Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cheap Trick @ Celebrate Fairfax 2014 6/8/2014

Juliya* and I were at the Celebrate Fairfax festival 2014 ($15) and Cheap Trick happened to be performing that evening.  Last time I saw them with Aerosmith in 2012.  I figured why not enjoy this with the rest of the goings on?  We saw Ariel and James after the show, so they def caught some of it

Cheap Trick on the Bud Light Main Stage
The Celebrate Fairfax Festival was at the Government center, across parking lots and fields. There were festival/carnival mainstrays (food, vendors, rides, etc.), and a few stages for musical performances.  There were thousands of people there! I'm not sure what the actual tally for people throughout the day was, but there were several thousand people in the parking lot watching Cheap Trick at night.

They came on to an intro with clips name dropping them (ex: Simpsons), which I recall hearing before.  They opened with "Hello There" which bigger Cheap Trick fans would say something about their live at Budokan album.  Robin Zander, in a pretty fabulous outfit, must have had his hair under his hat, because it reappeared several songs later.  Rick Nielsen's son Daxx Nielsen (Wtf is he a comic character?) was apparently drumming for them, not original drummer Bun E Carlos. This seemed a bit odd, but I didn't think it detracted from the performance.   

Our vantage point

Antics wise, Rick had several of his strange/exotic/silly guitars, and Robin's couple of outfit changes were interesting. Other than that, there was a little bit of  joking between songs, but not that well done (and not that much, thankfully).  I think if we had shifted where we were there may have been a better view of what was going on, but we mainly just stayed put until I had to use the restroom (missing "Dream Police" in the process). To me, they all played decently, but there was nothing urgent about their performance, and it was a little bit going thru the motions. Overall, underwhelming and I couldn't find myself getting that excited (despite them playing pretty much all their hits- hey I'm a casual CT fan).  The crowd of thousands was loud and somewhat appreciative, but not very enthusiastic.

Looking at their setlist, they played a ton of their 'hits,' and a solid 1.5 hours. Sonically, they sounded alright, but maybe a little muddy.  I guess the acoustics of a parking lot aren't really amazing.  The crowd seemed pretty subdued, but it was a long day under the sun; I know we were def a bit tired.  This group of 3 or 4 girls were doing gymnastic right next to the corner of the stage that we were near and  IMO put on a better show (but were probably much worse musicians) with all their stunts. I am surprised no one's mother got called due to injuries from all the leaps and splits.

Overall, it was a very good set, but the lackluster performance made me a bit disappointed.  I didn't think it was their strongest showing, but the crowd seemed appeased. The fireworks started right as Cheap Trick was finishing, promptly at 9:30PM


Cheap Trick (8:00- 9:30)

  • Hello There
  • Elo Kiddies
  • California Man  (The Move cover)
  • Tonight It's You
  • If You Want My Love
  • I Can't Take It
  • Lookout
  • Don't Be Cruel  (Elvis Presley cover)
  • She's Tight
  • I Know What I Want
  • Ain't That a Shame (Fats Domino cover)
  • In the Street (Big Star cover) (That 70s Song)
  • The Flame
  • Bass Solo
  • I Know What I Want
  • I Want You to Want Me
  • Sick Man of Europe
  • Dream Police
  • --
  • Never Had a Lot to Lose
  • Surrender
  • Clock Strikes Ten
  • Auf Wiedersehen
  • Goodnight