Seeing half the Doors live is an unforgettable experience if you are a fan.
Seeing any of them alive 40 years later is nothing short of a miracle if you’ve seen Oliver Stone’s movie (“The Doors”) or the recent documentary (“People Are Strange”). Or if you’ve read the first (and still best) biography of legendary lead singer Jim Morrison (Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugarman’s “No One Here Gets Out Alive”) and believe the mythology or the truth. Or can even tell the difference.
To have the music live on so vibrantly, so vitally – so many years later – is the eighth wonder of the world, considering that Morrison died (or disappeared?) in Paris four decades ago just as his star was crash-landing due to drugs, alcohol, legal problems and concert no-shows.
Forgetting all of this speculation and sordid history, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger’s tribute-type band played The Egg last Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd. The two of them nailed down every song from “Light My Fire” to “When The Music’s Over” with consummate authority and authenticity because, well, they were the two guys who wrote the music.
Bringing in vocalist Milijenko Matijevic at the microphone was a brilliant coup because he came damn close to being a dead-ringer for Morrison with his assortment of pregnant pauses, vocal inflections and aural dynamics. He was even decked out in the classic Morrison stage uniform – a half-unbuttoned shirt and leather pants.
Rounding out the five-man outfit were drummer Ty Dennis and bassist Phil Chen.
There was no opening band and no intermission – just the spirit of Jim Morrison propelling the band’s music to the end.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
An excerpt from David Singer’s review in The Daily Gazette: “When Miljenko Matijevic leaned back and shouted to the roof, ‘Music is your only friend, until the end,’ he captured perfectly Jim Morrison’s intentions. But rather than try to be Morrison, Thursday night at the Egg’s Hart Theater, Matijevic sang the songs as best as he could. This might be a fine line, but it made all the difference: the night could have been a bad parody, but instead Matijevic, as himself singing Morrison, made the show wild and intense.”