapidly and they had to add another date. Of course, those two dates would end up being postponed twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but last night, at long last, the legendary band from Suffolk County, NY graced a Parisian stage for the first time in over thirteen years.

Eric Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser have been the last remaining members of the original band for a long time now, and the line-up they've assembled has been carrying the legacy of the Blue Öyster Cult since 2017. Together, they recorded The Symbol Remains, the band's first album in nearly twenty years, off which they played four songs that fit in nicely alongside classics like opener Transmaniacon MC, E.T.I., Cagey Cretins, the radio hit Burnin' For You, Godzilla and its pachydermic riff. Oddly, they didn't play my personal favorite Astronomy, but you can't please everyone.

Dharma is one of the great unsung guitarists of the seventies Heavy Metal scene: his licks are sharp, clean and melodic yet ferocious and it's a treat to hear him trade leads with current co-lead guitarist Richie Castellano. And when he harmonizes with Bloom on vocals, it's like hearing a Heavy Metal version of the Byrds, if you can imagine such a monstrosity.

Of course they couldn't leave without playing the legendary Cities On Flame With Rock N' Roll and its incendiary lead guitar crescendo, and their most famous song, the absolute classic (Don't Fear) The Reaper. Hopefully it won't be another generation until Blue Öyster Cult returns...

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