cheap trick palaisCheap Trick
+ The Angels
The Palais, St Kilda, VIC
Wednesday, 13 March 2024 

Hello I-94 Barflies! I hope you are all in fine form. Myself, I’m still recovering from seeing the amazing Cheap Trick at The Palais Theatre in St Kilda and they did not disappoint.

Dragging myself out of bed at 430am for a 1000 kilometre public transport round trip is never pleasant and as the years creep by, travelling does get more fiscally challenging. But family and live rock ‘n’ roll is what gets me off the land and out of The Farmhouse. First, let me say this if you’re ever in Melbourne The Pint On The Punt in Richmond is a nice place to start your drinking, get a feed and sleep on a lumpy mattress. It’s also within walking distance of the now boring suburb of St Kilda. 

Hooking up with Drongo Bushman and watching him smash sugarless five percent alcohol beer was so much fun that we lost track of time. Anyway, after another feed we managed to make our way to the venue.  After navigating our ticket collection we (or I) decided it was Roll Your Own Time. Puffing away, I noticed Daxx Nielsen, drummer for Cheap Trick, walking past us.

“Daxx, my man, how are you doing? Can we get photos?”What a gentleman. There are handshakes and hugs as he gets our names right and asks where we are from. Yes, Barflies, the night starts well. 

Taking up our most magnificent seats (second row) we see The Angels are halfway through their set. What to say? The Brewster Brothers were playing guitars and a third guitarist/singer is up front. It was OK, I guess, if you hadn’t seen them in the ‘80s. By comparison, it just sounds thin, in my humble opinion.  

petersson pn bassTom Petersson and that 12-string bass.

Cheap Trick took to the stage with some magnificent blue lighting, opening with Tom Petersson on the 12-string bass for “Hello There” “Just Got Back” and “Baby Loves To Rock” had every punter out of their seats and bouncing and singing clapping and cheering every Rick Nielsen move. Man, can he play a guitar.

“He’s A Whore”, “Big Eyes”, “Californian Man”, “Southern Girls” come and kept everyone dancing . Now let talk about a man in his ‘70s, Mr Robin Zander, and what a voice this man still has 

“The Flame” opens with its acoustic guitar intro before the rest off the band joined in -  and had a lady in her 40s bloody swooning with delight. Two more not-so-young ladies with no shame come barrelling down the aisle with their breasts out and skirts pulled up around their mid riffs. Oh, lo and behold, there are no panties to be seen, either. The band seem to get a big kick out of it, as did every bloke in the vicinity. 

Security were booed by both band and audience for trying to get them kitted back up. It was very funny and those ladies walked away with a couple off Dax’s drum sticks for their wonderful contribution to the gig. 

robin zanderThe evergreen Robin Zander.

The classic “I Want You To Want Me” had everyone singing and when the band turned down and the house lights were turned up you could see unbridled joy on both on the faces of Cheap Trick’s members and the audience. 

Guitar picks were being thrown by the dozens into the first few rows and had people diving left, right and centre .  

“Surrender”, “Dream Police” (with sirens and flashing lights) and then “Goodnight” closed what was one fabulous fucking show. Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen Tom Petersson and Rick’s son, Daxx Nielsen, were as tight as ever and maybe sounded even better than the last times I saw them (and on both of those occasions they were on fire.)

On top of that, I had wonderful company and those amazing seats. The whiskey flowed, the joints were puffed (in moderation, of course) and the story’s now been told. Until next time, I-94 Barflies, take care.