For most people, their teenage years are a time we fondly look back and think about the good times with our besties. Many of those memories include the music we listened to. Back in the day, Cheap Trick “Live at Budokan” was part of the soundtrack of my life.
Fast forward to 2021, and after a year of lockdown, I was headed back down to Southern California to visit a few friends. It was brought to my attention that not only can I catch up with my friends; we could all stroll down memory lane with one of our favorite bands.
Consider our quasi-high school reunion as the backdrop; it was a beautiful night for music at Humphrey’s. The venue is properly named as it is by the bay!
Opening the show was Falling Doves. This classic glam band from L.A. was a perfect fit to open up for the legends. Sure, the venue wasn’t full yet, but Falling Doves brought a great sound and entertained the quickly filling up venue.
As for Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick, their passion for performing live remains obvious. The power-rock band from Illinois includes original members, lead singer Robin Zander, phenom lead guitarist Rick Nielsen, and Tom Petersson on bass. Keeping it in the family, joining the band are Neilson’s son Daxx on drums and Zander’s son Robin Taylor Zander on bass. No matter their age, these guys are electrifying and can still bring it! Proving to be multi-generational, the “newer” rhythm section with Daxx and Robin were spot on.
From the moment Zander took the stage with “Hello There,” the crowd lost their minds. Concertgoers of all ages and genders were at the show, and all were equally enthralled by Zander. He was animated, vocal, funny, all mixed in with a little weird; just the way I remembered and hoped he’d be.
Rick Nielsen was Nielsen; not much more has to be said about that! Throughout the night, Neilson displayed his signature move and flicked guitar picks into the crowd, the crowd ate it up! If you ever wondered why he has so many guitar picks onstage, that’s why. Nielsen then led Cheap Trick through the songs that made the entire venue sing along: “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me,” “Downed,” “Dream Police,” “Light Up The Fire,” and all those other classics made this a very memorable night.
My take-away from this epic show was that I’m not nuts! Cheap Trick was and is the godhead of rock bands! Not only do my friends love them, the crowd at Humphrey’s solidified the fact that they mean the world to so many people for so many reasons.
I thought it was a perfect touch that they ended the show with “Goodnight Now.”
Cheap Trick is still on tour, I can’t stress this enough, check them out while you can… they are definitely a must see!