Saturday night we traveled down to Port Washington, New York to see Blue Oyster Cult perform their first all acoustic show ever. Wearing black shirts and blazers, they looked liked a jazz band, but they sounded like anything but.

The current lineup of Eric Bloom, Buck Dharma, Richie Castellano, Jules Radino and Kasim Sulton were joined by additional percussionist Andy Ascolese. I could swear I’ve seen Andy before–working backstage in May at the Howard Theater concert . . .

They opened with “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” and the energy never slacked. Eric was in a talkative mood, telling the tales behind the songs, giving the performance a very coffeehouse feel, and making it very . . . up close and personal. Although I’m not sure I really wanted to know the story behind “Before the Kiss, a Recap” and the events in Conry’s Bar.

High points included the prettiest version I’ve ever heard of “Burnin’ for You”, Richie playing some rockin’ harmonica on “Before the Kiss” and some awesome piano on “Dancin’ in the Ruins” (we were on the far left–I could see Richie pretty clearly). Hearing “Divine Wind” which was written about the Iran Hostage Crisis after researching same to do a review of Argo. Finally hearing “I Love the Night” live (it’s one of my favorite BOC songs, and I’ve seen them dozens of times, yet I’ve never heard them do it live before). Buck telling the story behind “The Vigil”, which was originally named “The Devil’s Nail” (and was much more provocative. Eric responding to a request by explaining that they’d tried out songs acoustically, some didn’t work, and they were going to play “What was on the list.” The fantastic encore: “In Thee” absolutely sounds better acoustically.

Highest point: my dh actually appreciated the concert.

It was also great to see Richie using a tablet computer (iPad or equivalent) on the piano for either last minute reminders or his setlist. Technology is everywhere!

Set list:
This Ain’t the Summer of Love (Agents of Fortune)
Before the Kiss, a Recap (Blue Oyster Cult)
Divine Wind (Cultosaurus Erectus)
Burnin’ for You (Fire of Unknown Origin)
O.D.’d on Life Itself (Tyranny and Mutation) — this translated a little oddly to the acoustic setup
Dancin’ in the Ruins (Club Ninja)
I Love the Night (Spectres)
Career of Evil (Secret Treaties)
Astronomy (Secret Treaties)
The Vigil (Mirrors)
Harvester of Eyes (Secret Treaties)
Don’t Fear the Reaper (Agents of Fortune)
In Thee (Mirrors)
Gil Blanco County (Soft White Underbelly St. Cecilia)
ME262 (Secret Treaties)

There was no cowbell.

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