Local band raises ‘80s from the dead


Blue Oyster Culture Club resurrects hair metal, pop

Mullets have nearly disappeared from Joetown. Acid-wash jeans have been relegated to the darkest parts of an aging heavy metal drummer’s closet. The 80s are finally dead, long live the 80s.

But if you closed your eyes as you walked into the Rendezvous Saturday night, you would have believed that you were transported to the time when MTV played music videos. Blue Oyster Culture Club is more than happy to facilitate that feeling.

The BOCC, as they are known to their fans, isn’t a cover band in the traditional sense. Their lineup reads as a Who’s Who of the last 15 years of the St. Joseph local music scene, featuring members of Full Power, Blackpool Lights, Seven Mile Drive and The Messiah Complex. Initially, the band came together as a tribute band to do songs they truly liked and were influenced by. Missouri Western graduate Chris Clark, bassist and singer, explained their drive to play shows with this band.

“My other band has a different air about them,” Clark said. “It isn’t a business, but we have to show up and showcase our own music. There’s a pressure to be on every night. This is definitely strange and a relief to have a show like this, without any pressure or commitments except to have fun.”

Chris Schmidt, Missouri Western student and guitarist, emphasized his surprise on how well received they were. “I have been playing down here since I was young,” Schmidt said. “I have played so many shows here and everything else is so serious. [We’re] gonna make it, get signed. This is just fun, such a wonderful ride. I really don’t know what to think of the amount of people. It’s almost a smack in the face, running into a brick wall.”

The band, staying true to their eclectic roots, managed to bring together so many different tunes from the era. Being able to include songs such as Ring of Fire, Holiday Road and I Ran (so far away), is something the band takes pride in. The show and the setlist were planned as a loving birthday tribute for Clover Cooper, wife of singer/guitar­ist Todd Cooper.

“We kept the songs secret for like two and a half months,” Cooper said. “She got to hear them for the first time with the rest of the audience. That’s what I wanted. It’s cool to have that kind of surprise for her.” The band has debated on how far to take their shows. Even though the band has no serious plans to extend this experiment into a regular band, they plan on playing shows as long as people are still coming.

“We know every minute up here is something special for us,” Clark said. “We don’t care. It might suck, it might be cool. We keep coming back because this is an event, an atmosphere.”

Rendezvous owner, Jimmy Green, is amazed that a cover band can pack the venue like it did.

“We turned away people tonight,” Green said. “We weren’t at full capacity, but we were packed. This is the show to host. Between the crowd and the music, you couldn’t ask for more.”

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