I Was Burnin’ for Blue Öyster Cult! | Concert Review (‘On Tour Forever!’ Tour)

This concert review has been long overdue, so I apologize for the delay people! My Disney College Program was coming to an end, so I thought, “why not go out with a bang by seeing Blue Öyster Cult live in concert?” So, that’s exactly what I did! The concert took place on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center; located in The Villages, Florida. It took my dad a lot of convincing, but he eventually agreed to do the hour and a half long drive to and from the concert venue for Blue Öyster Cult. Thank goodness I was a pretty good navigator too, haha!

Not going to lie, I wasn’t a fan of the band before I attended the concert. I only bought the tickets for two reasons: I heard they sounded great live and I wanted to see as many “old” rock bands as I possibly could. When I bought the tickets in early November 2022, I made a mission to listen to all of Blue Öyster Cult’s studio albums before January 2023, so I knew what to expect at the concert. I gravitated towards the first three studio albums, but I also enjoyed the band’s newer albums like Heaven Forbid (1998) and their most recent studio album, The Symbol Remains (2020). The latter is a pretty heavy record!

I was so pumped about the concert because I hadn’t seen a rock band live since I saw The Eagles in spring 2013. The day of the concert, January 10, started with a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World with my parents; cheers to riding “Expedition Everest” twice in a row! We got back from the park at about 4:20 p.m. After freshening up a bit, my dad and I left our hotel at 4:45 p.m. The drive to the concert venue was long, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be; we arrived at the venue at 6:15 p.m.

Before going to our seats, my dad bought me a shirt to remember the Blue Öyster Cult concert by. It’s a nice shirt with The Symbol Remains album cover on the front and it says “Blue Öyster Cult on Tour Forever” on the back; I wish it had the tour dates on the back instead, but, it’s still a sweet concert souvenir. Oh and the shirt was $35, which was ridiculous, but unfortunately, singers/musicians make money through touring and merchandise nowadays, so it is what it is. After I got my shirt and my dad got his “beverage,” we headed to our seats; we were in the middle of the balcony, so we got a good view of the stage. We sat down at about 6:30 p.m. 

The concert was supposed to start at 7:00 p.m., but it started at 7:07 p.m. instead. The line-up was Buck Dharma on lead guitar, lead vocals, and backing vocals; Eric Bloom on lead vocals, backing vocals, and keyboards; Danny Miranda on bass and backing vocals, Richie Castellano on keyboards, rhythm guitar, lead vocals and backing vocals; and Jules Radino on drums and percussion. Immediately, the band was on fire! There were electric guitars, a thumping bass, an actual drum set, and great vocals from a singer that didn’t need autotune. And actually, there was more than one lead singer because half the band members sang lead vocals, which you don’t see often. It was awesome hearing live rock music again for the first time in years. 

When I saw Sabrina Carpenter in late October 2022, it was a different kind of vibe. Yeah, she had an actual band with her, but there were no guitar solos and no crazy drum fills. The Blue Öyster Cult concert made me feel so alive and I could tell those guys poured their hearts and souls into their performance that night. 

As mentioned earlier, I really dug the band’s The Symbol Remains album, so I was happy they played a few songs from it. I cheered in excitement when “Tainted Blood” came on, which was sung by Castellano. They also played “That Was Me,” which I proudly banged my head to! “Godzilla” was another highlight for me because it was the first Blue Öyster Cult song I ever heard. However, I thought there was going to be a guy in a Godzilla suit come out on stage because of the suspense the band created for the intro, but that never happened sadly. My favorite moment of the concert, though, was when the band played “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” which is probably my favorite Blue Öyster Cult song at the moment.

My dad and I loved the excellent musicianship that was displayed on stage. He was impressed with Miranda’s bass playing, while I was vibing with Radino’s drumming. Sure, we had our favorites, but all of the guys were great because they didn’t just play one instrument. One moment, someone would be playing rhythm guitar and the next, they’re playing keyboards. Dharma even did a long guitar solo after “Godzilla.” I got bored about halfway through the solo, but hey, he was lost in the music and I can’t blame him for that. 

I only knew about half of the songs on the setlist, but setlist.fm listed the songs that were played that particular night, and based on my memory, the setlist looked pretty accurate. One-fourth of the songs were from the band’s debut studio album, which was released in 1972. I didn’t mind that, to be honest, because I liked the rawness of that album, plus it has “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll.” Of course, Blue Öyster Cult played their biggest hits, “Burnin’ for You” and “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper;” I’m not a fan of the latter. Oddly enough, while in line for “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith” the next day, “Burnin’ for You” was playing through the speakers outside. 

To my surprise, the concert ended at around 8:50 p.m., which was 10 minutes before 9:00 p.m. Not that I was complaining; my dad and I had another long drive ahead of us anyways. Since my dad paid for my souvenir shirt, I bought him a souvenir shirt, so that we’d be even! He was debating whether or not to get one, so I’m glad I was able to buy it for him. Besides, I would’ve felt so guilty if I didn’t pay for his shirt, since it was so expensive. We left the venue at 9:00 p.m., bought McDonald’s for a late dinner, and got back to our hotel at about 10:30 p.m. 

The night my dad and I went to see Blue Öyster Cult was one of the best nights of my life! It’s pretty up there with the Justin Bieber concert in 2010. I wouldn’t say the concert made me a huge fan of the band, but I like them enough to own a few of their albums on CD and have their songs on my Spotify rock playlist now. I’m glad I got to attend the concert with my dad because of our love for rock music. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t a fan of Blue Öyster Cult either, but he really enjoyed the experience. I can’t wait to attend more rock concerts with him in the future, as long as they don’t require long drives to and from the venue, haha.

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14 thoughts on “I Was Burnin’ for Blue Öyster Cult! | Concert Review (‘On Tour Forever!’ Tour)

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  1. Well you got one up on me Lana because I never got to see Blue Oyster Cult. Sounds like you had an excellent time and the pictures are fantastic! I never went to a concert with my dad but I rectified it by going to concerts with my own sons and step son.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Since I began watching it in the 1970s, there has been a drift away from fighting and violence in the sport. When I took my son to a Philadelphia Flyers game in 1994, there were three fights in that game alone. When I was in the States in 2018, I watched five games and there was just one fight.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Huh, only one fight in the 2018 game? Interesting, but I wonder if that’s a good thing. Less people get hurt and that way, hockey doesn’t get a bad rep for being a “violent” sport.


    1. The concert was great! It was like watching a youtube video in real life since it was a performing arts center, where we had to sit down the whole time. Very relaxing and rocking at the same time.

      He had a beer, but I forget what brand it was.

      Liked by 1 person

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