Blue Oyster Cult played at Monteith Riverpark in Albany, Oregon for River Rhythms on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in temperatures near 100 degrees. The purpose of the free “Rock Out Against Hunger” concerts is to help support the fight against hunger in Oregon. A one dollar donation is suggested and the concerts are sponsored by both local and national businesses that operate in the Willamette Valley.
Without introduction around 6:20 PM BOC came on stage and did what must have been a late sound check as they played three or four songs for about 20 minutes and then exited. Then an announcer took over introducing sponsors until he introduced a local DJ who then introduced “Blue Oyster Cult and the actual concert began at 7:00 PM
Original core members Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom led the band with their guitar pyrotechnics and vocals. Bass guitarist Danny Miranda gave an animated performance to round out the rhythm section with Jules Radino on drums. Richie Castellano was a multi-instrumentalist that began with the band as an engineer and bass player but moved to keyboards, lead guitar and vocals.
The show consisted of a dozen songs beginning with Dr. Music from their 1979 Mirrors album. “Before the Kiss, a Redcap” from the bands initial eponymous album from 1972 had bassist Danny Miranda doing a solo while he danced to the beat. Buck Dharma wailed on his Gibson SG and sang –
“So grab your rose and ringside seat
We’re back home at Conry’s Bar”
“The Golden Age of Leather” from 1977’s Spectres followed with a crowd sing along part,
“raise your can of beer on high
And seal your fate forever”
Keyboardist Richie Castellano got up and donned his “Music Man Steve Morse Y2D Guitar as the band now had three guitars screaming into the stratosphere with the crowd raising their cans and bottle on high. When the band began the intro to “Burnin’ For You” the crowd got excited. Roeser sang the lyrics perfectly as he accompanied himself on guitar note perfect with the crowd singing along on the chorus.
“Harvest Moon” was from Heaven Forbid, a 1994 release where Buck and Castellano performed a guitar solo duet together that was amazing. They performed two songs from their most recent album, 2020’s The Symbol Remains. Roeser wrote “Train True (Lennie’s Song) and Castellano and Bloom wrote “Tainted Blood which Buck sang while Bloom traded his guitar for keyboards as Castellano once again picked up his guitar. The guitar interplay was once more phenomenal.
Roeser commented, “I think it’s cooling off a bit” when a breeze blew off the river as the evening temperature began dropping like normal on the West Coast. If it’s 100 degrees during the day it will cool down to 65 degrees by Midnight. Buck said that they were doing an unexpected song from 1974’s Secret Treaties as they dove into “ME 262,” a song about a German jet fighter pilot attacking the British in WWII. “Then Came the Last Days of May,” another cut from 1972 that once more had more amazing guitar solos by both Roeser and Castellano.
The intro to “Godzilla” was unmistakable with the crowd reacting positively from the first notes. This was followed by “Buck Noodling” on his six string for a few minutes before he began the final song of the night, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” from their 4th album in 1976 titled Agents of Fortune. Roeser mesmerized the crowd with his amazing performance of the song after having played it thousands of times over the past forty-six years.
The band left the stage with the crowd on their feet screaming for more in the cool of the evening. After about five minutes of clapping and screaming BOC returned to the stage (probably after hydrating and sitting in some air conditioning for a couple of minutes) and played one last song. The show closer was “Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll” from their first album in 1972. After they finished they once again took bows and left the stage to the disappointment of the crowd that clamored for more until the roadies began removing equipment.
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