Oh no! Godzilla loose in Celebrity Theatre! Fans of the historic Phoenix venue needn't worry though; no damage was done to the beloved theater in-the-round or its revolving stage. In fact the giant mythical fire-breathing lizard was present in spirit only as rockers Blue Oyster Cult let loose their musical tribute to one of filmland's legendary creatures. The band saved "Godzilla" for late in their set and preceded the song with many other dark tales culled from their vast repertoire.
Helming Blue Oyster Cult for this show were original members Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser on guitar and vocals and Eric Bloom on guitar, vocals and keyboards; rounding out the band were guitarist Richie Castellano, bass man Danny Miranda and drummer Jules Radino. While everyone was in top form it was Roeser who stole the show. Playing his custom made one-of-a-kind Steinberger "Cheese"-berger guitar with a body the color of Swiss cheese and complete with divots mimicking the cheese, Buck reeled off amazingly hot riffs throughout the show, foregoing the posturing and histrionics that many guitar gods employ. Put simply, Roeser put his head down and rocked his ass off.
The set list encompassed hits and favorites from throughout the band's career and began with super oldies "The Red & The Black" from Tyranny and Mutation and, from their self-titled debut album, "Before the Kiss, A Redcap." There wasn't a lot of stage patter during the show but Bloom gave an abbreviated explanation of the boogie-ing "Before the Kiss..." which is about the passing of drugs via a kiss. It was great to hear the acapella intro to "Golden Age of Leather;" Blue Oyster Cult, while known for their heaviness, have always employed harmony vocals and bright melody along with their sinister sounds. "That Was Me," from the band's latest studio album The Symbol Remains was sung by Bloom who put just the right amount of menace in his vocals; the song is about various acts of human maliciousness but is ostensibly voiced by the devil.
Big hit "Burnin' for You" led into Secret Treaties track "Cagey Cretins" and Bloom once again took lead vocals on "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)," a terrifying account of a run in with the Men in Black of U.F.O. lore. Castellano took lead vocals on "Tainted Blood," another cut from The Symbol Remains; "The Vigil" and "Then Came the Last Days of May" were also played in the middle of the set. Then (oh no!) it was time for "Godzilla" to go on his romp and the audience had a blast singing along to the campy rocker. Smash hit "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" ended the main part of the show with "Hot Rails to Hell" and "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" included in the encore. While Godzilla wasn't really in attendance, one monster of a legendary rock band was.
Blue Oyster Cult like to say that they're "on tour forever" and fans can find their upcoming shows here.
The Blue Oyster Cult show at Celebrity Theatre was a Danny Zelisko Presents event and the promoter has lots of other exciting shows coming to the venue, including:
Sept. 30, 2023 - George Lopez (Two shows, 6:30 and 9:30)
Oct. 4, 2023 - Geoff Tate
Oct. 10, 2023 - Psychedelic Furs and Squeeze
Oct. 18, 2023 - Celebrating David Bowie
Oct. 24, 2023 - Dave Mason and Shawn Phillips
Oct. 29, 2023 - Young Dubliners
Nov. 14, 2023 - REO Speedwagon
Dec. 6, 2023 - The Musical Box
Dec. 8, 2023 - Gladys Knight
Dec. 9, 2023 - Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding with Sammy Hagar, Nancy Wilson and Quiet Riot
Dec. 15, 2023 - Rick Springfield
For a complete list of Danny Zelisko Presents shows coming to Arizona and elsewhere go here.
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