JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

November 7, 2015
The Bomb Factory
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh

Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick, Ian Moore, The American Fuse

A Night To Remember As Cheap Trick Lights The Fuse!

Cheap Trick." I'm sure that somebody, somewhere, feels that way, but because their music appeals to fans of hard rock, pop, punk, and so many other genres of music, it's hard to find anyone who hasn't enjoyed at least one of their songs. Cheap Trick shows have always been fun, but on the past few tours the set-lists have been somewhat predictable. They've obviously recognized that, and on their current tour they're playing a different set every night, and breaking out obscure songs that their diehard fans never thought they'd hear live.

As soon as lead singer Robin Zander stepped onto The Bomb Factory stage, he had a youthful energy about him that he hasn't showed much in recent years. He was all over the stage as the band ripped through "Hello There” and "Big Eyes," and by the end of the first two songs, guitarist Rick Nielsen had already tossed at least a hundred guitar picks into the crowd. For the next hour, they launched into a set of deep tracks including high-energy gems like "Hot Love," "He's A Whore," and "On Top Of The World” and followed those up with the creepy, Alice Cooper-esque "Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School."

Many people in the crowd were wondering what these songs were, but the faithful Cheap Trick fans were screaming "Oh my God!” at the start of each one. "Southern Girls” and "Stiff Competition” kept everybody moving, while epic versions of "Need Your Love” and the best song of the evening, "Heaven Tonight," created a dark and moody vibe.

After a couple of cover songs, it was time to close the show with a barrage of hits. Zander showed off his vocal prowess by nailing the high note in "The Flame," and drummer Daxx Nielsen stayed in perfect rhythm with bassist Tom Petersson while pleasing the crowd with the classics "I Want You to Want Me” and "Dream Police." Nate Fowler, of show openers The American Fuse, joined Cheap Trick for the new "Bang Zoom Crazy Hello” and a chaotic rendition of "Surrender” to help bring the show to a wild finish.

If you haven't seen Cheap Trick before, this is the tour you shouldn't miss. The deeper tracks seem to have reinvigorated the band, and they keep it fresh by making sure every night is a completely different set. Also, if you stand close enough to the stage, you'll probably wind up with about thirty of Rick Nielsen's guitar picks for a nice souvenir.

Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils played a way-too-short opening set, showing off their unique combination of rock, blues, soul, and power-pop. Older Hits like "Muddy Jesus," "Satisfied," and "Harlem” mixed well with the newer "Birds of Prey” and a killer cover of Freddie King's "Me and My Guitar," and Moore's guitar fireworks showed everyone why he's a living Texas legend. Hopefully, some of the people hearing this band for the first time will pack the house next time he comes to Dallas, which should be in March.