Venerable rockers Blue Oyster Cult swung through the 216 on Saturday night, playing a nearly sold-out gig at the House of Blues. Approaching their fiftieth anniversary as a band, the Long Island, NY-based outfit ran through some deeper catalog cuts as well as the trio of hits that made them famous.

Original members Daniel “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom led the five member ensemble. Buck, on lead guitar and backup vocal duties, was matched by Bloom’s stun guitar and lead vocals. The rest of the band, Richie Castellano on rhythm guitar and keys; Jules Radino behind the kit; Kasim Sulton plunking the bass and backup vocals, all sounded fantastic. This is a tight unit; they’ve been touring madly for the last several months and can do this type of gig in their sleep.

Offering a thirteen-song set list, they served up “Burnin’ For You” early in the evening. Running through a bunch of deeper cuts mid-set, they saved their two biggest hits for the end of the show. The crowd, primarily late-middle aged white men, went collectively nuts when Buck laid into “Godzilla.”

When that tune describing the Tokyo Terror was finished, they immediately cut into “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Again, a collective long-white-haired ensemble of cheers erupted from the dank basement on Euclid Avenue. Bloom looked up at the crowd with a satisfied look on his face; the 73-year old goateed smile showed that he was having some mad fun up on that stage.

I got the distinct impression that, even though they play this tune night in, night out, month after month, and year after year, that BOC loves what they do. Even though their disciples may be getting to the age where they might fear the reaper’s knock on their own door, the music surely keeps the band going.

While the Metamucil and copious amounts of Tylenol does it for the rest of us.