How long is it appropriate to wait for a band to appear on stage?
Half an hour seems fine, an hour might be pushing it though, while an hour and a half must be at the outer limits for most peoples patience I would think.
This is probably why the hour mark was the trigger point for the rumblings of discontent from the crowd to start, and then by the hour and a half stage why they began to take on a more mutinous tone.
If Cheap Trick had waited another ten minutes then the balance may have tipped and they would have been playing to a rather less than impressed crowd.
Fortunately they took to the stage just in time, and as the first chords rang out and Robin Zander leaned into the microphone all was forgiven.
I mean c'mon. This is Cheap Trick after all.
Once they started who was honestly going to hold a grudge.
Robin Zander was in fine voice of course.
They might be getting on a bit, with the exception of Ricks son on drums, but the material is evergreen and still sounds every bit as good as it ever has.
In fact songs like Southern Girls sound better.
Faster, rawer, louder and just.......well just better.
Cheap Trick may not have enjoyed the success here in the UK as they have in the states and elsewhere, but there is no accounting for taste and I've always considered that the majority of people here may as well have their ears painted on for all they know about music any way.
The sold out crowd are suitably impressed, but due to the average age are showing their enthusiasm by nodding their heads and tapping their feet to the beat rather than anything more exuberant like actually dancing.
Meanwhile I'm singing myself hoarse.
A couple of times I thought Robin Zander was looking over in my direction, but as my girlfriend and I were about the only ones bopping about it was probably just the movement catching his attention from the periphery of his vision.
Rick Nielsen tells us that he is feeling a bit under the weather with a flu bug, but it isn't slowing him down any. He gurning at the crowd, posing from atop his two toe chequered box and throwing plectrums into the crowd like alms to the poor.
Tom Petersson as usual looks as cool as fuck. In fact he is the elder statesmen of cool.
He is like the matinee idol of rock stars who is ageing gracefully and taking it all in his stride.
He stalks his side of the stage with his 12 string bass and looks every inch the rock star. Midway through the set and Robin slips on his Dream Police hat rock and roll nirvana is reached as everything clicks into place.
The audience should be made up of young bands with pads in their hands taking notes.
This is how it is done.
Rick has his gimmicks, but that's just a nod at the theatrics that are expected because they are largely irrelevant as the music does all the talking.
My enthusiasm for live shows have taken a bit of a dip over the last month or so. It's not been a reflection on the talent that is out there, but more so down to a degree of exhaustion, but Cheap Trick have served to knock me clean out of that fug.
There's another three dates on the UK tour and one with Alice Cooper, although that could be one of the dates.
If you get the chance I would advice anyone who has a passing interest to make the effort to go and see them.
(Click on the pictures for a larger image)