I was so excited a few months ago when it was announced that Squeeze and Cheap Trick would be touring, together. I had never seen either band and the nostalgia appeal was too good to pass up. Plus, tickets after the ridiculous fees were only $28 each. So I had to go.
My Scottish Wife was familiar with some of Squeeze's songs but had only heard just one or two Cheap Trick songs. She was interested, and once the rain stopped and a few beers at Barley's we were all looking forward to the show.
Squeeze opened. It was their first show on this leg of the tour.
They opened with Black Coffee in Bed. Then tried to turn it into a singalong, which really was not the best way to handle it. Turning the opening song into an extended jam was not a good idea either.
They sounded a bit tired, or not used to the idea of playing together yet. I have to say that Glenn Tilbrook sounded fantastic. Chris Difford, on the other hand, phoned in Cool for Cats.
They dug deep into their back catalog, included a couple of songs from the Difford & Tilbrook record, which was quite the surprise. Plus, a nice version of Someone Else's Bell from East Side Story, which is a record that lived on my turntable during freshman year of college.
We were a bit disappointed they did not do Another Nail in My Heart or Pulling Mussels from the Shell, it was still a good time.
For whatever reasons I've never been able to take Cheap Trick seriously. Live at Budokan is certainly a fine live album. Dream Police and Surrender are great songs, but the rest always seemed uneven to me. Then there was The Flame, and the horrors that come from that song.
So I was very curious as to what kind of show they'd give.
Jesus I was impressed from the start. The energy these guys can still put out after being together for over thirty five years is very impressive. Robin Zander has developed and kept some serious vocal chops, and at the age of fifty seven can still wail with the best of them. Rick Neilsen has an untold number of guitars, (he brought out the five necked one!) and can play them all with the best of all the guitar heroes. Incredibly, at the age of sixty three, he was running around the stage with the energy of a twenty something.
They performed a few hits amidst some what may have been some newer or even some deep cuts from the older records. It did not matter, what they did rocked the shit out of the place!
A memorable moment came during Dream Police when a police helicopter went over the LC and shined its spotlight on the crowd. One of the freakiest thing I've ever seen at a show. No way this could have been planned, right? Also on the weird scale is that my ex wife's ex boyfriend saw me there and texted her. He also saw us at Cuco's on Thursday night. Who is stalking who? And hey someone from Florida who looked here for a long time yesterday, how about an introduction?
After finally seeing Cheap Trick I seriously have to wonder why these guys are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was boycotting the place until Ronnie Spector got in. Now, there is another legitimate reason to not go.