Review and Photos by: Ilya Merman
Show Photos HERE
I’ve previously seen Cheap Trick four times, and it’s always a terrific show in every way. But last night’s show at Foxwoods’ MGM Grand Theatre was a real thrill. Perhaps because there was no opening act, the band played for nearly 2 full hours. As a result, it was the longest Cheap Trick show I’ve seen to date, and they played both chart-topping favorites and deeper cuts, more comprehensively spanning the broad range of their punk/pop/rock repertoire.
Robin Zander sounds as great as he did four decades ago, with a commanding presence striking many a rocker pose throughout the night. Whether singing, jamming, or strumming an acoustic, Zander executes his role as front man with alacrity. What a treat it was to hear Zander on The Flame, with the theatre’s perfect acoustics and Cheap Trick’s spectacular light show.
With full-time guitarist and part-time acrobat and master of ceremonies Rick Nielsen, a laugh is always around the corner. When he’s not throwing scores of picks to the crowd or jumping around the stage, he’s a wisecracker delivering laugh after laugh. Last night, he warmed up the crowd by bantering with celebrities in the audience (Rachel Ray, Larry David and others) and poking gentle fun at hometown favorites Aerosmith (fun fact: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, in response to “What’s the best band you’ve ever seen live?” question, had this to say: “I’d say that Cheap Trick is the most consistently great band and I’ve seen them dozens of times.”).
Last night’s show was one treat after another. Song after song, I found myself thinking, “If the concert ends now, it’d already be an amazing show!” – yet the foursome played on and on, making plenty of times to showcase individual talents of the band members. Whether a kick-ass 12-string bass solo by Tom Petersson, or a fun drum solo by (Rick’s son) Daxx, we were constantly reminded of the individual talents of every member of the ensemble.
Nearly 90 minutes into their set, the band was on fire, song after song building up to the finale, seamlessly going from “The Flame” to “I Want You To Want Me,” from “Dream Police” to “Surrender.” By the time “Clock Strikes Ten” and “Goodnight” played, independent of how we fared in the casino, the 4,000 of us filling the MGM Theatre were all winners.
If you haven’t seen the band dubbed “The American Beatles” by the Japanese press – you’re missing out bigtime!
Come On, Come On
If You Want My Love
On Top of the World
Ain’t That a Shame
Need Your Love
Didn’t Know I Had It
I Know What I Want
That 70s Song (In the Street)
I Want You to Want Me
Sick Man of Europe
Clock Strikes Ten