TVD Live Shots: Cheap Trick at the Cleveland Convention Center, 9/6

Worlds collided for me last week in Cleveland with my all time favorite band in the world, Cheap Trick in town at one of my favorite marketing conferences in the world. Taking a break from the band’s current tour in celebration of their well deserved (and better late than never) induction into the Roll and Roll Hall of Fame, the legendary rock foursome from Rockford showed a bunch of content marketers what it’s like. And corporate gig or not, it was f*cking spectacular.

The magnetism of Robin Zander, the charisma of Rick Nielsen, the thundering 12 string bass of Tom Petersson, and the bombastic drums of Nielsen’s son Daxx—the band didn’t bother catering their setlist to the corporate world. Instead they delivered a mix of classics, both old and new, along with the fan favorites.

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I have seen Cheap Trick live more than a dozen times now and they never cease to live up to the announcement that precedes this legendary quartet as they take the stage: “The best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen.” You could tell it was a genuine Cheap Trick gig even though the surroundings might have been a bit different.

The only downside here was that there was not more of a focus on the new record Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello. I’ve been listening to the LP constantly leading up to this show and I have to say it’s the best thing the band has done since Heaven Tonight. Every, and I mean EVERY, song is fantastic on this record. If I had to pick the standouts it would be “No Direction Home” (the best song they’ve written in the past decade) “Heart on the Line,” “The In Crowd,” “Blood Red Lips,” and—I could go on and on with this one.

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Shooting this one was a bit of a challenge under the circumstances, but I did my best to capture the images that tell the story of a Cheap Trick show. If you’ve seen the band before then you know exactly what to expect. Robin’s voice is still absolutely stellar, Rick hasn’t slowed down one bit (in fact you could say he’s the exact opposite of the nerdy guy he played in the ’70s and has now transformed into one of the “cool guys.” Maybe they could re-shoot the covers of my two of my favorite albums, In Color and Heaven Tonight, and add Rick to the front now .)

Tom is still the essence of cool and proves it with a brilliant take on the Velvet Underground classic “I’m Waiting for the Man,” and Dax, well Dax is just a brick fucking powerhouse behind the drums—as solid as solid can be. I’m going to stop talking here and let the images tell the rest of the story. (For the record, I finally nailed the Rick Nielsen jump shot—I actually got two. Enjoy.)

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Were you at the show or at Content Marketing World this year? Join in the conversation below and let us know what you thought of the show.

Check out high res shots from the show in the gallery here.

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