(Los Angeles, CA)
On a cool and comfortable night under the stars at this beautiful venue, Cheap Trick rocked their 1979 Dream Police album in its entirety in a two-hour-plus set that also included both the classics and deep gems from their 38-year career.
Lead singer Robin Zander was in fine voice and with 12-string bassist Tom Petersson, lead guitarist Rick Nielsen and Nielsen’s son Daxx replacing Bun E. Carlos on drums, this Rockford, IL band sounded heavier and tighter than they have in years. Add Nielsen’s other son, Miles, on guitar, a keyboardist, Magic Cristian, an orchestra and a four-man chorale and you’ve got quite a swirling, phantasmagorical, psychedelic evening of pulsating, gyrating rock ‘n’ roll. “Gonna Raise Hell” even strayed into quasi-metal jam-band territory.
Emotional highlights included covers of Jeff Lynne’s “California Man” and Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame.” The two closing songs—“I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender”—were exhilarating as confetti flew for the dramatic finale.
Still, it was two tracks from 1982’s One On One that reigned supreme on this night: the all-too-rare “I Want Be Man” and the sentimental favorite for every longtime Cheap Trick fan, “If You Want My Love.” You can throw in “The Flame” too as a crowd favorite.
Two solid hours. And we wanted more.