Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Friday January 18, 2019
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
For our first show of the new year it was one for the books. The band from Rockford, Illinois Cheap Trick took over the Fallsview Casino Friday night. Take it over they did with as solid of an 80-minute set as you will find from a band from their era. Not only did Cheap Trick dazzle, they did so with the best sounding show I’ve ever heard the band play.
The band opened with “Hello There” and closed with “Good Night” as they generally do but what was played between is what sets them apart from most other bands. Their uncanny ability to mix in songs throughout their 18-studio album career at any time make the show spontaneous and leaves the audience never knowing what may come next. Last year alone the band performed approximately 53 different songs over the course of 80+ shows. Most bands from their era will simply play the same set over the course of a summer tour night after night.
Guitarist Rick Nielsen calls vocalist Robin Zander his favorite lead singer in the world. The fact is he is not far off as Zander sounds as good today as he has throughout his career. One listen to a stellar “Need Your Love” was all the sample one would need on this night. With his amazing ability to sing a tender ballad like their #1 hit “The Flame” and then delve into a frenetic rocker like say “Auf Wiedersehen” (neither were played this night) demonstrate that Zander may be the best rock singer in the business today.
One interesting part of the show was the hat trick segment of covers which began with a rollicking Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour”. Drummer Daxx Nielsen started that familiar drum intro of “Ain’t That A Shame” before the band finished off this portion of the show with rare play of “Don’t Be Cruel”.
Other highlights included “Baby Loves to Rock” and “Voices” in which the band was firing on all cylinders. Bassist Tom Petersson also took a turn at the mic as he usually does. Over the past few years his song choice as it was on this night has been “I’m Waitin’ For The Man”. It must also be noted about the stellar “Never Had A Lot to Lose” which served as the first song of the encore. The song has aged quite nicely and sounds more relevant compared to some of the band’s other singles from that same time period.
Overall the band did what they usually do and that is put on an exceptional show. Solid musicianship in a fantastic sounding room led by one of the greatest voices in the history of rock. What made it more enjoyable was the band was able to play a full headlining set, something quite rare from the short 45-60-minute sets they put on as an opener. If you missed this show all I can say is shame on you.
On Top of the World
Need Your Love
Magical Mystery Tour
Ain’t That A Shame
Don’t Be Cruel
Baby Loves to Rock
I’m Waitin’ for the Man
I Want You to Want Me
Never Had A Lot to Lose
For more on Cheap Trick check out www.cheaptrick.com