Cheap Tricked

To be fair, Cheap Trick does not have nearly the amount of hits that Foreigner and Styx has. It goes without saying then, that their concerts might be less stimulating than Foreigner and Styx.

On August 24th, 2012, at  Wolf Lake Pavilion in Hammond, Indiana, they made the audience wait until the end of the show before playing their 3 major hits “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me” and “Dream Police.”  That actually makes sense because you don’t want the show to be anti-climactic. But they should have played one of them towards the beginning to give the audience hope.

Familiarity is the strongest component in music, which was evident in the crowds’ reaction-for the first time in my life I saw attendees leaving by the droves in the middle of the concert. I was almost embarrassed for Cheap Trick.

The reason they were leaving is because Cheap Trick insisted on playing exclusively new material in the beginning and through the middle of the concert. I understand that any band has the right, and, in fact, should create new music, but it almost seemed a blatant disrespect to the fans that have remained fans based on those familiar hits.

For the few who remained until the end of the show, there was a pay-off, as they did their three big hits for the finale. I think a better alternative would have been to play one of their hits earlier on to give the fans hope. It seemed that Cheap Trick was rebelliously making a statement throughout the show, as if to say that they are not obligated to play their hits just to please the fans.

I see that both sides have a point. As artists, Cheap Trick certainly should be allowed to create new music. That said, I think they do owe the fans the satisfaction of hearing the songs that they made famous, which, incidentally, made Cheap Trick A LOT of money over the years.

Overall, having an appreciation of music, I thought that there lesser-known songs were pretty good and I did enjoy the show. I certainly do not want my analysis of the concert to be misinterpreted as a poor musical performance. Cheap Trick is a very talented band.

Fun fact: In the beginning of the live-recorded radio version of “I Want You To Want Me” lead-singer Robin Zander says rather cheesily and slowly “I want you… to want… me.” The reason he said it in that manner is because it was recorded at a concert in Japan and Zander wanted to be clear that the message of the song was getting across to the audience. As he said “you” he pointed to the crowd, and as he said “me” he pointed to himself.


First Time For Foreigner

In 2012, Foreigner played at Wolf Lake on August 17th and, like Styx, they were incredible! And, like Styx, every single song they played was a very familiar.

Some of those songs include: “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “I’ve Been Waiting For a Girl Like You,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Say You Will,” “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Urgent,” ”Juke Box Hero,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Double Vision,” “Head Games” and “Blue Morning, Blue Day.”

According to, this super group has had ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen top 30 hits. Foreigner currently consists of; Mick Jones, founder, songwriter, producer and guitarist; Kelly Hansen, lead singer, although not the original, you would not know it; Tom Gimbel, rhythm guitar, keyboard, saxophone and flute; Jeff Pilson, bassist and original Dokken member; and Michael Bluestein, keyboardist and backing vocals; and Brian Tichy on drums.

Tichy played a notable solo. It was long and brilliant. At some point he even did an incredibly impressive juggling-like trick with the drum sticks, throwing them ridiculously high in the air, like nothing I have ever seen before. He showcased his talent very well. It solicited a huge round of applause as the whole crowd was in awe.

I have always loved the song “Feels Like the First Time,” and to hear it live was an unforgettable experience. The title is appropriate because it prompts a feeling that you are hearing rock-and-roll music for the first time.

When I hear it on the radio, and especially when I watch it live, it just makes me feel happy, youthful, and powerful. There is a feeling of elation that almost brings a tear to my eye. I can feel what it does for my mind, body and spirit, and I like it a lot.

I’m not a religious man, but it feels like a religious experience to me, and I believe it is as close as one can get.

The song makes me feel like the first time I breathed, smiled, laughed, loved and cried tears of joy.

The level of talent that these musicians posses is hard to believe, and rarely equaled in music or any other activity a human can do. They are so obviously passionate about their music. Seeing them perform is seeing somebody do something that they absolutely LOVE to do.

It makes you realize the uniqueness of music and why it exists. It serves a great purpose. What just the right song can do for the human spirit is remarkable. It generates an unequaled energy that mimics how good love can be and that makes life worth living.

Here is “Feels Like the First Time”

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