And it's back with new life as Buck does strut his stuff for a good 6 and a half minutes with some excellent guitar work. Amazingly done as the studio version would suggest, this one doesn't let down. Bonus footage of the soundcheck for the show shot with amateurish, often dizzying technique, is as bland and tedious as soundchecks usually are. Regardless, this is still a good one to get into. Hardcore fans will notice Perfect Water has made it onto the list while new fans will just be able to listen with shear joy to the excellent track. Probably just as good as most compilations, this is an excellent set which anyone seeking to get into the band should go after.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi Review Text Shortened by six songs from its accompanying video, Blue Öyster Cult's fifth live release is a rugged and often exciting trawl through their 30-year career. Acknowledging their position as classic rockers with something left to say, the burns through most of their recorded highlights in live versions that equal, and sometimes improve on, the originals. The only minor flaws immediately noticeable are that the drums seem to be a bit muted, sounding almost flat at times. Excellent performances right off the top make for a promising night. Often embarrassing interviews with hardcore fans -- many tattooed with 's logo -- confirm the -ish qualities one would expect from 's graying audience. D'd On Life Itself and coming into the end of the concert open up extended versions of their biggest hits Godzilla with Eric having some fun with the crowd and Don't Fear The Reaper ends the set with the kind of precision as though they've played the song a million times which I'm sure they have by now - but they don't seem to be sick of it.
Caught at a single show in Chicago on June 21, 2002, roars through their hits and selected album tracks with a renewed but not quite youthful vigor, belying the 40-something ages of the primary players. Shooting Shark would have made a great addition to get their '84 album in there, as would have The Vigil from Mirrors. Lips in the Hills 4:19 12. Burnin' for You 4:41 3. Astronomy also makes its long-awaited appearance in it's 10+ minute blowout incarnation. Well selected, there's very few new songs scattered about, but they're well chosen when they're there.
Stairway to the Stars 3:55 2. The band goes through a number of their best known songs such as Burnin' For You and O. Blue Oyster Cult have for three decades been one of America's most intelligent and forward thinking hard rock bands, and this live video, shot during a 2002 appearance at Chicago's Navy Pier, finds the band still going strong in the 21st Century. Other amazing if strange choices present themselves along the way as well. Fans are encouraged to see the live versions of their new stuff and relive some old, everyone else is just invited to spend the long day's night. Of course, their previous live albums are likely better put together than this one - they were in their prime then - but this one is still great. Lips In The Hills was a strange choice to make from their Cultosaurus Erectus album, but one that the fans will appreciate regardless with it's quick riffing.
What's nice about this release is that while it may not have been released at their peak, it does manage to capture all the best material over their last best described as shaky studio albums and give them live through a surprisingly vigorous performance. Newer songs turn up to be quite a treat. Post-production doctoring of the gig seems either limited or non-existent, making this a definitive portrait of one of the most resilient of classic rockers as they take their music to the next century with class, spirit, and determination. While there's a very good choice of songs here there's still others which would have been such a nice addition. Recorded at a single Chicago show in June of 2002, there seems to be few overdubs patching up this exuberant performance.
From the start to the finish, that seems to be the notion here. . A somewhat compilation of the band's career showcased in this, well, show. From the rip roaring riff of Stairway To The Stars we get quite a treat as the band attacks the material as though they'll never play it again. Of course, there will never be a live album in the history of man that fans will find to be perfect. The biggest draw especially for those who don't need or want all of the band's material is to hear a large variety of songs, since every album in their collection has at least one song off of it played only skipping the commercial flops: 1984's Revolution By Night and 1979's Mirrors and quite well at that. Dance On Stilts offers the best song from their new album with some live life and Harvest Moon provides some good coverage from the otherwise mediocre Heaven Forbid album.
Three decades of shows have only sharpened their attack. Cities on Flame 5:53 10. Although only three of the original five bandmembers Roeser, Allen Lanier, Eric Bloom remain, there is no mistaking the sound. This professionally filmed concert video was released in tandem with its similarly titled live audio-only counterpart. Candid interviews included as bonus footage show the three originals still on board , and testifying that the band has never sounded better, and the live show proves it. Not essential, but not only for fans.
Dance on Stilts 5:50 5. Thankfully the group seldom panders to lowest common denominator expectations. . . . .