Archive for the ‘Cheap Trick’ Category

Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979

Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979readingprog79
This was my 8th visit to Reading. The line-up was a predictable mix of new wave and heavy rock. It was also a year of line-up changes. Two of the main bands who were billed to play: Thin Lizzy and The Ramones did not appear. Thin Lizzy pulled out at a few days notice due to Gary Moore’s departure from the band. Lizzy were replaced by Scorpions and The Ramones by Nils Lofgren. Both of these changes were major disappointments. The weather wasn’t bad and the event was well-attended, but didn’t sell out. My recollections of the weekend are below:
Friday line-up: Bite the Pillow, The Jags, Punishment of Luxury, Doll by Doll, The Cure, Wilko Johnson, Motorhead, The Tourists, The Police.
Friday was the “new wave” day. I watched all of the bands from Punilux onwards. Highlights were The Cure who impressed me even though the only song I had heard before was “Killing an Arab”, and Wilko and Motorhead, both acts going down a storm with the crowd, who preferred their rock heavier and more traditional. The Police were riding on the crest of a wave of success, and were amazing, Sting had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and the entire field sang along to the hits. It was great to witness a band at their peak.
The Police setlist: Deathwish; Next To You; So Lonely; Truth Hits Everybody; Walking On The Moon; Hole In My Life; Fall Out; Message In A Bottle; The Bed’s Too Big Without You; Peanuts; Roxanne; Can’t Stand Losing You; Landlord; Born In The 60s
Saturday line-up: Root Boy Slim; Fame; The Yachts; Little Bo Bitch (not sure that they played?); The Movies; Bram Tchaikovsky; Gillan; Steve Hackett; Cheap Trick; Inner Circle; Scorpions
reading79badgeWe spent much of Saturday enjoying the delights of local hostelries and didn’t venture into the arena until later in the day. To be honest, looking at the line-up now, it was pretty uninspiring. We made it into the festival for Gillan onwards. Gillan seemed to play everywhere at the time, and were always good fun. I’d seen them so many times that I was getting to know the new songs, but I also always looked forward to hearing Purple classics, which they did including ‘Smoke on the Water”. Steve Hackett played “I Know What I Like” which prompted a mass crowd singalong. The highlight was Cheap Trick with crazy antics from Rick Nielson and an exquisite performance by Robin Zander. A video of their performance that night is on YouTube. You can find “I Want You To Want Me” here, a bit rough, but still amazing:
For the encore Cheap Trick were joined onstage by Dave Edmunds and Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs for a rendition of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. Classic 😄
Inner Circle’s reggae rhythms went down well. Scorpions were great (I really liked “Loving You Sunday Morning” at the time), but we were disappointed that we weren’t seeing Lizzy who had become a Reading favourite and were massive at the time.
readingpaper79Sunday line-up: The Cobbers; Terra Nova; Speedometers; Zaine Griff; Wild Horses; The Members; Molly Hatchett; Climax Blues Band; Nils Lofgren; Peter Gabriel; Whitesnake.
Sunday highlights for me were The Members who were in the charts with “Sounds of the Suburbs” and got a mixed reaction from the crowds with some people liking them, and others lobbing cans, and Peter Gabriel who started with “Biko” and played classic solo tracks like “Moribund The Burgermeister”, “Solsbury Hill” and “Here Comes The Flood”. Phil Collins joined Gabriel for the end of his set for “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. Whitesnake closed the evening and were worthy headliners (although they weren’t billed as so, with Peter Gabriel and non-showers The Ramones having shared top billing in the pre-festival publicity). They started with an amazing new song “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues” which set the tone for the evening. Ian Paice had just joined on drums and Whitesnake now had three former Purple members (Coverdale, Lord and Paice).
Whitesnake setlist: Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues; Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City; Steal Away; Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick; Mistreated; Soldier Of Fortune; Love Hunter; Breakdown; Whitesnake Boogie.
An enjoyable Reading weekend, if not one of the strongest line-ups.

Mötley Crüe Theatre of Pain tour Newcastle City Hall 1986

Mötley Crüe Theatre of Pain tour Newcastle City Hall 1986
motleytix Think big, loud, outrageous, OTT, heavy rock. Think glam, pyrotechnics, Kiss meets The Stooges and you are starting to get it. Mötley Crüe brought the “Theatre of Pain” to Newcastle and just blew us all away 🙂 .
Mötley Crüe are an American heavy metal band who formed in California in 1980. The group was founded by bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were soon joined by fellow mad compatriots lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe have been described as “the world’s most notorious rock band” (Wikipedia). They are also one of the best-selling groups of all time, having sold 80 million albums (Wow!). I first came across Mötley Crüe when I saw them playing way down the bill at Donington Monsters of Rock in 1984. By 1986 they were touring to support their third album “Theatre of Pain”, and these guys were massive. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to enjoy their outrageous stage show, but I knew that I just had to go along and see if they were as loud and crazy as I had read. The show was actually great fun, if a little tongue in cheek, and the music wasn’t too bad either.
MotleyCrueTheatrefPain The stage set was magnificent. Drummer Tommy Lee towered above us all on a drum riser which revolved through 360 degrees (don’t ask me how that worked 🙂 ?!). Guitarist Mick Mars and bassist Nikki Sixx prowled around the stage, both every bit heavy metal rock gods. And singer and total madman Vince Neil sang his heart out. The audience, well Vince told us many times that we were all “MotherF***ers”, and the Newcastle metal crowd didn’t argue with that; they just lapped it up. A night of total over the top madness! Plus these guys did a great version of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”; check it out on YouTube. I’ve been trying to work out who the support act was that night, and based on what I can find out there, it seems that the great Cheap Trick played on the UK dates. My memory lets me down again, as I have no recollection at all of seeing Cheap Trick that night. I am sure if they had been support I would have gone along early to see them; maybe I did and have forgotten all about it, which is increasingly likely….
Setlist: Looks That Kill; Use It or Lose It; Shout at the Devil; Fight for Your Rights; Home Sweet Home; Red Hot; Keep Your Eye on the Money; Louder Than Hell; Too Young to Fall in Love; Knock ’em Dead, Kid; Live Wire; Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room (Brownsville Station. Great choice for a cover!); Helter Skelter (The Beatles! Another great choice); Jailhouse Rock (Elvis!)

Deep Purple and Cheap Trick Glasgow SECC 26 Nov 2011

Deep Purple (with 38 piece orchestra) and Cheap Trick Glasgow SECC 26 Nov 2011
Norm and I drove up for this great gig last night. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Deep Purple. They haven’t visited the north east on the last couple of tours, and for one reason or another I wasn’t able to travel to see them. This tour was however especially tempting with the double attraction of Cheap Trick as special guest, and the 38 piece orchestra which was accompanying Deep Purple. I waited until the last minute to decide whether or not to go, however, because I was little unsure about the weather at this time of year. As the weather was ok we decided to go.
We arrived at the SECC at around 6.30pm, and managed to score a couple of tickets from a guy outside of the venue for £60 for a pair, which was a snip as face value would have been £90, plus the dreaded booking fees. The seats were pretty good too,l in the centre block about 12 rows back.
It’s a long time since we last saw Cheap Trick at Newcastle Mayfair in the 70s. I’d forgotten just how good there are and how many great catchy tunes they have. Rick Nielson is still as crazy as ever and Robin Zander still looks great. They were on stage around one hour and the set included: Stop This Game (Mind Choir): Dream Police; Need Your Love; California Man (The Move song); If You Want My Love; I Want You to Want Me; Surrender; Good Night. I managed to get one of the many plectrums that Rick threw out into the crowd. Rick’s vibe neck guitar looks pretty cool.
I hadn’t been sure about how the big orchestra would work alongside Deep Purple’s rock classics. I needn’t have worried; it was absolutely great. Great set, some long solos but the two hours that they were on stage seemed to pass in no time at all. They started with Highway Star, and the set include some of my favourites: Lazy, Strange Kind of Woman, When a Blind Man Cries, Woman from Tokyo. They finished with Smoke on the Water, and the encores were Hush, and Black Night. Ian Gillan looks really fit, and he was singing well although he clearly finds it difficult to get some of the high notes and can’t scream like he used to. Roger Glover always looks like he is having great fun. Don Airey seems to fit perfectly with the others now, and played excellently. Its good to see a local Sunderland lad doing so well. In fact all of the band seemed to be really enjoying themselves. It was great to see them again, and the classics sounded fresh, with the orchestra adding new depth to the arrangements. This was the best time I’ve see them play for many many years. Great stuff.
The drive back was pretty tricky but uneventful, through torrential rain and high winds. We got home around 2.15am.

Deep Purple setlist: Highway Star; Hard Lovin’ Man; Maybe I’m a Leo; Strange Kind of Woman; Rapture of the Deep;Woman From Tokyo; Contact Lost (Guitar Solo); When a Blind Man Cries; The Well Dressed Guitar; Knocking at Your Back Door; Lazy; No One Came; Perfect Strangers; Space Truckin’; Smoke on the Water
Encores: Hush; Black Night


Rick Neilson plectrum (thanks Rick)