THE DOORS at Harley-Davidson Open Road Tour show
Molson Speedway, Barrie, Ontario, Canada September 29, 2002
A fan's review by Louis Boisclair
I already saw Ray when I was in Paris last year, but this was the first time that I saw Robby in person. Barrie was about 8 hours from where I live, but it was a great trip to make with some friends. It may be the only moment in my life to see Robby and Ray perform together, and I wouldn’t want to miss it.
When we were one hour from home I realized I forgot the tickets, but we couldn't go back. Fortunately, some fans had extra tickets at the gate and we got them for less than face value. We arrived at 6:00 pm on the site and missed the other bands, but we didn’t care.
Ray arrived onstage like a priest; Robby wore a leather coat which he took off a few songs later, to show his “Lizard Kings” jersey. The show began with Roadhouse Blues (Ray and Robby exchanged a little solo during the song, and the crowd sang along with Ian several times).
This was followed by Break On Through, in which Ian sang the Dead cats, Dead rats part. Ray did a great solo and a member of the crowd reacted in crying their admiration (Oh yeah!!!) … and I think it was me.
After that, Ray asked the crowd what they wanted to hear and someone cried Light My Fire, but of course, they were keeping it for the end of the show. Instead they began the first notes of When The Music’s Over. I think this song was tough for Ian because there were a few parts where he needed help from the others to keep the tempo. I must admit that it was not the best song of the concert. Ray, Robby and Stewart were not really “together,” and even Ray needed to say “1, 2, 3, 4…” after the “We want the world, we want it, NOW!!!” which Ian, Ray and Robby said one after the other. I laughed when someone asked for “Ships With Sails” after the song ended.
Love Me Two Times was a very nice version with a great solo by Ray and Robby. Now, it was time for the famous medley Alabama Song / Backdoor Man / Five To One. Alabama Song was played like a country song after the second part (Show me the way to the next little girl...I tell you we must die), with Ian saying “Let’s go cowboy” to introduce this part. After the song, just before continuing the medley, Ian told the crowd that we were “motherfuckers” (it was right, I was thinking at the same time that the guy in front of me was on acid. His arms were always in the air, a problem for my friends who were taking photos).
As usual, Robby was on fire on Five To One. Ray next introduced Strange Days with their new arrangement. He said that it will be on the new Doors record coming in 2003 with both new songs and new versions of Doors songs. I always liked this song and this new version is great. Robby ended the song with a solo on guitar that was unbelievable, no words can tell how nicely it was played.
The Ghost Song was a homage to Morrison and two Indians came onstage to dance during the whole song. Ian had problems following the guys, but I’m sure that it’s more difficult to follow the music especially on this song. When Ray and Robby did the music for this song for the release of An American Prayer, they worked with Jim’s words and the tempo didn’t change at all (they worked with a recording). What I mean is that, Ian needed to sing live and it was surely not easy to follow. Anyway, I have a few problems myself explaining what I want to say (I’m a French-speaking fan), but I’m sure that you know what I mean.
Spanish Caravan followed and Robby did a great job on this song showing us his talent on guitar, especially his flamenco style. This was the only song that they didn’t play at the first show in Los Angeles, and it was a great moment of the show. Again, Robby stole the show with his bottleneck style on Moonlight Drive and Ray did a great version of Horse Latitudes on keyboards.
Wild Child was excellent and nicely played musically, near the studio version, almost perfect, and very energetic. Then, they played Summer’s Almost Gone. This was very smooth in the way of Indian Summer that I like very much.
L.A. Woman was very different from the studio version. It’s one of my favorite songs and I was a little disappointed by the music. Maybe the guys need more rehearsals for this song, because I must admit that Ian did a great job on this one. After this song, Ray presented all the members including himself, and Robby answered Ray that he was not too bad on piano ... funny.
Finally, what is a show without Light My Fire … an 11-minute version including a long solo by Ray and Robby. During Robby's solo he jammed with Stewart, each of them playing a solo for a few seconds which answered the other, a very cool moment. The guys had a lot of fun. Ian sang the “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK”, the last time being clearly said.
After a few minutes, they came back onstage for an encore and played Riders On The Storm. Some people in the crowd were asking for The End. Since it was the first time that I heard a live version of this song, it was a nice feeling. They played it in the same way as the album version, and the “space” atmosphere was present. Lastly, Ian did a great job on vocals. Stewart on drums did too, but he was a bit fast on a few songs. Stewart was more the kind of drummer who attacks the music, contrary to John who was more behind the music giving solid support. I did look at Angelo who played bass; he seems to trip a lot being onstage with the band.
All in all, it was a great show and I enjoyed my trip to see the guys even if I missed a school day and arrived late at work. Now, I can say that I saw two members of The Doors play together and believe me, I will try to see John one day…You can count on me…
by Louis Boisclair Quebec, Canada
November 2, 2002
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for more Doors news and reviews
read media and fan reviews:
Toronto Star by Ben Rayner: When The Music's Never, Ever Over -- October 1, 2002
Canoe Jam by Kieran Grant: Doors Of Perception -- September 30, 2002
Fan's Rebuttal by Steve Kaban -- October 5, 2002
Todd Rodriguez review