The Doors are Alive

There have been many a ‘sighting’ of Jim over the years and there are those who still believe that he is alive but if truth be told he isn’t alive he’s dead but that’s not to say that his spirit doesn’t live on … and I was witness to it living on last Friday night in The Academy when The Doors Alive took to the stage.

I love The Doors and I’ve been to see what’s left of the genuine article, and yes that does sound harsh, on two occasions. The genuine band aka Riders on the Storm (they ran into a bit of bother trying to name the band The Doors with ex drummer John Densmore when they reformed in 2002 but that’s a different story entirely) consisted of members Ray Manzarek on keyboards and Robby Krieger on guitar and as Jim wasn’t available and never will be again … sniff sniff … the band has been fronted by both The Cult’s Ian Astbury and Fuels Brett Scallions over the years.

The first time I saw them was in 2006 and at the RDS, Dublin when they were fronted by Ian Astbury. They were amazing, obviously, and the gig was fantastic albeit the fact that the hall was too big and the bar area was a bit of a joke. The second time was at the Tripod in 2007 where the band played enthusiastically to a full house and was fronted by the newly appointed Brett Scallions. The atmosphere of the Tripod compared to that of the RDS was far superior. The intimacy of the Tripod heightened the enjoyment and you felt you could actually reach out and touch Manzarek or Krieger. At both gigs, even though Ian and Brett did a great job on vocals (personally I prefered Ian’s) and they commanded the stage, you were very much aware that they weren’t Jim … and it made sense as they were not a tribute band so it wasn’t their job to imitate.

Manzarek and Krieger have played in Dublin on one other ocassion, when they played as the newly named band, the Manzarek-Krieger Band in the Grand Canal Theatre  which is now known as the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in 2010 and in which they played with a full orchestra. I didn’t get to go to that gig  for reasons I cannot remember now so I can’t  really comment on it.

Although we, as in Dublin, have had a good run of The Doors in the shape of Manzarek and Krieger over the years since they reformed in 2002, on checking their website RayandRobby.com, the band which is now going by the name Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors, don’t look like they will be returning to these shores in the very near future … so I will have to get my Doors fix from … well, tributes!

I’d never really considered actually paying to see a tribute band until I went to see the LA Doors at Midnight at the Olympia in Dublin about nine years ago. They were unbelievably believeable, and their Jim was so in character that I handed him my whiskey while he was on stage and he drank it with gusto as my friends and I ‘oh yeh-ed’ and cheered. Actually come to think of it  I’ve never been to another tribute band since, well until last Friday night …

So last Friday, Septemeber 14th, we decided that it was time for another fix of The Doors and what with the real thing not on the cards for the near future it was time for another tribute. This time it was to be The Doors Alive.  With recommendations like ‘they sound more like The Doors than The Doors’ and ‘simply THE best Doors tribute on the road at the moment’ how could you not want to see them. Being a fan, how could you not want to step back in time and imagine you are seeing and hearing the real Doors and the real Jim Morrison? How could you not want to relive a Whisky A Go Go moment that you’ve never actually lived? For €15 a ticket and in a venue like The Academy … we were there!

The recommendations lived up to every word wrote  and it was a brilliant show. William Scott aka Jim moved around the stage and seemed to absorb the attention from the audience. At times it felt like he was looking straight at you, and no I didn’t imagine this as it was a feeling shared by those I was with also. The band performed all of the usual greatest hits with a few bonuses like ‘The Soft Parade’. It did feel like a step back in time, a time that you’ve never lived but can reminise on though the CD’s you’ve listened to, the books you’ve read, films you’ve seen and video’s you’ve watched. There is something kinda magical about a really good tribute act and that’s because it’s all an illusion but a good trick that you’ll want to see over and over again.

If and when The Doors Alive do return to these shores and if indeed you are a Doors  fan … Go! … you will not regret it.

The Queue

The Stage

The Band

The Man

The Crowd

When the music’s over – turn out the lights

Edwina O'Connor
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