Blue Coupe, Bouchard’s Outrageous Canadians @ This Ain’t Hollywood, Hamilton ON, August 22, 2009

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Review by Sean Palmerston, Photos by Albert Mansour

This past Saturday saw the return of both Bouchard’s Outrageous Canadians and the BOC/Alice Cooper supergroup Blue Coupe to Hamilton. While their last Hammer performance happened in April at the now-deceased Pepper Jack Cafe, this time the show was moved to the city’s coolest new rock and roll bar, This Ain’t Hollywood.

Arriving at the club at 10 PM meant there should be no chance we miss either band. As it turns out, we could have shown up an hour later and still not have missed anything. It was nearly 11:30 when the Outrageous Canadians hit the stage. The band is the brainchild of Hamilton rock promoter Lou Molinaro, who put the band together initially so that Albert Bouchard would have a backing band to do a show while up in Toronto doing drum clinics. Albert liked it so much he’s been back a few more times to play with the band, which has learned a number of classic BOC tunes, including the Imaginos album in its entirety.

Kicking off the set with Molinaro helping with the lead vocals on “(This Ain’t The) Summer Of Love” and “OD’ed On Life Itself,” the ten-piece band ripped through eleven songs in total, including a number from the Imaginos album. Albert doesn’t sing the lead on every track, letting both Ginger St. James and Lisa Winn sing a few of them. It definitely gives the BOC classics a different feel to have female vocals; couple that with the fact they are doing deep album tracks like “Joan Crawford” and “Les Invisibles” and Bouchard’s Outrageous Canadians is a definite treat for diehard BOC fanatics.

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BOUCHARD’S OUTRAGEOUS CANADIANS setlist

SUMMER OF LOVE
OD’D ON LIFE
SUBHUMAN
VERA GEMINI
AM THE ONE YOU WARNED ME OF
LES INVISIBLES
IN THE PRESENCE OF ANOTHER WORLD
JOAN CRAWFORD
E.T.I.
DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION
GODZILLA

As cool as the BOC’s were, the main draw of the night was the opportunity to see three living legends from the early days of metal on one stage. Dennis Dunaway left the Alice Cooper Band after 1974’s Muscle of Love, while both Bouchards have now been out of Blue Oyster Cult for more than 22 years. However, Blue Coupe is a relatively new band, having only been playing shows for the past few years.

Since the core trio of the band contains two bassists, Joe Bouchard has moved from four strings to six and also handles most of the lead vocals too. Kicking the show off with the one-two punch of “Under My Wheels” and “Burnin’ For You” set the bar high for the remainder of the night and the Coupe certainly did deliver. The band did a half-dozen songs as a trio before Teenage Head guitarist Gord Lewis joined them on stage for the rest of the set.

The added oomph of another guitarist made the band that much heavier, something that really hit home when Dunaway stepped up to the mic for “Black Juju,” his self-penned classic from Love It To Death that was later covered by Entombed. Dunaway, clearly still the most rock star of the bunch, gave a gripping performance of the song, proving himself a strong frontman in his own right.

From there on it was all gravy for all in attendance. The band broke out three of Teenage Head’s biggest hits (“Picture My Face,” “Teenage Beer Drinkin’ Party” and “Let’s Shake”) alongside “School’s Out” and “Don’t Fear The Reaper” to rapturous applause. It was loud, it was sweaty and it was a hell of a rock and roll show from a band whose combined age is somewhere around 235. Three of the four may be of retirement age, but on this night the Blue Coupe rocked harder than most bands 1/3 of their age. If you get the chance, don’t miss this band live. It’s a good ride.

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BLUE COUPE setlist

UNDER MY WHEELS
BURNIN’ FOR YOU
CITIES ON FLAME
NOSFERATU
DARK BOAT
CAUGHT IN A DREAM
IS IT MY BODY
TATTOO VAMPIRE
BE MY LOVER
RED AND THE BLACK
BLACK JUJU
PICTURE MY FACE
SCHOOL’S OUT
TEENAGE BEER DRINKIN’ PARTY
LET’S SHAKE
DON’T FEAR THE REAPER

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.