Blue Oyster Cult/Grand Funk Railroad Tour Impressions
Sep 15, 2002 at 2:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

kelly

Herr Babelfish der Übersetzer, he wore a whipped-cream-covered tutu for this title.
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
5,435
Likes
11
Yesterday afternoon I attended a free concert sponsored by 93.3FM "The Bone", a Dallas-Ft. Worth rock station and by Yamaha. My impressions follow.

The Venue
The event took place in downtown Ft. Worth's Sundance Square. As easy as it is to associate Ft. Worth with cattle fields and kickers, the truth is that downtown Ft. Worth is a beautiful city. It's been revamped in recent years like many urban city areas and Ft. Worth has always lead Dallas when it comes to the arts. Sundance Square is centered in the area of downtown that includes Ft. Worth's Water Gardens that you may have seen in the final scenes of the science-fiction film, Logan's Run. It houses a large Barnes N Noble, several small shops and restaurants and the famous Bass Performance Hall. Not bad for a little po dunk hick town, eh?

The concert was on an outdoor stage between a handful of blocked off streets. Sundance Square has become a regular home for some of Ft. Worths arts and music festivals and though it's now being reported that this was the largest crowd they've ever had there, it was really fairly well managed. Whether due to terrorism orange alerts or the reputation of Ft. Worth itself, there were dozens of friendly police officers throughout the crowds and perched in several high level places to overlook the crowd. The arrest told I heard was 54, pretty high for an event like this, but considering the public intoxications, I suppose it's to be expected. The police I encountered all smiled and were happy to give directions when asked. I was glad they were there.

The sound of the stage and all of the bands there far exceeded the sound quality of many pay venues, including Dallas' Smirnoff Music Center. Being completely outdoors has some acoustic advantages especially with large crowds and heavily amplified rock music. In this regard, I was pretty happy. I'll have to make a point of seeing other events here.

The Lineup
Roadside Couch
Back In Black
Broken Toyz
Blue Oyster Cult
Grand Funk Railroad

One of the advantages of a free concert is that you can just show up for the stuff you care about and leave the rest without feeling like you'd thrown money away. In this case, I got to Ft. Worth fairly early but spent some time in the Barnes N Noble there rather than coming out for Roadside Couch.

Back In Black
Back In Black, as you may have guessed, is a tribute band to AC/DC. When I said, "What do you think?" my date turned to me and said, "Not exactly original." No, I suppose not, but performance isn't all about originality and I have to admit that I fall into the crowd that digs seeing cover bands. I'd heard this one do "Dirty Deeds" live on the radio's morning program and thought they were pretty good so I thought I'd come out for them.

They opened their short set with "Highway To Hell" complete with a taut bare chested wailer and a baseball cap bulled backward and school uniform with shorts clad guitarist. These guys seemed to really get into their work. The guy sounded *just like* Bon Scott and I was fairly impressed. They rolled through "TNT" next and then the lead singer vanished from stage and returned in a black tanktop and burret to throw down "Back In Black" and "Thunderstruck", then asked a handful of women to the stage to help sing "You Shook Me." Amazingly, the guy sounded *just like* Brian Johnson. In some ways, I think seeing this act was actually a lot better than seeing AC/DC themselves live. To drive that point home, the band wrapped up their set by doing "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)" complete with bagpipes, a song AC/DC has never performed live. These guys are killer. I wish they'd had more time to do more of the Bon Scott era stuff. Maybe next time.

Broken Toyz
Broken Toyz is a local Dallas band that shows up at nearly every Dallas event where a band can be squeased onto a second stage. Maybe it was the heat or maybe I just take them for granted. EIther way the sign for The Flying Saucer was calling out to me and we ducked inside for a couple of real beers and pretles. I had a Spaten and she had a Boddington's, seated and air conditioned. Somehow I felt we were getting a better deal to the guys left outside buying cups of Budweiser at the stands.

Blue Oyster Cult
BOC is a band I've wanted to see in concert since I was a kid. This is a concert I'd have gladly paid for and this was the one that really drew out the crowd. The place became more tightly packed as I began to remember the disadvantages of free concerts. You see, when something's free, everyone comes out for it, fan or not. That's fine, I mean, I see bands that I'm not crazy about for free sometimes too. But average joe is a lot less courteous than I am and between the cigarette smoke being blown in my face and loud obnoxious talking, I began to wish BOC *had* actually come as a paid concert.

Once we surfed through enough crowd to get a place to stand that wasn't situated right next to these type of people, I was a little happier. I could see the band well and the sound was great. They'd been playing their set's opener, "Burnin' For You" and doing what I thought was a pretty good job of it. They immediately played "ETI (Exteral Terrestrial Intelligence)" next and I began to worry that the set would be very short having already burned two of their biggest songs.

The band came together and sounded better than I feel they sound on their live albums but they were a little improvizational which I think bothers some people. During ETI, the singer really sounded like a conspiracy theory nutcase and I began to wonder if the song was intended as a mockery. Amusing, none the less.

The third track they played was the first track from last year's album, "The Curse of the Hidden Mirror", an album I've hesitated to pick up. "Dance On Stilts" was a good enough song for me that I'll probably go ahead and look for it but in truth I've been disappointed with the band's newer material.

Next came some real classics in the way of "Harvester of Eyes", "Cities On Flame" and "Seven." This is what I was here to see and I was really happy with the performances.

Finally the band stopped and went into their spiel about Japanese monsters before launching into the crowd-pleasing "Godzilla." There was something cool about hearing this song downtown and surrounded by tall buildings but when the singer said "Godzilla is coming for the Dallas Ft. Worth" metroplex, funny images of an exhausted Godzilla walking for hours down major highways trying to get to the next suburb of the Dallas sprawl popped into my head. Ah well. I'm sure the speech works better in other cities. "Godzilla" was, for lack of a better word, interupted for a drum solo. I like drums a lot, I do. I think they're underrated in rock music. Don't take this the wrong way but... BOC's drummer is NOT a highlight of the show and... well, this was just a boring distraction from the music. I'd have preferred "Godzilla" uninterupted or, better yet, another song crammed into their short set.

Not surprisingly, the band finished up with a good performance of "Don't Fear (The Reaper)" and as they waved their goodbyes I thought again about what might have been different if it'd been a paid concert. Maybe they'd have done "Astronomy Domine" or "Veterans of the Psychic War" or maybe I'd have heard more of their newest album. Either way, I really wished they'd played longer but it was good to have finally gotten to see them live after all these years.

Grand Funk Railroad
By all rights, Grand Funk is a better band than BOC. In fact, they're probably one of the real great rock bands of all time. The band practically invented the rock ballad and ended up influencing everything from "Guns N Roses" to "Foreigner." Undoubtedly this is an important bandand from the first couple of songs, I could tell they were all class act performers. This is why, at the end of "Walks Like a Man", I felt a little bad about deciding my boredom was catching up with my date's. We grabbed some snowcones from a booth and started walking to our car as they plowed through some hits.

You know, it's funny how some bands you like to hear on the radio and CD but even when they do a great job live, you just can't convince yourself you care. I'm sure the Texas heat influenced this feeling and the long drive back to my side of Six Flags was enough to push me over. If you like Grand Funk and they're part of the Blue Oyster Cult free concerts in whichever town you're in, definitely go see them. I'm just not much of a fan and well, like I said, when it's free, you don't have to feel bad for leaving.

Whatever
So I was checking a Blue Oyster Cult site and it looks like they're doing a free concert in LA on the 28th? If anyone goes to that, let me know how it was an if the set was any different.
 
Sep 15, 2002 at 4:49 PM Post #2 of 10

pigmode

Truck-Fi
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
5,372
Likes
97
I saw them in Germany (Agents tour) and again in Hawaii (outdoor). At the latter concert they rode a straight-piped Harley (miked/amplified) onto the stage as a prelude to performing "Born To Be Wild". The German concert was rad. You think Texas cops/audiences are mean?
 
Sep 15, 2002 at 6:00 PM Post #3 of 10

Dusty Chalk

Head-Fi-holic: With headphones would just be a benny.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
6,565
Likes
15
Ermm...that's "Astronomy", not "Astronomy Domine", kelly. The latter is a Pink Floyd song, and, as much as I would love to hear BOC do a cover of it, I don't think that's what you meant.

You didn't see them in the 70's/80's? OMG, dude, they were so at the top of their form then! The dueling guitar thing, the lasers, the part where they all come out and play some sort of guitar or bass...the huge two-or-more-story-tall Godzilla, the pyrotechnics.

And I agree with you about the drum solo, but when I saw them last year or so, it was blissfully short.
 
Sep 16, 2002 at 2:58 AM Post #4 of 10

JohnActon

Put Ray Kimber Jr. through college
Joined
Jun 23, 2001
Posts
220
Likes
10
You got a girl to go to a BOC/Grand Funk concert?!? You must be an amazing talker. Either that or she's very cool!

Good write-up. I missed BOC when they came to Columbus last year. They played a small venue that reputedly has good acoustics; I really regret not hearing them.
 
Sep 16, 2002 at 3:27 AM Post #5 of 10

kelly

Herr Babelfish der Übersetzer, he wore a whipped-cream-covered tutu for this title.
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
5,435
Likes
11
Pigmode, Dusty and John... I love how my music threads bring out the coolest Head-Fi'ers.
smily_headphones1.gif


Dusty
Um yeah, that. I was uh... very tired when I posted that. Although, I agree, it would be a cool cover to hear.

John
I don't like to go to movies/plays/concerts by myself--social creature, I guess. I do occasionally go to concerts with people who are just friends but it's kind of rare. I got one friend to see Fates Warning/Dream Theater as his first concert ever and then later to see Iron Maiden as his second. Talk about spoiled for life. He's going to think every other concert sucks now. (Dream Theater is his favorite band and just about all he listens to, by the way.)

Oh and um, one other thing about women and BOC/Grand Funk. There were actually a lot of women there. Free concerts bring out the women. Unfortunately, the average f'ug in Ft. Worth is about two integers below Dallas f'ug. It ain't pretty. I recommend Norah Jones for that aspect.
 
Sep 16, 2002 at 3:51 AM Post #7 of 10

Dusty Chalk

Head-Fi-holic: With headphones would just be a benny.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
6,565
Likes
15
First of all, in response to the "chicks" comment -- are you kidding? Second only to some indie music, the most women I have seen at shows are classic rock (which BOC/GFRr would definitely qualify for). Wouldn't mind seeing a "most available and straight women" poll, though (because I've been to a Melissa Etheridge concert).

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Prettiest girls I've ever met came out of Texas. In fact, I've taken to using that as a "line" ("You're from Texas, aren'tcha?").

I need to visit Russia, though, according to Stuart.
 
Sep 16, 2002 at 5:36 PM Post #8 of 10

grinch

Cognac....icky.Scotch....icky.Vodka....
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
3,077
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by Dusty Chalk
First of all, in response to the "chicks" comment -- are you kidding? Second only to some indie music, the most women I have seen at shows are classic rock (which BOC/GFRr would definitely qualify for). Wouldn't mind seeing a "most available and straight women" poll, though (because I've been to a Melissa Etheridge concert).


i can beat that: i go to ani difranco concerts! i've never seen as many women in my life, especially when there is maybe a dozen men there.

at the last one i went to this spring, the women's bathroom line was so long that they started letting women use the men's room. i was offended.

this thread can't help but remind me of one of my favorite movies "the stoned age." anybody ever see it?

joe: the laser pointed right on me! it picked me out of the whole crowd!
hubbs: yeah, lit his head up like a ****ING christmas tree. but enough about YOU, JOE.

heh, it kills me. i highly recommend it for a b-movie comedy (and that girl has unbelievably nice ****). http://us.imdb.com/Title?0111293
 
Sep 16, 2002 at 10:56 PM Post #9 of 10

Budgie

Never looks a gift amp in the jackhole.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
2,155
Likes
21
Dusty- Ditto for me on the BOC early tours. Saw them in Billings,Montana in the 70's and it was probably the best concert I ever saw/heard. They finished out the concert with an over 15 minute jam on "Born To Be Wild". At the end of the song they finished out with all 5 members on stage playing guitars, for several minutes which eventually turned into a massive feedback/distortion wall of sound. They all set the guitars on stands and left the stage with the whole stadium shaking to this massive wall of distorted feedback that continued till the roadies shut down the PA. People were screaming and cheering. I will never forget it.
 
Sep 30, 2002 at 4:17 AM Post #10 of 10

Sovkiller

Proved that despite its huge size the CD3000 can be shoved down one's throat.
Joined
Jul 31, 2002
Posts
12,885
Likes
22
This is turning more interesting, anybody that would like to share a Grand Funk video, I didn't see any in years of looking for it, it seems that these guys don't like to much to be in camera....Dream Theater all the way Kelly I was enjoying now Voices from "The Awake" these guys are really good.....
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top