by Carey Murphy & r & Riders on the Storm isn't the same as the Doors. And I'm not sure why the band wants to posture as if it were. I'll be the first to admit it: Jim Morrison certainly possessed something -- call it charisma, if you like, or dynamism, if you will. Certainly Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger have rightful claims to keep playing their own music. John Densmore's absence suggests his feelings toward the project. And Ian Astbury -- well, let's just say I'd rather see him reunite the Cult than front the cult of Jim Morrison. Obviously there's a market for the Doors' songs, but then there's a market for everything these days. As such, I'm not buying the grandeur that this event is supposed to possess. The biggest show in the history of the Big Easy? Maybe, but the Big Easy is still pretty young.
I used to live in Las Vegas. About three years ago, this same sideshow played at one of the gala venues in one of the more ostentatious casinos in town. (And that's saying something -- Las Vegas is anything but subtle.) Since my friend was connected, we got comp tickets, and suddenly there I was. The songs were just as I remembered them when I buried my Doors CDs deep within one of the boxes of discs that never, ever gets opened. So I wondered why I allowed this part of my past to be reanimated. And that's the feeling I have about this upcoming show. What is the point of the whole thing? Why are Riders on the Storm on tour at all?
The Riders themselves would probably suggest that I not bother asking why. Or they'd show me the way to the next whiskey bar, telling me not to get so bent out of shape. Or they'd recommend that I wake up on the morning of the show and get myself a beer. I'm just not too sure any of that would be worth the effort.
I respect nostalgia as much as the next guy. I don't want to write vitriol just for vitriol's sake. If seeing this show helps bring back some of the more vivacious memories (or wicked blackouts) for those in attendance, then everything is, as the kids say, all good. So, dear Riders, I guess what I'm saying is cancel my subscription to your resurrection of past glory. No one questions your contribution to music history. There's no doubt that listening to your music is an important part of every music fan's education. But there's also no doubt that if I had my way, once this show is over, I'd turn out the lights.
However -- if they play "Peace Frog," I'll retract everything I just said. I love that song.
Riders on the Storm at the Big Easy on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 9 pm. Tickets: $40. Visit ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.