The Paramount in Huntington, NY morphed into the Whisky A-Go-Go on September 17th, 2016, as Wild Child returned to the stage as conquering minstrels. Lead singer Dave Brock led the festivities, as he performed his own Jim Morrison rock opera for the Long Island audience. Brock earned his bona fides as the lead singer for ex-Doors Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, when he became their lead vocalist in 2010. The singer did not try to fill any leather pants as a ‘Jimitator’, but he left his mark making clear that no one else has done better vocally since July 3rd, 1971 with the legendary catalog of songs.

The show opened with “Break on Through,” “Love Me Two Times,” and “20th Century Fox.” The battle plan seemed to be to grab the audience by the throat with spontaneous and true renditions of the ‘hits’ from the bands repertoire. The audience was mesmerized by the tightly knit musicians, and enchanted by Brock as the master of ceremonies. The band moved into “Hello I Love You,” “Love Street,” and a the jaunty “Alabama Song/Backdoor Man.” “Strange Days” were afoot, and Dave Brock walked the high-wire offering vocals that made fans pine. Many wondered what the results may have been had Morrison returned from his final sojourn in Paris. The crooner’s offering is as close as a fan can get to seeing Jim Morrison alive on a stage in 2016.

The reason Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger would choose Dave Brock to have toured with is self-evident as you view the performance, and the songs resonate upon entering your ears. The Doors original drummer John Densmore has added to the lauds, calling Brock a superb vocalist fit to strut through the portals, and take the microphone before his former band mates. The night carried on with “When The Music’s Over,” a stripped-down “Touch Me,” “Crystal Ship,” and “Spanish Caravan.” The audience danced, sang along, and cheered the group on in increasing measure at the evening wore on.

The “WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)” was simply put, as good as it gets today for a fan. “Love Her Madly” followed, almost as a commentary on the previous number. The Doors never properly toured with the songs from L.A. Woman, and Wild Child filled some of that void. The audience was now in full party mode, having long been won over. Flames already burned as the band offered “Light My Fire,” and closed the regular set with “Soul Kitchen.”

As encores, “Roadhouse Blues” and “L.A. Woman” had the voters’ mandate. Wild Child was more than a mere tribute show, and their output demands to be taken seriously. When they get into Huntington town again, hopefully again next year, fans should be certain to spend the night celebrating the legendary catalog of Jim Morrison and the Doors at the venue. The West Coast lit up the East Coast audience, and united us as one. Wild Child is simply not to be missed as they keep this music alive before audiences.

The Paramount’s Tribute Series offers Steve Mitchell’s ~A Tribute to the King, fresh from his working nearby at the TCBY Theater with D.J Fontana, and the Sweet Inspirations. Steve Mitchell’s show will be September 22nd, and tickets will be available at the box office.

– words by Bob Wilson

[all photos courtesy of Wayne Herrschaft]