Thursday, December 29, 2011

We're All Allright

Cheap Trick played a short-notice charity gig last night at Atlanta's Buckhead Theater (formerly The Roxy, before a much-needed refurbishment a year or so back). My wife and I went to the show, and had a great time. The crowd ranged from people considerably older than us to young kids, and included everything from Buckhead hipsters to grungy teens in Motorhead jackets. I think I'm safe in saying that pretty much everybody there had a blast.

Like most of the surviving 70's and 80's road warrior bands, Cheap Trick still has the chops (although original drummer Bun E. Carlos has retired from touring due to back trouble; he's replaced live by guitarist/songwriter Rick Neilsen's son Daxx) and stage savvy to pull off a solid show. Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, vocalist Robin Zander could still hit every note, including a jaw-dropping cover of the Beatles' valedictory medley from side two of "Abbey Road." I'm reasonably sure Zander sings those parts far better than Paul McCartney himself could today.

So anyway (here's the "look at me!" part), for years and years during the song "Surrender," Cheap Trick used to toss Kiss albums into the crowd after a line referencing that band. Nelisen often jokes that Cheap Trick was responsible for several Kiss albums going platinum, since their roadies were always having to go to a local record store to buy up additional copies for the gag.

No doubt partly due to the end of vinyl records as easily-found items, they've knocked the Kiss part off, but Neilsen did toss an autographed cover from Cheap Trick's own latest album (cleverly titled "The Latest") into the crowd during "Surrender" last night. It careened off a light fixture on the theater's ceiling, and ricocheted basically into my hands. Which was, y'know, pretty cool.

Here it is, complete with a ton of guitar picks that had been kindly stuck into the seams:

... and here's a sample of the song itself:

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