Blue Cheer Sneaky Dee’s, Toronto ON April 10

"We’ve been touring for 40 years… and sometimes it really feels like it,” smiled Blue Cheer bassist/singer Dickie Peterson to patrons at the sold out Sneaky Dee’s. Kicking into some smooth, laidback, flawlessly performed blues-metal, it proved that not even age can keep a good band down. Comprised of Peterson, original drummer Paul Whaley and long-time guitarist ("They call him the new guy even though he’s been in the band for 21 years,” noted Peterson) Tony Ranier, the power trio emoted a cool confidence that can only come from years of road experience. Content to stand casually and let the music do the talking, their thick, heavy rock blasted out at ungodly volumes. Then again, with a collective age of almost 180 years, one would expect nothing less than fine instrumental performances by dudes who look like they should be grandfathers. Yet these daddies haven’t mellowed with time. Sonically speaking, even though Blue Cheer have been "bypassed” on the heavy music spectrum over time, they can still show us all a thing or two. Steeped in psychedelic blues, this weighty precursor to heavy metal is far louder and heavier than anything since. Infused with loose, elongated jams that were thunderous, the night was a solo fetishist’s wet dream as Ranier dominated each opus with Hendrix-ian flare and Peterson cut out ragged, throaty vocals. Songs were well-balanced, mixing the band’s penchant for cover tunes with original material so that "Second Time Around,” "Rock Me, Baby,” "Parchment Form,” "Out Of Focus” and "The Hunter” built up a steady pace for what everyone wanted to hear: the band’s hyperactive, aggressive take on Eddie Cochrane’s "Summertime Blues.” Jeered on by the adoring masses, it was evident that while the able-bodied and devout Blue Cheer may not have garnered the worldly praise of their ’60s contemporaries, the ongoing pockets of adoration are justly earned and rightly treated.