Written by Eddie Ferranti
Mar 28, 2003 at 08:00 PM
ImageIt is safe to say that most people who walked through the doors of the Verizon Wireless Theater on this night were wondering if they were about to see a classic band bring back a feeling that has escaped most current rock bands, or if they were going to see a sad attempt by some older musicians to cash in on a legacy.The tour kicked off with a bit of negative publicity as Stewart Copeland (ex-Police), who signed on the take estranged drummer, John Densmore’s position, filed a law suit against the band, since he was replaced after injuring his elbow.

This, added to the oddity of the Doors without deceased vocalist Jim Morrison, led many to wonder exactly what they were about to see.

Well, people got little chance to doubt once the band took the stage. Kicking into Roadhouse Blues, the band never once looked back. Ian Astbury, who took Morrison’s position in the band, never really tried to be Morrison, instead adding his own flair to the set, the same flair that made his former band, The Cult, popular.

In true 60s rock tradition, classics like Light My Fire, Riders In the Storm and Break On Through were extended from 3-5 minutes to 15 minute jams that added to the intensity and apparent joy of the members who made this reunion a reality.

While most bands reunite to cash in on a subsequent tour and then disappear into obsurity until their pocketbook is empty again, The Doors appear to be tooling up for more new music. The group played a new song which they’ve recently written. While it sounded like something Doors-y, it had a more modern feel and did not flow too easily with the set, but still gave those who walked away from this wanting more a bit of hope that there might be more in the future.

Astbury took a chance during the set to address those who were unsure of what to expect, “I bet a bunch of you are wondering what the fuck this is? Let it be what you want it to be.”

In another rant, Astbury stated, “I’m not Jim Morrison, I don’t want to be Jim Morrison, I’m not even from this country.”

Astbury did a service to himself and the audience by not trying to be Jim Morrison, instead he let the songs guide him along and made these classic come to life for people who had long thought these were destined to stay on album only or people who never dreamed they\’d be able to see these songs performed by The Doors.

One can only hope John Densmore will come around sooner or later and realize Jim Morrison’s songs are best served by being brought to new listeners, rather than leaving them in a vault or turning them into a museum relic. Music is made to be played…and played live.