Like many fans of live music, every year I eagerly await the announcement of the Pacific Amphitheatre’s Summer Concert series, and when this show was announced, I knew right away this was a must-attend event. Cheap Trick and The Tubes are two legendary bands that are both renowned for their live shows and are an excellent fit for a fun summer night out in Orange County.
Cheap Trick came onto the scene in 1977, and they were unlike anything most of us had seen come out of the Midwest. Singer Robin Zander and bass player Tom Petersson had the pretty boy, rock star looks, while guitarist Rick Nielson and drummer Bun E. Carlos had an altogether different look and style. Although the band achieved early success in Japan, it wasn’t until their live album, “Cheap Trick at Budokan,” was released in 1979 that they achieved mainstream popularity in the United States. The record set the bar for what a live album should be.
Cheap Trick’s live shows are known for their high energy and crowd-pleasing antics. Nielsen is famous for his collection of quirky guitars and often endlessly throws picks into the audience during shows. Zander’s powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence are also a highlight of the band’s performances. With so many catchy riffs and classic lyrics on hits like “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” and “Dream Police,” Cheap Trick has cemented its place in rock and roll history.
The band’s current lineup features original members Zander, Nielsen, and Petersson, with Nielson’s son Daxx on the drum throne. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to Cheap Trick’s music, they are sure to deliver a show that will leave you wanting more.
Opening the show will be the always entertaining San Francisco band, The Tubes. Founded in the early 1970s, The Tubes became known for their outrageous theatrical stage act. Using synthesizers and rock guitars, they explored a wide range of musical styles and genres, including punk, new wave, and funk.
With a career spanning over four decades, The Tubes have become one of the most influential and innovative bands in the history of rock music having their songs covered by a variety of artists, from Motley Crue to Al Di Meola.
The Tubes had top 10 hits in the ‘80s with “She’s a Beauty” and “Talk to You Later,” but it was their live album, “What Do You Want From LIVE,” that originally got me into them. They showed their brilliance and originality while making fun of the rich and famous, consumerism, and celebrity culture with songs like “White Punk on Dope” and “What Do You Want from Life.”
Original members – front-man Fee Waybill, guitarist Roger Steen, and legendary drummer Prairie Prince – are all still rocking, but in 2022, we mourned the loss of vocalist Re Styles, and founding member and bass player Rick Anderson.
The Tubes’ unique blend of rock, pop, and avant-garde music has influenced countless other artists over the years. If you’re a rock music fan and haven’t seen The Tubes perform live, you’re in for a treat. Their concerts are an unforgettable experience combining music, theater, and spectacle in a way you won’t find anywhere else.
Don’t miss your chance to see two of the most innovative and influential bands in the history of rock music when The Tubes open for Cheap Trick at The Pacific Amphitheatre on August 7th.