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Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Heaven on Earth at Jones Beach ~ Cheap Trick and Boston

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

 

By SethM

Ready for an evening of nostalgia courtesy of two great rock and roll bands? Although it’s called the “Heaven on Earth Tour,” it should really have been called the “More Hits, Less Bullshit Tour” because that’s exactly what audiences get from Cheap Trick and Boston ~ just the good stuff, not a lot of chatter. These two classic bands come to stage and 90% of what they play are radio hits that you know (and have loved for years) and couldn’t stop yourself from singing along to even if you wanted to ~ but why would you?

Tom Scholz of Boston

Tom Scholz of Boston

Before I go any further into the production, the set lists, etc., I want to note that at shows throughout the “Heaven on Earth Tour,” Boston have teamed up with Epiphone Guitar to sell a Boston’s Greatest Hits promotional CD. These CDs have all your favorite Boston hits, but more importantly, the net proceeds of these sales (which are being conducted by volunteers throughout each venue) are split between the Sea Shepard Conservative Society and Shriners Hospitals for Children. The CDs are $10 and every one sold gives you a chance to win a Tom Scholz signed Epiphone guitar that night (winners must be present at the show to win). It’s a great souvenir, great music, and for two great causes ~ so if you attend a show, pick [at least] one up.

And now back to the show!

CT

CT


Cheap Trick wasted no time in hitting the stage precisely at 7:30, kicking off their 12 song set with “Hello There.” Robin Zander (vocals) still sounds amazing and neither Rick Neilsen (guitars) nor Tom Peterson (bass) are slouches when it comes to playing live ~ quite the opposite, in fact. These 3 have being doing what they do for 41 years and although they are missing original drummer Bun E. Carlos, Daxx Nielsen rounds out the quartet nicely. I’ve been a fan of Cheap Trick since I was a kid and I have to say, these guys are some of the nicest in rock and roll; the crowd loves them and the feeling is undeniably mutual.

CT

CT


Of course I could add half dozen (at least) more songs that I would have loved to hear, but from start to finish, the band’s set was amazing:

CT

CT

Hello There

Elo Kiddies

Ain’t That a Shame (Fats Domino cover)

California Man (The Move cover)

Tonight It’s You

On Top of the World

Need Your Love

I Know What I Want

The Flame

I Want You to Want Me

Dream Police

Surrender

CT

CT


Cheap Trick definitely left the crowd wanting more and proved that there’s a reason they’ve lasted all these years.  They’ve got talent, totally irresistible songs, great stage presence, love and have fun with what they do, and never sound stale or dated.

Boston

Boston


After a short break, the hit fest continued as Tom Scholz appeared, lit in silhouette, and eased into “Rock & Roll Band” as the lighting increased to reveal their space ship-looking stage set as well as the full band.

Boston

Boston

Of course these days the full band consists of a variety of musicians and vocalist Tommy DeCarlo remains the center of some controversy. It’s not that DeCarlo is bad ~ as a matter of fact, other than a little vocal stumbling in the beginning, he was spot-on and sounded fantastic. The controversy amongst fans was/is whether he can fill the shoes of the late Brad Delp, who committed suicide in 2007 and was the distinctive voice of Boston.  It always seems as though new singers are expected to not just fill their predecessor’s shoes, but be their exact clones, and that’s both unfair and unlikely to happen. DeCarlo had obviously listened to Delp’s work quite a bit, and with some help from bandmate David Victor, really did do a great job ~ and that’s coming from someone who saw Boston several times while Delp was still at the helm.

Scholz didn’t move around too much during the set, staying stage right surrounded by monitors and a crazy pedal board and alternating between that and his keyboard rig, which was set back slightly. Other than some movement from Victor and DeCarlo, who were front and center, the band pretty much got on stage, took their respective places, and didn’t do much other then play the hell out of the following impressive two hour set:

Boston

Boston

Rock & Roll Band

Smokin’

Feelin’ Satisfied

Last Day of School

Life, Love & Hope

Peace of Mind

It’s Been Such a Long Time Interlude

Cool the Engines

Surrender to Me

Don’t Look Back

Something About You

Amanda

The Launch

More Than a Feeling

Guitar Solo

A New World

To Be a Man

Walk On / Get Organ-ized / Walk On (Some More)

Foreplay / Long Time

 

Encore:

I Think I Like It

Party

Boston

Boston


And if you’re a fan of Boston in particular or 70s/80s music in general then you know that set is nothing short of…”Wow,” and unlike a lot of other bands, these classic rockers didn’t make us wait ‘til the end to hear the hits. If I had to find something to criticize, it might have to be the encore, but how could anyone really be disappointed given that the 1st hour alone had just about every song most people don’t want to leave without hearing. Sure, the band threw in the new song “Life, Love & Hope,” but by following it up with “Peace of Mind” they were quickly forgiven by anyone just looking for the classic hits.

Boston

Boston

In regards to the Boston set, the jam type versions of “More Than a Feeling” and “Foreplay/Long Time” were the standouts, but overall there really was nothing negative about the show. From the moment Cheap Trick took the stage to the moment I got in my car, turned on the radio, and, I’m sure along with most of the rest of the audience, listened to the local radio station’s rock block recap, it was an amazing night of nostalgic hits by bands who are still going strong and keeping those hits relevant today.

For more information, including tour dates, check out the websites below.

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

cheaptrick.com

Boston

Boston

bandboston.com

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