Dirty Doors bring legendary music to life
The Doors remain a dominant and lasting force in rock ‘n’ roll more than four decades after the death of Jim Morrison. And on Saturday, July 15, one of LA’s darkest and most creative groups came to life when the Dirty Doors, an Atlanta-based cover band, rocked a packed house at the Open Chord, their second show at the intimate West Knoxville venue in six months.
The band, which formed in 2012, first came to K-Town to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Doors’ self-titled debut, which was released in the summer of love. During their second Knoxville show, the group celebrated the full library of the Doors’ music, and the concert experience was both amazing and surreal for fans.
Lead vocalist Reed Barrickman took the stage as the band opened its first set with “Soul Kitchen,” and the singer closely embodied Morrison; he had the Lizard King’s moves and personality nailed. Val Kilmer played Morrison in Oliver Stone’s biopic film “The Doors” in the early ‘90s, but should another film be made, Barrickman would be a natural to play Morrison, one of the most intriguing, enigmatic and erratic figures in the history of rock and musical theatre.
Barrickman and the Dirty Doors, which owned the audience from the outset, covered most of the Doors’ classic songs, and they delivered them flawlessly. The show primarily highlighted the work on “LA Woman,” the sixth and final studio album before Morrison’s death. The Dirty Doors performed the title track from the 1971 release, as well as “Been Down So Long,” “Love Her Madly,” “The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat),” “Crawling King Snake” and “Riders on the Storm.”
The tribute band also performed most of “The Doors” LP, including tunes such as “Alabama Song,” “Light My Fire,” “Back Door Man,” “Twentieth Century Fox,” “I Looked at You” and “Break on Through (to the Other Side).” Standards like “Roadhouse Blues,” “Peace Frog” and “People are Strange” made the setlist, as well, and the band closed the show with the epic classic “When the Music’s Over.”
The show was so realistic that it looked like some of the Doors’ early shows at the Whisky a Go Go, the iconic Southern California rock club where they first played. Barrickman and band members Matt Boehnlein (guitar), Geoff Lewis (keyboard) and Jason Monseur (drums) clearly understand and respect the music of their heroes, and their love of the band’s music is evident in their performances.
They’re not quite the original Doors, of course, but the Dirty Doors shows may be better because you never knew which version of the unpredictable Morrison would show up to a gig during the ‘60s. This show was very solid and about as much as any Doors fan could ask for. Just about the only thing missing was a rendition of “The End.”