Sunday, July 23, 2006

LIVE ROCK: Cheap Trick Live On The Levee

I saw Cheap Trick at a big free show on the St. Louis riverfront last night. Believe it or not, it was the 39th time I’ve seen them live, and it was a good one—the best I’ve seen them in several years. The very big news is Robin’s live singing voice is BACK! The last couple of times I’ve seen them his voice sounded scorched and strained, but last night his amazing and magical vocal instrument was back in top notch form. His singing was outstanding.

The boys were very loose, somewhat real sloppy at times, but were definitely having a ball as they all took turns cracking each other up throughout their set. And the set list? No surprises, "Taxman" the lone representative from the first album, but an above average version of their "state fair" set. Tom’s 12 string bass playing was it’s usual thing of wonder, and he did an interesting little bass solo bit quoting Jimi Hendrix’s "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" before segueing into the lead vocal spotlight on "I Know What I Want." He remains a bass god among us mere mortals who also try to play the instrument.

They closed the show with the best darn version of "California Man" I've ever seen them play. Much to my surprise, Robin really drew upon the spirit of the Roy Wood original version as he sang the hell out of it. "Goodnight" followed and featured a series of Bun E.-orchestrated manic false endings. When Bun finally decided to end it, he stood up, dropped his sticks, and I was close enough to the stage to read his lips as he looked at Rick and yelled, "Let's go home!"

And so a good time was had by all. Delivering a good live performance in support of a good new album, you just have to appreciate the fact that they’re still at it and clearly still enjoying what they do, cause you know you’d miss them if they weren’t around anymore. They still make me proud to be from the Midwest, as they continue to musically epitomize the great Midwestern enigma that is the simultaneous appreciation of the intellectual and the stupid. May they forever rock...

And y’all better believe I still want to be Tom Petersson when I grow up!

The 12 string godlike bass genius of Tom Petersson.

The great Rick Nielson on high.

Robin Zander & Bun E. Carlos.

The million dollar smile of Tom Petersson.

Rick and Tom rocking.

Robin and Tom rocking.

Tom singing "I Know What I Want."

"We suck!" :)

6 comments: said...

"...they continue to musically epitomize the great Midwestern enigma that is the simultaneous appreciation of the intellectual and the stupid."

That's some brilliant writing, right there.

Robin is NOT covered up like Diane Keaton, and look at his arms! The boy's lifting some weights! And if his voice is back, does that mean he quit smoking? Did you see him ever take a stage-side smoke break, like he usually did?

And you shared one shot with me where Tom is completely bent over and one sess that There. Is. No. Bald. Spot. I agree that he is the Dorian gray of rock 'n' roll.

steve scariano said...

Thanks for the kind words! No, I did not see Robin take any smoke breaks last night---though "smoking" his vocals indeed were!

Anonymous said...

Steve; speaking of 'when I grow up', I shook the Great One's hand, and I think part of his 12-string mastery is that he has HUGE hands! Made me feel like a little kid.

steve scariano said...

Well you know what they say about HUGE hands.....

....big gloves! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice pix. Love how they've seasoned and aged and still rock the nut.

Stephanie said...

...Tom Petersson = YUM-O.....