Music For Hangovers
Cheap Trick (Live)
By Rob Nichols
For a band that hit the big time with a sonically inferior live album recorded in Japan under adverse circumstances, the new live CD from Cheap Trick Music For Hangovers is a chance at a little redemption.
Taken from a four-night stand at the Metro in Chicago last spring, the band has put together not so much a greatest hits package but rather set of songs that remind us why Cheap Trick is so valuable.
On each of the four nights, the band would tackle one of their first four albums in it’s entirety, then play some more off other albums during encores. The first night, the band performed the entire Budokan album, followed on successive nights by performances of 1977’s Cheap Trick and In Color from the same year, and concluded the stand with a performance of Heaven Tonight, originally released in 1978.
Only four songs on the new live CD cold be considered hits, with performances of “Surrender”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “If You Want My Love” and “Dream Police”
While “Surrender” sounds great, the reason for this album to exist is to help us remember how a band should age. Cheap Trick revisits a bunch of songs 20 years old and reinvests themselves into the music, with a not so surprising rock and roll punch. They treat listeners to an album of guitar rock and roll.
Robin Zander’s sounds like only Robin Zander can sound, which is like a he’s been preserved in a 1978 time capsule, while drummer Bun E. Carlos is terrific. Guitarist and main songwriter Rick Nielson wrote some great pop songs and his playing sometimes get lost behind his image. Not here.
They sound good. They look good. We find some songs we used to know. It’s a nice package.