This was the first night of three night concert event. Cheap Trick had rereleased their first three albums: “Cheap Trick”, “In Color” & “Heaven Tonight”. To promote the rereleases the band did this three night concert event with each night focusing on each album. They would play each song, in order, from that night’s featured LP. Then they would play a variety of their other songs afterward.
I had complained about Husker Du (First Avenue, 3/30/87) playing their latest release first song to last in order that last time John and I had seen them. It pissed us off when Husker Du did it, but when Cheap Trick did the same thing three nights in a row it was cool. The difference being that we knew going in what Cheap Trick would be doing and we know the material well. You know what they say about the time bands play their new material, “Time to get a beer.”
This being the first night, they played their first album the self-titled, black and white covered “Cheap Trick”. I really liked that album. It doesn’t have a hit, but it has some great rock tunes, such as, ‘Hot Love’, ‘He’s A Whore’, ‘Oh, Candy’ and ’ELO Kiddies’. They played all the songs with great intensity while still having a load of fun.
These guys are true, road-tested, rock’n’roll professionals. The show was a load of fun and we still had two more nights to go.
On this, the second night of the big event, the band showcased their second LP, “In Color”. This was the best of the three concerts with a big surprise finish.
Dave and I decided to stand farther back then we had the night before to avoid the crowd and still get a good view of the band. We were standing with some other friends, I’ve forgotten who, when Dave’s brother, John, excitedly approached. He was busting to tell Dave, “They’re here! They’re gonna play!”
They were the big surprise finish. There was another fairly noteworthy band in town. They would be playing a show at the Target Center, which is located across the street from First Avenue. There were rumors that they might join Cheap Trick on stage that night, but, until John had come in with his news, we weren’t sure they would. I don’t know where John got his information, but he was correct.
For the last song of Cheap Trick’s concert, Aerosmith took the stage to join Cheap Trick in an amazing, kick ass version of Aerosmith’s ‘Train Kept A’Rolling’! It was fantastic. With the exception of Aerosmith’s drummer, the entire band got up there with Cheap Trick and had a ball!
It was a fun unexpected treat for us and I had a far better view of Aerosmith then when John and I had seen them back in 1983. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I was there.
Night three of the big Cheap Trick event. It was “Heaven Tonight” that night. It was also a night of technical difficulties.
Something went wrong with one of Rick’s guitars. It just zortched out and stopped playing. No problem. He just got one of his many, many other guitars. However, once he started playing it, he realized it wasn’t tuned right. And, if memory serves, the next guitar he grabbed was also improperly tuned. He was getting a little perturbed and told us that he preferred playing a guitar that was in tune.
Well, they are professionals and they soldiered on.
There was also a special guest for this night’s show, albeit not nearly as exciting as last night’s. The guest was some local Top 40 radio DJ, I can’t remember who he was or what station he was with. He was brought out to do the DJ patter heard at the end of the song ‘On The Radio’.
An interesting note on that song was how Rick introduced it. Let’s face it, if you know the album and the song, you know that it’s pretty much filler. It’s not one of Cheap Trick’s better songs, but they were featuring each album and they weren’t going to leave it out. Rick introduced the song as being “somewhat… shitty.” And he should know, he wrote it.
The show came to an end and I had the feeling that I had been a part of something special. Not quite on the level of The Screaming Blue Messiahs (First Avenue, 7/22/86) or Pete Shelley (First Avenue, 8/20/86), but I’m glad I was there.