It’s been a long year for the members of the local cover band Blue Oyster Culture Club.
Known for bringing the crowds in the area several times a year, the group hasn’t performed in St. Joseph for one year, as it opened for When In Rome II in January 2020.
“The first time I played in front of people was 1989. This has been the longest gap (I haven’t performed live),” guitarist Todd Cooper said.
That streak finally will be broken as the band performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall, 1918 Frederick Ave. Masks are required. Tickets are available online only at cafeacousticlive.com.
The concert is one that Cooper said the band has been excited for since November, when it was originally scheduled as the band’s Thanksgiving Eve show. Because of rising COVID-19 numbers, the band decided to push the event to a later date to be safe.
“It just broke my heart because we all look forward to that, everybody does. It’s such a big thing and I’m really big on tradition. But it was the responsible thing to do,” Cooper said.
While the band played its sole 2020 show at the Gower Days Festival in July, Cooper said things have been percolating, like new cover songs and new energy.
“The practices that we’ve done here and there, it’s like no time has passed at all. We’re all so locked in with each other that it all comes back,” he said.
An avid concertgoer, Cooper said the lack of spending time singing and yelling the lyrics of songs with a crowd has been difficult. To be able to do that again, in a way that feels responsible, will be like loosening a pressure valve.
“That feeling of playing in front of people is the whole reason ... everybody likes to do it. Everybody that likes to play music loves to play it live. To not do it, it’s like not being able to eat your favorite meal,” he said.
While the band wasn’t able to perform live, it got around to a project people have been requesting for years — actual recordings of some of its best covers.
“In the past, everybody’s asked, ‘Why don’t you record your versions of the songs?’ And that is one thing we have been doing during the shutdown. So (we recorded) the eight songs that we felt we did the most, like we took the most license with and made our own, we have everything done now but vocals,” Cooper said.
The recordings, which still are awaiting a release date, are the closest the band has come to feeling normal during the pandemic, at least until Saturday. With limited attendance and COVID restrictions in place, Cooper said it will be a different feel for a B.O.C.C. show. But even something within the same ballpark of the band’s traditional shows is better than nothing.
“I hope that this reminds people that things aren’t over with, that they’ve just been on pause. That feeling that we love about live music is still there, and it can still happen. And that might be a light at the end of the tunnel, to remind people how much fun it is,” he said.
Tickets are $12.25. Since there will be no door sales, they must be ordered through cafeacousticlive.com Seating is limited and open to everyone 21 and older.