The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘Blue Oyster Cult

Black and Blue Concert Movie Review

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Last night our local independent theater chain, The Alamo Drafthouse, played the 35mm version of  the legendary Black and Blue concert from
1980 which featured Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult live in Long Island, NY.  I hadn’t seen this movie in about 20 years and had forgotten a lot about it.  For some reason I thought that there were some interviews along with the concert footage, but I was sadly mistaken.

The movie starts out with some silly little movie by BOC called Here’s Johnny.  Completely goofy.   Then the live footage starts.

Let’s clear the air here.  I’m no true BOC fan.  They have a handful of  songs that are friggin’ brilliant, but most everything else of theirs is hokey cheeseball stuff.  I’ve tried time and time again to get into them and just can’t do it save those handful of songs that I really like.  Their stage show was completely goofy.  Sure, it was 1980, but c’mon.  For the song Divine Wind, they dedicated it to the Ayatollah Khomeini and were flipping him the bird.  Yes, I know that it was a big deal when all that was going on, I remember it well.  And I guess that the news reflects in music quite often.  Remember all the songs in the last 80s and early 90s about TV preachers and such?  But still.  Too goofy for me.  Maybe had I been at the show I would not have thought the same.  The only songs that BOC did in this set that I moderately liked were Cities On Flame and Godzilla (purely for nostalgic reasons).  BOC’s stage presence is pretty boring as well.  I met those guys about 7 years ago and they were a bunch of douches.  It was at a biker rally in Virginia Beach, VA and they were doing a little meet and greet before their set.  They treated every person there like shit.  We stayed for 2 songs and left.  Fuck ’em.  But that experience plays no hand in this review.

Now, on to better things.  Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio.  Ronnie always seems more animated when the cameras are running.  When I saw DIO in 2002, he was lively but not cartoonish.  When I was at Radio City Music Hall (NYC) in 2007 for the filming of the Heaven and Hell DVD, he was certainly more lively.  Gotta play it up, eh?  But in this movie, he’s over the top, more so than I have ever noticed in past live footage.  Ronnie is very good with his between song banter.  He throws the horns aplenty.  He even says in one spot, “A lot of people mistake this sign for being something evil when it really just means long live rock and roll.”  They play a lot of the Ozzy era stuff and I never thought Dio sounded good on it.  Just like Ozzy would sound terrible doing the Dio era stuff.  They some Dio era stuff and it sounds pretty good.  Tony and Geezer are killing it although Tony looks wasted.  Geezer is playing an awesome BC Rich Eagle bass, unfortunately they don’t show him as much as I would like.  It was interesting watching him use a pick in a few songs.  Overall they sounded great but would have been a little greater had Bill Ward been behind the drums.  When they did N.I.B., Dio made the comment that it doesn’t stand for Nativity In Black, it just stands for N.I.B.

The crowd in the theater was about half full, not too shabby for a 10:15PM showing on a Monday night.  Tickets were $2 each.  Our whole row seemed to know each other and that was fun.  My friend and singer for local doom band Mala Suerte sat next to me.  I cracked him up when I leaned over and said, “This is definitely a night for mustache rock!”

In the end, it was cool to see this on the big screen and to hang out with some good friends while doing…but I am tired today.

Here’s the setlist:


  1. Here’s Johnny
  2. The Marshall Plan
  3. Doctor Music
  4. Cities On Flame
  5. Divine Wind
  6. Godzilla
  7. Roadhouse Blues (The Doors)
  8. Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)

Black Sabbath

  1. Warpigs
  2. Neon Knights
  3. N.I.B.
  4. Iron Man
  5. Paranoid
  6. Heaven and Hell
  7. Die Young

This came out on VHS and Betamax in 1980 and a few years later on Laserdisc.  It was supposedly being released on DVD in 2002 and for unknown reasons got canned.  You can view the entire show on YouTube on this girl’s channel.

More rare concert shirts!

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Check em out here!

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