Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blue Oyster Cult/Alice Cooper August 1st 2009
Ohio State Fair Celeste Center

Wow, I started this blog years ago as a concert review blog! And here I am reviewing a concert again. It's been a long time Pittsburgh.
So anyway, as soon as this show was announced like four months ago I ordered tickets. Still managed to get somewhat crappy seats over to the extreme right side of the stage. When ordering I kept trying to maybe get second tier seats in the middle but the bot wouldn't allow it. :( In any case, it was nice to have a great view of the SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER. Oh yes---she comes with every show at the Celeste Center.
Rebby and I hit the road at about noon and made it into Columbus at about 3:30pm (after a few construction delays.) It was a nice road trip, and we got to yell "Hare Krishna" into the canyon as we passed Moundsville WVA. Our Holiday Inn Express was just off the highway and we arrived without incident. Got to the room, unpacked the snack bag into the mini fridge, and immediately jumped in the jacuzzi. Ah.
Unfortunately this hotel did not carry VH1 Classic so we had to settle for some dance off show featuring troupes dancing to the works of Michael Jackson. Ho hum.
The jacuzzi was nice and we wilted ourselves for over an hour. Then got dressed and headed out for the fair.
The fair was right around the corner on the other side of the highway. By the time we actually got to our parking spot, though, we were practically back at the hotel. (I don't think it would have been possible to walk there, though, as it is a divided highway.) We parked and hiked across the muddy parking area to the fair entrance.
By this time we were both starving. Oh, and I realized I had forgotten my fair program back at the hotel. I had a map, but it proved useless. The upshot being the only agricultural displays we found were the sheep. We also didn't read the map carefully and ended up settling for some half decent cheesesteaks when we could have gone a few more feet and gotten some fantastic barbecue, or amish food, or something from the Taste of Ohio Cafe. Sigh. It's not that the cheesesteaks were BAD by any means. They just were not as good as something else might have been had we understood what all the fair had to offer. Sometimes being TOO HUNGRY clouds your judgement.
So after finishing our passable fair food we continued on to the MUTTON BUSTIN arena. I am not going to go into great detail about the MUTTON BUSTIN because the more I think about it the more it creeps me the hell out. Go and watch a youtube video about it. The youngest participant we saw was THREE YEARS OLD. I just think it's wrong.
From the Mutton Bustin we walked around the sheep show a bit, then checked out more of the food vendors, looking in vain for a bona fide apple fritter. No luck. Maybe it's just a northern Ohio thing. In the end I settled for an elephant ear but there was so much cinnamon sugar on it I could only manage half. So much for going buck wild on the fair food! rebby had a chocolate covered frozen banana and seemed to really enjoy it. We walked past the venue and saw lots of people already queued up, and the very cool LED marquee they had scrolling Alice's spider face and ALICE COOPER in big red letters. I started to get really excited--too excited to eat my elephant ear.
We finished up our treats and headed into the venue. Surprisingly, the venue itself was DRY as well as the fair. I think many people in the audience were surprised at that. I was more thrilled than anything at the thought of not having people getting up out of their seats every 20 minutes for beer, and no stupid drunk person behaviors. It was a nice change.
We walked all the way around the perimeter of the theater looking for the merch, and finally had to ask a security guard. Again surprisingly, they had the merch table set up INSIDE the concert hall! Never seen that before. We got in the very long line in front of a little girl in a top hat and big spider necklace with her parents. Saw several other folks with Alice eyes, but only one dude in ill fitting vinyl pants. A new record :) We finally got to the front of the line and the possibilities were endless. There were at least 5 different Alice t shirt designs, a couple of BOC shirts, stickers, bandanas, keychains, buttons, CDs....rebby and I each picked one of the Theatre of Death T Shirt designs, she got a bandana, I got a keychain, and we got a sticker set to share. There were a couple of other tshirt designs I really liked and if I end up getting to the Erie show I am definitely getting another one. Probably the trashes the world version.
So we gathered our merch and went back to our seats (luckily at the end of a row) to get ready for BOC. The stage was set with Alice's backdrop already, so we got a good look at the eyes. It looked a lot like the Eyes from the "Eyes" tour, only they didn't flash any lights. That's alright, there was plenty else to make up for it.
People watching at an Alice Cooper show is a lot of fun. I spotted a t shirt from the Elyria Harley Davidson store, several vintage Alice shirts, some BOC shirts, and the usual inexplicable ones like Paul McCartney and Heart. Huh? I saw one fellow wearing the Will Ferrel "more cowbell" t-shirt. Ha. One guy a couple rows up had a shirt proclaiming him to be a member of some hardcore BOC fan club. I wonder what he thought of the show....
Finally the lights went down and the BOC opening music montage started. It included, I kid you not, a clip from the "more cowbell" sketch. I found this very troublesome and immediately drifted into a consideration of the possibility that there could be folks in the audience who ONLY KNEW BOC FROM THIS SKETCH. Shudder. That can't be possible, right? Even if you didn't KNOW BOC, you at least have heard "Don't Fear the Reaper" on the radio before seeing this comedy sketch, right? Luckily, they came out on stage and launched into "The Red and the Black" and took my mind off of the philosophical problem.
Only, they played a sort of funk/blues version of the song, and Eric Bloom was being a real dorkwad. He wore a t shirt with a demonic poodle on it, and a leather vest over that. He was really, really trying too hard. Thankfully, Buck Dharma is awesome in direct proportion to Eric Bloom's doucheyness. Buck wore a white button down shirt, a black vest, his shades, and a guitar that appeared to be made out of swiss cheese. The other guys in the band are all hired guns (as I suppose most of BOC has been over the past 20 years judging from their website) including Rudy Sarzo on bass who seems to have played at least once in every band in existance since 1976. They played Before The Kiss (A Redcap)another weirdly bluesy version, and then Buck sang
Burnin' for You and I relaxed. Buck is just so cool. And his guitar is one of those standout guitar sounds no one else can do. Love it.
Next up was Cities on Flame, which was spectacularly sign language interpreted. If I see you in person, please ask me to demonstrate the sign language interpretation of this song. It got the crowd all pumped up and even I let my cynicism drop and danced around. Next up was a mind blower: Shooting Shark. Buck introduced it as "a patti smith song" which made it even more awesome. I had not thought of that song since the late 80s and wow, it's beautiful. Definitely my favorite moment of the BOC show.
Godzilla was next, and I was SO BORED that I left to get a sprite. Seriously, I have to say that BOC suffers for lack of beer. When I got back everyone was doing tedious instrumental solos. I started to get a headache, but I sucked down my sprite and got through it. Really? solos in a 45 minute set? Waste of my time. They finished with
(Don't Fear) The Reaper, of course, complete with some joker stationed behind the speaker stack wailing on the cowbell. It made me pretty sad to think that BOC is not just a nostalgia act, but a self consciously jokey nostalgia act. It was way better seeing them at the Mansfield rib fest.
(back with Alice in a moment...)


Post a Comment

<< Home