Went to a Garden Party and saw Blue Oyster Cult!
Have you ever wondered what one of those ‘corporate / private party' gigs is like for a band? Do they play a regular show? Is the show shorter or longer? What size places do they play?
I recently had the opportunity to find out. I looked at the mighty BOC's touring web site recently and saw that they were playing such a gig on the 15th of August. After doing some investigative research with the help of a fellow BOC fan, we ascertained that the gig was at Navy Pier inside at a Gardening Convention. One could register and see if they could get in. We did so and were mailed passes to access the show. It was a three-day event, but BOC was the entertainment on the first night.
On the day of the show, I scooted on down to Chicago and found parking and entered the convention center. It was massive. I went in and verified my pass and then proceeded to walk around and see all the attractions. There was lots to see, but of course, I was there for BOC and started to make my way to where they were supposed to play.
Bigfoot was there. Can Godzilla be far behind?
Diggin' in the dirt!
The hall they were to play in was huge. I walked in and watched the road crew set up lights and sound.
I then watched BOC do some of their sound check before being shooed out. They did Shooting Shark and Joan Crawford as well as bits from other songs.
I had looked at the inside of the venue pretty well and knew where I wanted to sit. Initially, the front middle section was roped off for VIPs, but that later changed.
I met up with my friend, and then we waited for the doors to open. While waiting, we noticed a guy wearing a Kasim Sulton shirt. Kasim has been in the band since 2012 but recently left to tour with his buddy Todd Rundgren. We broke the news to this guy that Danny Miranda is back in the band. He was bummed but was still looking forward to what would be his first BOC show.
They let us in, and we went to seats that were the first row on the side a bit from the main section that was roped off for VIPs. We were still pretty close and pleased with the overall outcome.
There was food of a sort, and I grabbed a drink and hung out at our seats. We noticed that the ‘vip' section was not filling up at all. Out of thirty or so rows, there were only about twenty people sitting there sprinkled around. After a while, a guy came around and removed the ropes. We asked him if anyone could sit there and he said yes so we grabbed front row. People around us told us that last year the music was Eddie Money.
After a while, the gardening peeps that were running this thing came out and spoke about the convention. Then they introduced BOC and out they came. They launched into the Red and the Black and the show was off and running. The crowd sat for most of it but was responsive, and there were a few diehards there that knew what was up.
Eric sort of tried to clue the audience in on BOC and their history and that seemed to go over pretty well.
At one point he made a gardening/weed joke before the Last Days of May that got everyone charged up and into it.
The band played a full set, and it was nice to hear Tattoo Vampire now in the set. I like that Buck sings True Confessions. I had wondered who sang it nowadays live.
The audience really started to rock out once Godzilla was played. They came up front and danced and sang their little gardening hearts out. They stayed that way for the Reaper and the encore.
I'm sure these corporate gigs run the gamut in size and set list length but there you go….a BOC corporate gig in the books for yours truly.
Red & the Black
Golden Age of Leather
Burnin' For You
Last Days of May
(Don't Fear) the Reaper
Hot Rails to Hell
Cities on Flame
* Joan Crawford and Shooting Shark were sound checked but not played.
"Stairway to the stars, I think I'll write good health to you" - Albert Bouchard / Richard Meltzer / Donald Roeser