Flashing lights, a babble of Japanese, a few bars of Surrender, Homer Simpson declaring ‘I’d rather listen to Cheap Trick’, a velvet voice that states ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world’ and Cheap Trick appear in all their eccentric glory, to the sound of I Cant Stop The Music.
Taking their respective places across the stage, Rick Neilson, Robin Zander, Tom Petterson and Daxx Neilson on drums (for the missing Bun E Carlos), blast off their set of hits with ‘Hello There Ladies And Gentleman’, and ask ‘are you ready to rock?’.
After roars from the baying crowd, they segue into Elo Kiddies, Miss Tomorrow, I Cant Take It Alone and the deliciously sarcastic Miracle.
Zander remains the California Man, blonde and pretty, with a vocal as clear and sharp as the Krupp diamond. Neilson is literally bedecked in a jacket that resembles a deckchair, sporting his trademark cap and shades. Holding court from his checkerboard amp, he changes guitar every song to cheers for each new toy.
Cheap Trick shimmer their way through the show effortlessly – beautiful melodies and heavy guitar accompany a tongue in cheek air. I Want You To Want Me and Need Your Love sound just as good in the flesh and the now classic Surrender has the audience stealing the show while Zander offers them their chance to shine.
Goodnight Ladies And Genltemen follows Dream Police and Neilson, with his five-necked Hamer, tells us that it’s all over.
Tonight, Cheap Trick lived up to their introduction as the best rock n’ roll band in the world. No argument.