One of the great experiences of summer is going to concert to see the music you love performed live. At least you hope that the band you’re in love with can perform the material live and aren’t lip-syncing. A few years ago I was in Las Vegas and the opportunity to see a classic band perform in a club came my way. Of course I jumped on the chance.
I don’t remember the name of the club. But I remember the band. I had never seen them live before, but I knew about them because they’ve had tons of great songs that I remember as a kid. That band is who you’re hearing right now: Cheap Trick. I don’t know a lot of history on the band other than the guitarist Rick Nielson with his crazy guitars and weird sneakers. I do know that the singer Robin Zander is one of the few vocalists I seen on tape and now live that I’ve never heard sing a bum note. To me that unreal. Everyone must have an off night and I’m sure Robin has had one, but I’ve yet to see or hear about it.
The drummer Bun E Carlos is like the Ringo Starr in this band. He never over plays, he works for the song. The bassist, well, lets say it was the first time I had seen a 12 string bass, but not the last. My favorite bassist in the world (Doug Pinnick) plays one too. Essentially the four guys of Cheap Trick work for the music and not for their chops. It also looked as though they were having a great time on stage playing music. Who wouldn’t? I know I do. It’s a major blast to be up there getting cheered on doing what you love to do.
That particular night I will remember for one other reason. Volume.
Being a musician I have custom in-ear plugs that are specifically designed to reduce volume a hefty 25db without sacrificing audio quality. Generally it allows me to hear everything with having yell or worry that my ears will be ringing later. I prefer to take my ear plugs when I go to a movie, party, a bar, especially a concert, or any loud environment. I pop them in and people can scream and yell to their hearts content. I’ll hear them just fine even though they think I can’t when they can’t hear themselves.
Now KISS claims to be the loudest band in the world, but I can say from experience this isn’t the case. Cheap Trick hands down wins that trophy. They were so loud that night that I covering my ear plug holes to prevent hearing damage. It didn’t mean they sucked. Hell no. They played brilliantly, but hot damn they were fucking loud.
If you don’t have any Cheap Trick in your musical arsenal, you have surely missed the boat on one of America’s most consistent rock bands that probably still plays up to 300 shows a year. They’re fantastic. They’re consistent. They’ve got numerous hits. Why have you missed them? Go. Now. Don’t do anything more until you buy some of their music.
(** Disclaimer: If Cheap Trick’s label attempts to get me to surrender with financial duress, then I’ll have to turn the volume of the audio on the post off. The post will remain to show that I appreciate consistency in performance. **)