“Stoned Hippie” Channels The Doors at the Fillmore

Living members of The Doors reunite in San Francisco

Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors may be entering their golden years, but they can still rock out with the best of them.

The two former Doors members joined up with ex-Fuel singer Brett Scallions, bassist Phil Chan and drummer Tai Dennis Sunday night at the Fillmore for an evening of the band's biggest hits, including "Break on Through," "Whiskey Bar," "Riders on the Storm," and, of course, "Light My Fire."

The band performed admirably despite the absence of former frontman Jim Morrison. Sporting a conspiciously unbuttoned black shirt, black pants,  and long, tousled blond hair, Scallions resembled a combination of Sawyer from "Lost" and Morrison himself.

Scallions was at his best during the band's straight-up rock numbers, but also managed to pull off the more psychedelic "Soft Parade" with relative ease. The singer channelled Morrison himself during the song's spoken word section, jumping around the stage and screaming the words like an insane preacher.

Despite Scallions' impressive showmanship, Manzarek and Krieger stole the show. The aging performers were low key, leaving the dramatics to Scallions. But Krieger nailed complex guitar riffs seemingly without trying, and Manzarek's skill on the keys actually caused my mouth to drop open.

The concert's only missteps came when the band members addressed the crowd. At one point, Scallions commented, "It smells like each of you is smok(ing) five joints," and Manzarek referred to himself as a "stoned hippie."

But with mostly 50 and 60-something men in the crowd, joints and hippie-wear were few and far between. The references made the band seem more like a nostalgia act than a group of talented musicians. Still, Manzarek, Krieger and co. displayed enough skill and energy to impress even the most skeptical concertgoer.

Ariel Schwartz is a freelance writer and blogger based in San Francisco. You can check out her work at Fast Company and Clean Technia.

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