US rockers Blue Oyster Cult make a rare appearance on Tyneside as part of an extensive eight date UK jaunt.

It’s not very often that Blue Oyster Cult performs on our UK shores and subsequently, a packed out crowds awaits the legendary New Yorkers on their return to Newcastle.

Many in attendance this evening are attending multiple dates on this run, as a result of which the band has been mixing their setlist up each night. Without a new studio album in 18 years, tonight’s show is very much a retrospective look back at Blue Oyster Cult’s impressive 50-year career including the hits, the deep cuts and all.

The sounds of the “Game of Thrones” intro rolls as Blue Oyster Cult hits the stage and kick off the proceedings with a trio of 70s classics from their first three albums. This includes “Tattoo Vampire”, “Before the Kiss, a Redcap” and “Career of Evil”, which in turn sets the tone for the night ahead.

The band’s MTV smash hit “Burnin’ For You” is one of the early highlights of the set. Likewise “Harvester of Eyes” with its infectious melody and three-part guitar harmonies certainly hits the spot.

Blue Oyster Cult’s almost two-hour show is very much an interactive experience. Mid-set the band gives the audience the choice of hearing either “Shooting Shark” or “Harvest Moon”. Tonight the latter is the strong favourite; rich in harmony and catchy hooks, it’s easy to understand why it is chosen.

A spellbinding rendition of “The Vigil” really highlights the incredible guitar partnership of Buck Dharma and Richie Castellano, who play off each other throughout. The band’s veteran multi-instrumentalist Eric Bloom takes to lead vocals during “E.T.I” before Dharma takes front and centre with a display of instrumental guitar mastery during the thunderous “Buck’s Boogie”.

The band take the Geordie faithful back to the start of their career with a stunning rendition of “Then Came The Last Days of May”. This epic number is most certainly one of the centrepieces of tonight’s two-hour set. The prog-tastic number highlights the incredible talent of each of the members of this group, there is no weak link in this uber-talented outfit.

As the band heads into the final moments of their main set they wheel out the big guns with a monolithic airing of “Godzilla” and the band’s crowd-pleasing, timeless classic “Don’t Fear The Reaper”.

With a career spanning back to the late 1960s, on the strength of tonight’s performance, it’s fair to say that Blue Oyster Cult are still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

British rockers The Temperance Movement open the proceedings early in the evening. Of course, TTM are not just your average opening band, the group has headlined this venue in their own right not too long ago. It goes without saying that a full house is in attendance to witness their return at the top of the night.

Throughout their 40 minute set, the band give the crowd a taste of what they are all about. The Temperance Movement are certainly not here to make up the numbers, they’ve got a point to prove. From the opening notes of the classic “Only Friend,” the band show that they mean business.

With many of their own fans in attendance The Temperance Movement waste no time at all as they belt through the likes of “Caught In The Middle”, a blues-tinged rendition of “Take It Back” and fan favourite “Caught In The Middle”.

Tracks like the beautiful “Another Spiral” and “A Deeper Cut” slow things down momentarily and showcase the diversity of the band’s musical palette. The Temperance Movement close out their short but sweet set with the intoxicating “Built In Forgetter” and the rock and roll juggernaut that is “Midnight Black”.

To witness two bands of such a high calibre this evening is certainly a rare treat indeed.

Blue Oyster Cult
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Event Date: 23-Feb-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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