It’s one thing to be a band that is cited to be a heavy influence for both rock and alt rock bands alike during the late 80s and early 90s such as Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, and countless others. It’s an entirely different argument to continue to be a relevant band that still tours (39 years and counting) while simultaneously being one of the most covered bands all time. Hits such as “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender” have been featured on many commercials and soundtracks and played countless times, yet every time we hear Robin Zander sing out some of the most recognized song lyrics of our time, we can’t help but stop and give it our full attention.
Cheap Trick could have easily slid into the land where bands go to retire and after a stagnant period of time (and with the right monetary offer) return for a reunion tour, but that has never been an option for this group. They simply don’t see the need to quit. Rick Nielsen once likened their music to a coffee table book in the way that it seems to have an immediate impact for each person who comes in contact with it. Every album they have adds to the diversity of this “book” in a way that can connect with many different types of people on several levels. This couldn’t have developed had they quit years ago and it’s a process that gets better with time.
Speaking of time, it seems to have barely touched their live performance. You won’t see four aging men playing stale hits when you tune in to this Saturday’s encore episode. Whether it’s Tom Petersson rocking out on a 12-string bass with a bedazzled peacock adorning the body or Nielsen throwing out at least 100 picks into the audience all while dancing in front of black and white checkered amps, the group made sure to put a dent on their Austin City Limits debut in 2010.
Be sure to check your local listings for show times and you can find more clips and information about their taping here. This is an encore episode you won’t want to miss.