Dave Brock and Wild Child set the night on fire in a nineteen song set at the Paramount on January 7th. Truth was found in advertising, as the neon marquee lit the boulevard with ‘A Jim Morrison Celebration’. The unmistakable opening riff to “Roadhouse Blues” signaled the start of the party, and no one in the sold out audience missed the bell.
The band recreated the ambiance and nuance of the original players, while holding the unique spontaneity of their own selves. Brock has provided vocals for Doors members Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, and no vocalist has won the admiration of the Doors in greater measure. It is incredible that the band released their first record in January of 1967, and lost Morrison on July 3rd, 1971, just after the release of their L.A. Woman album. The amount of music packed into those years forms a legacy only bands such as the Beatles can hope to keep stride with.
The evening continued with big hits like “Break On Through,” “Soul Kitchen,” “Touch Me,” and “Winter Time.” With each number, the band had you wondering what gem would be polished and presented as a delicacy for the audience to savor next. Like a psychedelic, shaman/waiter, Dave Brock served the finest offerings from the Soul Kitchen of one of America’s greatest groups to a hungry audience. The Doors stopped touring regularly well before the release of L.A. Woman, and tonight made you pause and reflect what might have been had Jim returned from his exile in France.
“Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” ripped into a haunting “Back Door Man.” The jaunty celebration of bar hopping based on Berthold Brecht’s poetry perfectly melds into the raucous debauchery of what the little girls understand. The band then moved into “Hello I Love You,” sliding with ease into the groove that makes the tune so much fun, and so unmistakable. They continued with “Strange Days,” “When the Music’s Over,” “Love Me Two Times,” and “The Crystal Ship.” The near capacity crowd soaked up the songs as a connoisseur would the finest vintage, celebrating anew with the start of each new number.
Dave Brock hesitated to start the vocal to “Peace Frog” for a second, to let the riff embed itself like a fish hook that set the crowd to dancing as if it was caught on a line. The set finished off with “Riders on the Storm,” “Love Her Madly,” “Not To Touch the Earth,” and the classic “Light My Fire.” Brock left the stage while the guitar solo sang her own vocal, and had clearly left a stamp on the evening by the time he had returned. The audience was not yet satiated, and called for more, as the band produced a fine “L.A. Woman.” Brock asked, “Have you guys had enough?”, and the answer was clearly a no. The evening concluded with a splendid rendering of “The End.”
Dave Brock thanked the crowd, and announced that Wild Child would likely be back touring in the spring. The excitement, showmanship, and musicianship displayed on this evening is already selling tickets for the promised shows to come.
Words by: Bob Wilson
Photos by Wayne Herrschaft, full gallery below: