Blue Oyster Cult: 7/3/1991

Blue Oyster Cult, in a club. Definitely had to check this one out. Although they were not the band I saw back in the late 70’s, they still had Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom, so well worth the $10.

I went with my friend Jim and we wedged our way into Summers on the Beach, a Fort Lauderdale club that managed to get bands that brought in more fans than was probably safe to host.

The band came out, and as expected, they rocked the house. Seeing them in a small venue was way different than seeing them in a stadium. And although the rockers were starting to show their age, they still kicked out the jams.

One cool thing that happened, during a pause between songs, I screamed out for “Astronomy,” which is my fav BOC tune. Eric stepped up to the mic and said, “Yeah, we can do that one,” and broke into it. Although looking back over the setlists from that tour, seems like “Astronomy” was a standard, it was still cool and made me feel like there was a connection between me and the band.

Here is a generic setlist from the tour, which seems like what they played at this gig.

  • Stairway to the Stars
  • OD’d On Life Itself
  • Before The Kiss
  • ETI
  • Buck’s Boogie
  • Take Me Away
  • Cities On Flame
  • Astronomy
  • Career of Evil
  • Unknown Tongue
  • Burnin’ For You
  • Godzilla
  • (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
  • Dominance & Submission
  • The Red & The Black

Johnny Winter: 6/29/1991

JohnnyWinter_6-29-91

I love Johnny Winter. As a guitarist, I am still in awe of his playing. That said, this concert was a bummer.

I went to this show with my friend Jim. We drove up from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale. Summers on the Beach was a club located right on Atlantic Blvd facing the beach and the ocean. Generally, it was a pretty fun place to hang out.

This concert was in late June, and if you have ever been to South Florida in late June, you know the heat is brutally oppressive. There is no way to comfortably exist without air conditioning. This sets the stage for the scene which was to unfold at this particular show.

We all know that club owners are notoriously sketchy, but they were particularly so in South Florida. Anyway, it seems that the owner had a brilliant idea on how to boost sales at the bar—turn off the air conditioning. The packed club turned into a sweatbox. Jim and I stood there, dripping sweat, waiting for Johnny to take the stage.

When he finally took the stage, it was a disaster. Johnny was kind of tall, so his head was right near the low-hanging stage lights, which also give off a lot of heat. He immediately began sweating profusely and cursing, yelling at people about the intolerable conditions. He played a little, stopped, yelled at some more people, then played another song. Finally, in a fit of disgust after playing about three or four songs, he stepped to the microphone and said: “This is bullshit! I’m playing one more song and then I am out of here.” And that’s what he did. It was very disappointing. Thankfully, I would get to see the legend perform another time before he died, but that is a story for another time.

Rock and Roll!

Gratefully Yours: 10/26/1991

GratefullyYours_10-26-91

The world is full of Grateful Dead tribute bands, but this one was unique because it featured Tom Constanten, original keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, along with David Nelson from the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Summers on the Beach was a stereotypical Fort Lauderdale beach bar, but they used to get some decent acts in there. Being a life-long Dead fan, I was not going to miss this opportunity to see Constanten perform. Also, I do love me some NRPS, so I was psyched to see Nelson too.

The show was a lot of fun. The band sounded great and they really dug deep into the repertoire, playing some choice songs like “Mountains of the Moon” and “The Eleven.” I knew a lot of people there, since South Florida had a pretty close-knit Deadhead community. We all danced and sang along. It was just a fun night of great music.

The coolest thing, though, is that Tom Constanten came out after the show and mingled with the audience, chatting and offering to sign autographs. As you can see, I got my ticket stub signed by him. It was the perfect ending to a great night of live music.