The penultimate band of the night on the main stage and, who I think should have been headliners, were next: the legendary CHEAP TRICK. I have been a fan of this band for as long as I can remember and to finally get to see them play live and also review them, I was on a high.
Formed in 1973 they are probably one of the most iconic bands ever, managing to find that balance of power pop, metal and hard and heavy rock and are a major influence on early punk and alternative bands. The name came from when they attended a Slade concert and bassist Tom Petersson commented that they used every cheap trick in the book.
Their 1977 iconic album “Cheap Trick at Budokan”, took them to stratospheric stardom and was voted by Rolling Stone Magazine one of the top 500 albums of all time. It was made to be originally exclusive to Japan but the demand for this import was so great that is was released in the States a year later.
All of the original band since 1974 are still there with only the drummer being replaced now on tour by the legend in a baseball cap and sneakers, lead guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son Daxx. Along with guitarist and lead vocalist Robin Zander dressed in his all white Dream Police costume and finally the legendary Tom Petersson, one of the most amazing bassists in the business, their set consisted of sixteen songs from old to new. Hello There” and “Big Eyes” from the Budokan album, then “You Got it Going On” from their 2017 album “We’re All Right”.
These guys are no young boys anymore and they must all have pictures in their attics you had Rick running around the whole of the stage all night like a teenager, and what can I tell you about Zander: he still has the amazing voice and hasn’t lost a bit of his falsetto, there were so many highlights with this band.
One was very special where on “Baby Likes to Rock” Tom pulls out his amazing 12 string bass and just blows everyone, including me, away with his incredible solo: that guitar was a thing of beauty it purred, Rick flicking his guitar pick on the neck of a security guy and flipping him, then they went offstage coming back to huge roars from the crowd and then continued to play the songs everyone was waiting for: “Flame”, “I Want You to Want Me”, “Surrender”, and of course “Dream Police”.
Before their last number Rick threw I don’t know how many guitar picks into the audience (like a suitcase full) then something I have never seen before and probably won’t again only at these guys gigs: he threw two albums either side of the audience, also adorned with picks. Finishing the set with the appropriate “Goodnight Now”, this band are pure out and out entertainers and tonight they certainly entertained, giving an absolute barnstorming performance.
Review by Dave Martin
Photography by metalplanetmusic