Saturday, November 21, 2015
Back in the 1970's while the radio was blasting disco and manufactured garbage that even white people could dance to, there were some rock bands coming out of Illinois and the Midwest that I liked, not loved, but liked probably because there was so little rock to choose from. Ya know, the generic midwest rock band, the REO Speedwagons, the Styx's. the Kansas's and the Cheap Tricks. By the way, nowadays, if REO or Styx or Kansas comes on the radio (yeah I'm old, the radio, bahaaaa) I can't change the station fast enough. Carry on O Way.....click.....Ridin the Storm.......click.....Layyyyydeeee......click.....but...if I hear that opening riff to Surrender, or the high pitched squealing at Budakon, or even that hokey The Flame, I am not going anywhere for the next 3 or so minutes. Cuz Cheap Trick is better than mediocre, they are above average.
Cheap Trick opened yet another new arena we have here in Omaha last night. It's called the Baxter Arena and it exists cuz the University of Omaha wanted its own arena to play hockey and basketball in. It joins the Ralston Arena, the Century Link, the Mid American Center, the Sokol Arena, the Pinnacle Bank Arena and maybe another one I can't remember since the latest stats show there's an arena here for every 6 or 7 citizens. We love our arena here.
As I was saying before being rudely interrupted by my own ramblings, Cheap Trick showed up to christen the new place and see if it could rock the doors off without bringing the place crashing to the ground. And again, though I used to profess to only "like" them, I was again pleasantly surprised that I "liked" them this much. The thing about Cheap Trick, the Weezer of its day, is if you don't care for what they are playing, shit, just wait 3 minutes and they're done and onto another tune. Lots of 3-4 minute power pop tunes pleasing to the ear. Nothing that will make you go WOW, but something that will have you tapping your foot or moving your shoulders like yeah man I like that song.
Hey I have no idea how old lead singer Robin Zander is, he must be 60, but that guy can sing. Man, his voice is fantastic. He hasn't lost anything due to age. And Rick Neilsen, he of the sharp wit, the giant brimmed baseball caps, and the crazy guitars including a 5 necked monstrosity he struggled to carry, is a great guitarist. Tom Petersson, the bassist with the 12 strings to choose from, plucks the rhythm out with the best of them. And I must say, Tom, your cover of Waiting For My Man, the Velvet Underground cover, may have been the highlight of my night. Fucking great.
It was an hour and a half of the best Cheap Trick had to offer, all the hits, and some covers, including Doby Grays The In Crowd which was a pleasure to hear.
But man come on, some groups have one song that makes a career. And Surrender is that tune. For all the great songs to come out of the 1970's, some of which I cannot stand any longer, Surrender is in my Top 10. Sorry but it is. It's ear candy pure and simple. But come on, who doesn't like a little candy now and then?