The Doors Live in Minnesota!
The Doors Live in Minnesota:
The biggest concert in my life deserves the best review I can give. The Doors music group aptly renamed The Doors 21st Century kicked off their 2004 tour on Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The highly anticipated event was a month overdue because of a legal tangling with Ian Astbury, the frontman of this new group. The wait was well worth what we received from original Doors members Ray Mazarek (Keyboards), and Robby Krieger (Guitar). The only thing missing was of course Jim Morrison, the enigmatic and provocative lead singer that burned the history of Rock and Roll over 30 years ago.
To those born after The Doors died in 1971 with Jim, this was as close as anyone could get. Ian Astbury gave a phenomenal performance in Jim Morrison’s absence. Complete with tight jeans, dark sunglasses, long dark hair, and an uncanny resemblance to Jim; he and the audience channeled the spirit of more than a band. I have attended many a Rock Concert, but this one ranks among the elite. One needs to wait a few days to really let the event seep into the pores of the mind. To those of us who believe in the myth of Rock music and believe in it like a religion, this was our Passion of the Christ.
When I arrived at the historic Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis I was awestruck by the interior. Perfect for a band that was established in the classic ballrooms of California in the late 1960s. Hanging chandeliers, enormous ceilings, and a great close view from where ever you sat… But very few people were sitting.
The anticipation from the crowd was electric. When the roadies were coming out to test the instruments the crowd lit up like a fire. Chanting for, "The Doors", and rising to their feet. This scene was repeated several times.
When the lights finally went down the deafening screams drowned out anything else in the room. Then a light appeared on the stage to show a juggler. After a few moments the light moved to a circus announcer at the side of the stage who announced, "From Los Angeles, California, THE DOORS!".
As the lights on the stage came on Ray Manzarek was seated at his organ, Robby Krieger had his classic Gibson SG electric guitar, and Ian Astbury was at the mic looking just like Jim Morrison. Persian rugs were on the floor below each member and they immediately began playing Break On Through. It sounded like a scene out of a Beatles movie from the screams of a very diversely aged crowd.
From then on the band played through the years picking several selections from different albums. (Set List Below) Ian Astbury mimicked the trademark revolutionary stage performance that Jim Morrison perfected many years ago. Although in today’s climate of bands the Doors would be a bit mild, the moves fit the music perfectly. There is a lot of discussion about having a replacement lead singer, but the crowd of over 10,000 was the actual replacement. The spirit of Jim Morrison was in everyone around, and the biggest example was the young kids who ran up next to the railing of the balcony.
About ½ way through the show four 16 year old boys and girls ran up to the balcony railing and began dancing. When this happened awhile earlier guards came down quickly and escorted them back to their seats. Now they were here to stay.
Being so young one would assume that they had not even heard of an almost 40 year old band. But they knew every word and were dancing over the railing like Leonardo in Titanic! It was the epitome the evening. An older gentleman next to them was dancing with them and giving more high fives than the Super Bowl.
At the same moment a young man in his early 20s hopped up on stage and ran up to Ray Manzarek and put his arms up in the air cheering! The bouncers quickly wrangled him, but Jim Morrison was there that night. He was on T-Shirts, hats, minds, and souls; The old trickster.
It should be noted that Ian Astbury even gives props to Jim when he sings, Not To Touch The Earth. He says, "Jim Morrison was the Lizard King, HE can do anything". The other noticeable differences to 1967 were that Ray Manzarek’s keyboard was not his oldie. That didn’t stop him from playing with his feet and showing off. There were several times when Ray and Robby would point back and forth as they hit their cues in songs. The one person not pointing was John Densmore, the former drummer who was not in attendance.
As the show was drawing to a close The Doors 21st Century played the hit, Light My Fire. The Doors greatest chart topping song, which was number one in the Summer of Love in 1967. The background was a liquid show, the theater was antique, and the music was what a group of Americans wrote many years ago in a turbulent time. Had Jim Morrison been there a riot surely would have erupted from the sexual and emotional energy that was in the theater.
Almost like a tribute to Jim the song The End, Jim’s and my own favorite was not played. I believe that this show was better than any concert I have ever scene. I think back to Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, and other superstars' shows I have attended. This one topped them all! Sure "the" Jim Morrison wasn’t there, but his spirit was in the music.
On a side note the local paper, The StarTribune had a guest writer do a review and it was the saddest thing I had ever read! The person was so disappointed that The Doors were playing without Jim Morrison he went to the length to say Ian Astbury stuffed his pants. It was a stupid article that should not have even been printed. I am ashamed and pray the Doors come back here! MINNESOTA LOVES YOU!!!
Intro (Juggler and Finius Fog, Master of Ceremony)
Break On Through
Love Me Two Times
Take It As Is Comes (debut performance)
When The Music's Over
Moonlight Drive (includes Louie Louie)
Unknown Soldier (debut performance)
Not To Touch The Earth
Five To One
21st (20th) Century Fox (debut performance)
Riders On The Storm
Touch Me (debut performance)
Light My Fire