• 149 WESTCHESTER AVENUE, PORT CHESTER, NY 10573-4549 · (914) 937-4126

  • November 21st, 2017

    reCAP :: Cheap Trick :: 2017.11.15

    Words by Kaitlyn Bush

    On Saturday November 18th, Cheap Trick returned to The Cap to bring Port Chester yet another night of pure, fun, rock ‘n’ roll.

    Local trio Jackknife Stiletto opened the show with a solid set of gritty, raw punk rock, and Jesse Malin, who had previously opened for Cheap Trick at The Cap back in 2015, brought his full band along this time and showed why he’s been a mainstay in the New York city music scene since the early 80s.

    Cheap Trick took the stage after a voiceover intro requested that the crowd “Please welcome to the stage the best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen.” Beginning with “Hello There,” a perfect opener, the band immediately set a tone for the evening- one of loud guitars, strong vocals, and high energy.

    Guitarist Rick Nielsen wasted no time before starting to toss his picks into the crowd. He had two mic stands full of them, after all, to sling out before the evening was through. And of course, even though they went right into “You Got It Going On,” Nielsen made his first of many guitar changes of the night.

    There’s something distinct and unparalleled about Cheap Trick’s overall style. Despite being an active band for over 40 years that has reached countless milestones, including their 2016 induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, they don’t ever seem to take themselves too seriously. They always seem grateful to their fans and it’s clear that even after all this time, they genuinely enjoy what they do.

    This felt particularly true right before the band played “California Man.” Nielsen, on his macaroni and cheese colored square-bodied guitar, very briefly played the opening riff to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” (a preview of what was to come later), before standing in a circle with bassist Tom Petersson and singer Robin Zander to play a solo. It was amazing to see the three guys grinning at each other, appreciating the music and the moment, before Nielsen finished and stood at the front of the stage, gesturing gratefully to an excited crowd.

    “Southern Girls” deserves a mention just for Nielsen’s guitar alone. His double-necked guitar had Nielsen’s cartoon likeness on one end, with the guitar body painted as a yellow suit and the headstocks painted like shoes.

    Petersson took the lead for their cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man.” Though the band has been playing the cover for decades and released it as a live recording in 1996, they released it again as a live single this past spring.

    The band ended their set on a high note with two of their biggest hits, “I Want You to Want Me” and “Dream Police” back to back, with the crowd instantly erupting as drummer Daxx Nielsen (Rick Nielsen’s son) started the opening drum beat.

    They then kicked off their encore with a fun, yet touching, cover of “Highway to Hell” in honor of Malcolm Young, whose passing had been announced only hours earlier. The encore ended with “Goodnight Now,” and of course Nielsen had to bring out his infamous 5-necked guitar.

    Just before that however, the band played “Surrender.” Especially during this current social climate, there was something reassuring about standing in a packed theatre with everyone screaming “We’re all alright!”