It was a happy accident that I stumbled on their visit. A couple of us at work were discussing Rick Neilsen’s guitar collection and I pulled up the Cheap Trick site and saw that they were coming to town. I think it’s been 5 or 6 years since they were in Philadelphia.
I was an early fan back in ’78 with the release of Heaven Tonight and then quickly picked up their earlier records — the first purchased by my grandmother for a birthday. As I got older and headed into my concert going years they lost me especially with 1987’s The Flame.
As I got older still and they had their 25th anniversary tour, I got hooked back into them, buying the cd’s and framing the vinyl’s. But their tours and my schedule never crossed paths until now. They’ve long been on my list of bands I ‘gots’ to see before I or they check out.
I wasn’t able to match the wink my wife got from Tom Petersson as a teen in Saratoga, but I was able to give Rick a pat on the shoulder as he made his way through the bar crowd during opener, OK Go’s act.
OK Go was good sport. They’ve gained viral fame this year with their treadmill Here It Goes Again and backyard A Million Ways dance videos. Their encore for the evening was a re-enactment of the backyard video. Well done, lads. Good infectious entertainment.
Cheap Trick went full force through their set and gave it all, covering the hits from Candy to Surrender to Dream Police and including songs off their new record, Rockford and even The Flame.
Rick spent the evening spitting while singing and spitting on stage and stomping about, showering picks throughout and finished strong with the 5-neck. Robin Zander’s vocals seem just as strong as ever and show no sign of aging like so many of his peers and elder rockers. Tom Petersson kept things humming with his 12-string bass and Bun E. Carlos kept the beat well — though his sticks didn’t seem to be as big as they used to be.
That’s one more of those goals that I can cross off the list.